Two inaugural cooking classes later, the K-B Market and Kitchen School is finally, finally ready for business. The two introductory classes, held back to back, were a terrific learning experience for us – and we hope for those on the seated side of the counter as well – and also helped to validate that this new career we’ve carved out for our next decade might be fun after all!
Some pictures from the Saturday class:
Still some view issues for the seats that can’t see into the mirror, but Kevin is very good at passing around the pan or bowl so everyone can peer inside. And of course everyone loved the idea that they can now make not only the oyster fritter at home, but that ever popular lemon butter sauce as well.
We’ve scheduled a month of Oyster Fritter Classes for April, starting on April 2. Every Thursday and Friday evening and the first three Saturdays at noon for the entire month will be devoted to the classic Oyster Fritter and its magic sauce. We hope to fill most of the spaces, and so far the response has been promising. And I am particularly happy, because I get a few bites of an oyster fritter with every class! That’s what I’m doing dishes for, yes indeed!
Yesterday we traveled to Wilmington to scope out the new Restaurant Depot. We’ve been members of this wholesale/warehouse concept for almost a decade, but up until now the closest branch has been in Philadelphia, which meant we didn’t take advantage of it very often. The January opening of the Wilmington store is a game changer, and yesterday we checked it out. In the past we didn’t have a huge need to go “shop” for our goods – we could usually meet any minimums set by wholesalers for delivery right to our back door. This most recent business – not so much. And while we still won’t find ourselves in the need for a 50 pound bag of carrots or a 10 pound block of Parmesan cheese, we can still find a lot of “restaurant” stuff at RD – like a 2000 foot roll of 12 inch plastic wrap or a single bar tray. We were able to pick up soup spoons and tasting spoons, lemons and fennel seed, piano whips and sink baskets, It’s very similar in design to a Sam’s Club or Costco, but with none of the consumer goods you see in those warehouse experiences, and no annual membership fee. Works perfectly for us, particularly this new location.
Plus it gave us the opportunity to pass through Newark and look for Chef Robbie Jester. Our first stop was the always good Iron Hill Brewery on Newark’s Main Street. While the bartender here was not forthcoming regarding our quest for Chef Robbie’s whereabouts, she was quite helpful in other ways, mostly with food. We were very happy to arrive during Happy Hour and subject ourselves to a couple of snacks – the most notable being the Philly Cheesesteak Egg Roll. It was a smart move.
We weren’t sure where Robbie was, so when we sat down to the bar at our next stop – the “new” Stone Balloon – Kevin simply asked the bartender if he by any chance knew him. Well, amazingly, that’s where he is. The bartender said “he should be out here any minute” and there he was. We had a great conversation with this Kent County success story, as we enjoyed a couple more snacks, Jester style. Rob sent us out some of his signature Cherrywood Smoked Bacon, which was impossible to resist, and we also consumed a pair of shrimp tacos.
This is not the Stoned Balloon you might remember from your youth. This is an upscale pub with real food, made by real people in a real kitchen. Robbie is committed to hands-on, and to as sustainable and local as he can get. As a matter of fact, he is getting his burger meat from Crow Farm. And he serves his hand-cut fries in a refurbished tin can. We had a great time and my guess is that this new venue of his will be a huge success. We will make it a regular stop whenever we find ourselves up in that neck of the woods, that is certain, if only for another slice of that bacon!