Thanks to the generosity of Denise, the coordinator for Barbeques Galore’s outdoor cooking school (which is held inside the store, not outdoors, but goes over the concepts of cooking outside), we were invited to sit in on a class to check out some of their new menus and new instructor. I can’t remember if we first found out about the classes because I was buying a gift for Travis or if he was buying one for me, but we really enjoy them. They have classes during the week and on the weekends, you get to eat everything that gets cooked, and you get a 15% discount if you go shopping after the class. We’ve actually held off on purchasing bbq accessories if we know we’ll be taking a class in the near future. Oh, and it’s BYOB, something that everyone takes full advantage of. The nice thing is, if you forget (or didn’t know, like us the first time we went), there’s a World Market right next door so you can run in and purchase a beverage of your choice. The class does put out iced tea and water, as well as veggies and dip and a bread spread.
The last time we took the class, Rich Schmitt was the instructor. He’s still there, but they’ve added a new chef so when we were invited a sneak peek back into the classes, we figured we should see what John Cardona brought to the mix. John’s a little younger, a little edgier than Rich, but he’s fun to talk to and turned out amazing food (except for a queso fresco ice cream I wasn’t very fond of… I think it was too savory for my tastes).
We purchased a class gift certificate for our friends to take a class, since they will be celebrating their second summer with a backyard and new grill this year. Whenever they pick a class, we’ll most likely go with them. It’s more fun to go with a group of friends, but I also just like going! You never leave hungry, you might leave a bit tipsy, and you will always learn something new. Even if you think you know almost everything about food.
So far, the only location in San Diego that offers outdoor cooking classes is the one in 4S Ranch. That and World Market are the only reasons we even go up to 4S Ranch! It’s a class that involves big grills and lots of meat – what’s not to love? Plus, it’s easy to convince guys to take a cooking class with you because it’s all about grilling! I think the classes are different than other cooking classes/demonstrations out there (except for the Sushi class at The Prado – very hands on and fun!) and make pretty fun gifts. I’m just sad we keep missing their leg of lamb class. That would be fun.