Thursday, April 02, 2009

Spring Cooking with Lee Anne Wong

It’s official: Spring is here. And you can feel it in the air in New York City. For a little while at least, the city feels (almost) fresh. Here at The FCI the chefs seem to have an extra bounce in their step—no doubt they’ve got visions of asparagus and strawberries dancing in their heads.

Our own Lee Anne Wong is gearing up for a little spring celebration of her own. On Monday, April 6 she’ll be teaching a Recreational Division class at The International Culinary Center. Click here to sign up.

We spoke to her earlier for a sneak preview.

Tell us more about what you have planned for Monday night.

It’s going to be a small class, an intimate evening of cooking and eating together. It’ll be fun and delicious and focused on spring flavors and vegetables. What I really like about the menu is that it’s healthy. It’s fresh food cooked with very little fat. With the exception of the goat cheese and rhubarb crêpes—we’re not going that healthy. [laughter]

You teach regularly here and design your own classes. What’s the inspiration behind this one?
I just love this time of year. It’s been a long, hard winter, and now we get to see everything turn green. I love chili and short ribs and all of those slow-cooked winter dishes. But there’s nothing like peas and fava beans and rhubarb—those fresh flavors you can only get during spring.

What else are you excited about?

I’m going to show everyone a handy short cut for making ravioli. You’ll be able to cook up a quick and easy vegetable pasta dish at home.

So back to those crepes...

People are often intimidated by crêpes, but they really are easy and versatile. I’m going to show the class how to make a basic batter and how to properly cook and form them. We’ll talk about different ways to use them in other recipes, too. But for this class, we’ll fill them with sweetened goat cheese and serve them with a rhubarb vanilla sauce.

Cooking with Lee Anne Wong runs on April 6 from 6-10pm at The International Culinary Center. After three hours of hands-on instruction and cooking, the class will sit down together to enjoy a meal of vegetable ravioli, fish en papillote, and goat cheese and rhubarb crêpes with wine - $195.

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