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Lesson “Dutch Cuisine”
For many years I have been collecting cookbooks. My collection is huge, but for a long time there was not a single Dutch cuisine book in it. Having visited this country, I brought with me a whole suitcase of cheeses and cookbooks for the collection. Chef Alexander Stefoglo and I, taking recipes from books, made a menu for a Dutch lesson. It included cheese soup, Dutch chicken with apple sauce, and salmon with vegetables and hollandaise sauce. Students cooked each dish together with the chef. We started with a complicated process of cutting salmon, which turned out to be quite simple after Alexander showed us a couple of his professional tricks. We talked a lot about knives, we paid special attention to their sharpening and the features of a knife for cutting fish: its length, flexibility and the presence of special grooves on the blade. As usual for Alexander’s lessons, we learned to carefully decorate and present the dish. For dessert, we treated our students to the famous Dutch rye flour cake with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and candied fruit. Sommelier Ksenia Yangulova, Goodwine, offered Bardolino Chiaretto Classico Zeni and Late Bottled Vintage Port 2007 Taylor’s for a lesson. Ksenia chose port wine for a reason: at the end of the lesson we had a tasting of four Dutch cheeses. It is with port wine they are usually served in the tasting cheese halls of Amsterdam.