If you can’t stand the heat, get in to Tess’ Kitchen  | TheUnion.com

If you can’t stand the heat, get in to Tess’ Kitchen 

Travel the world this summer without leaving town at Tess' cooking classes. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook looking to pick up some new tricks, you can learn from Tess' resident world renowned Chefs Dawn Empson, Alan Tangren and Matthew Wich. They offer hands-on cooking classes that are as entertaining as they are educational, and are limited to 14 people so that everyone gets a chance to participate. At the end of the class you will enjoy the fruits of your labor as you sit down and eat with your new-found friends. Upcoming classes include Summer Barbecue Sous Vide, South Asian Vegan, Beautiful Brunch, Bistro Dining at Home, Spectacular Summer Fruit Desserts, and much more. Reserve your spot early, since classes sell out quickly.

Meet the Chefs

Matthew Wich is Tess' newest chef addition, and thoroughly enjoys preparing cuisines from all over the tropical areas of the world: India, Southern China, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. His culinary knowledge of regional cuisine comes from his research, travel, friends, and taste interests. He has spent extensive time in South America and traveled in Asia and Europe as well as attending cooking classes in Thailand and Colombia. He has a strong connection to the Farm to Table movement, having operated a small-scale organic farm in Penn Valley for several years.

Alan Tangren comes from a successful 22-year career at the world renowned Michelin Star-rated Chez Panisse in Berkeley, where he cooked in both the upstairs café and the downstairs restaurant as well as serving as the forager for six years. In 1997, he became Chez Panisse's co-pastry chef and was responsible for planning dessert menus for the restaurant and the café and introducing new ideas and recipes for the restaurant. From 1984 to 1991 while at Chez Panisse, Alan expanded his horizons as sous chef for the Great Chefs program at the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley. There he worked with American chefs Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton and Bradley Ogden. French chefs included Gaston Lenotre, Paul Bocuse, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, Georges Blanc and Alain Chapel.

Dawn Empson studied at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco and then externed at Wine and Spirits Magazine where she participated in official wine tastings with some of the Bay Area's finest Sommeliers. She went on to work at three-and-a-half star restaurant Julia's Kitchen; the only establishment Julia Child would allow her name to be associated with. She then gained more knowledge in wine country, working in restaurants and wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties for a decade before moving to Nevada County to become one of Tess' instructor chefs and the resident wine expert.

For more information, or to reserve your spot in one of the upcoming cooking classes, visit tesskitchenstore.com, call 530-273-6997, or stop by their store located at 115 Mill Street in Downtown Grass Valley.

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Tess' Upcoming Summer Classes

June 25, 5 p.m.

Advanced Sauces III –Emulsified Sauces – $100

These classics depend on suspending oil or butter in a liquid, creating a smooth, unctuous sauce. They may sound scary, but they are totally under your control.

  • The Hollandaise family – includes béarnaise and its cousin beurre blanc.
  • The mayonnaise family – includes aïoli and remoulade.
  • The vinaigrette family and our updated version of green goddess.

We will be tasting your sauces with asparagus and artichokes!

Chef Instructor: Alan Tangren

June 28th, 1 p.m.

Summer Barbeque Sous Vide – $60

With warm weather coming, let's explore sous vide; no hot kitchens. Cooking temperatures in the water bath never exceed the final ideal temperature. We will produce the perfect Barbeque Beef Brisket and the most refreshing Coleslaw. You won't need to fire up the oven for frozen Strawberry Soufflé!

Chef Instructor: Alan Tangren

June 30th, 5:30 p.m.

Market Foraging with Alan Tangren – $55

Alan Tangren, who may have been the first restaurant forager while at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, will show you how to select the best fruits and vegetables at the downtown Grass Valley market. Using a recipe to guide us, we will discuss what to look for, and then forage for the ingredients at the market. We will then return to the kitchen and prepare what we have found.

Chef Instructor: Alan Tangren

July 5th, 1 p.m.

South Asian Vegan – $60
Summer is the perfect time to explore the exciting dishes of India and its neighbors, all with a long history of vegetarian and vegan cooking. We will start our trip with Chickpea and Vegetable Fritters with Mint Dipping Sauce. Then we will make a Summer Vegetable Curry to serve with our own pan-fried Chapati Bread and Parsi Green Chutney. We will finish with a cooling Mango-Lime Sherbet.

Chef Instructor: Alan Tangren

July 8th, 6 p.m.

Wine and Food Pairing – $40
Up your wine game and impress your friends with your new-found knowledge of how to pair the right bottle of wine with what is being served for dinner. In this class we will taste through wines that range from bold, fruit forward, bright, and sweet, while at the same time learn what foods go best with these different types of wines. Must be 21 and over to attend. *This class will have small bites for sampling with the wines. ** We ask that you please refrain from using any perfumes while attending wine classes.

Chef Instructor: Dawn Empson

July 9th, 1 p.m.

Wines of the World – $25
Are you interested in tasting wines from around the world? Join us here at Tess' as we discover and taste wines from Europe, the United States, Chile, Argentina and more! This class will give you the opportunity to experience different varietals, wine styles, and terroir. Let's take a trip around the world together and learn a little more about wine and where it comes from. Must be 21 years of age or over to attend this class. *We ask you to please refrain from using any perfumes while attending wine classes.

Wine Instructor: Dawn Empson

July 9th, 5 p.m.

Summer Canning with Annica – $70
Gardening season is upon us and now that your garden has exploded with so many wonderful fruits and vegetables it's time to learn how to preserve them. Our very own Certified Canning Specialist Annica Hagedorn will show you the most current up to date methods of canning Tomatoes and Pickled Zucchini. Sign up as soon as you can, this class is in high demand and will fill up quickly.

Canning Specialist: Annica Hagedorn

For more classes and information, or to reserve your spot in one of the upcoming cooking classes, visit tesskitchenstore.com.

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