Colonial Williamsburg unveiled a new program this year showcasing the foundation's chefs and giving visitors a chance to sample some savory recipes in a fun way.
Colonial Williamsburg Executive Chef Rhys Lewis regaled participants of Taste Studio with his culinary anecdotes and delicious recipes.
The studio is located in the former Craft House between the Williamsburg Inn and Lodge. The space has been entirely renovated and is home to the program which showcases the chefs of Colonial Williamsburg through lively cooking demonstrations. Sessions are held on Friday and Saturday and incorporate the use of fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which are grown in the Historic Area gardens.
The plan for the program is to continue to diversify, eventually incorporating other hands-on type learning experiences. The premise is for the chefs to give participants an up close look at how to create some spectacular dishes using common ingredients.
Prior to the sessions, the chefs take participants to the gardens tended by the chefs for an up close look at the vegetables and herbs.
"The things we grow here are from seed," Lewis said. "We grow things like Swiss chard and kale. The question is how do you make these things something special?"
A program earlier this year paid homage to the carrot, as Lewis presented three recipes using the popular vegetable. Once back in the kitchen, the amiable and humorous Lewis prepared Carrot-Almond Soup, Kings Arms Garden Carrot Potato Pancakes and Carrot-Cardamom Ice Cream.
The chefs take the participants through the steps to take to create the dishes. Then everyone is given a small portion to taste for themselves.
The big hit of the carrot program was the soup, which Lewis admitted was the first time he created it. The consensus was he had a winner.
The same comments were heard regarding the chef's carrot-potato pancakes and the carrot ice cream.
The repartee was lively throughout and questions ranged from the types of pan Lewis was using to the timing of adding ingredients.
Future programs will incorporate the use of various fruits and vegetables, all readily available at stores or in gardens.
"We look at things that are known to us, but we are taking a different look at it," Lewis said.
Tickets are $33.50 per person. Upcoming topics in the Taste Studio: bacon, Oct. 27-Nov. 1; spices, Nov. 3-8. Thanksgiving desserts begins Nov. 10. For reservations or more information, call 855-296-6627 or go to colonialwilliamsburg.com and search Taste Studio.