When you think of Cups La Jolla, you think cupcakes. Right? Well, now you can think cooking classes, kids night out, food instruction, gift making. Cool, huh? Did you know that behind the doors of their kitchen is a secret room with a demonstration kitchen? The perfect setup for a date night, group outing, or a solo “me” time get-away. I had the chance to take a class last weekend. The class I took was the “Chino Latino Fusion Cuisine” with Chef Isabel Cruz noted for her San Diego restaurants, Cantina, Barrio Star and the Coffee Cup. I learned a few “secrets” from this talented chef. I learned how to remove the skins off Jalapeños (after burning them sweat them off by placing them in a bowl and covering them in saran wrap and never touch the peppers with your bare hands- one touch to the eye and ow-wee), the key to fast garlic preparation- buy garlic bulbs already peeled and vacuum sealed, and to cover the Sugar/Water while on the stove (speeds up the caramelization process but don’t forget it’s there or you’ll get burnt sugar).
The three-hour instruction/hands-on class included recipes from Isabel’s cookbook and restaurants. We collectively made a four course meal with very simple and fresh ingredients. We even got to sample Cups’ own Dulce de Leche Cupcakes. It was an overall wonderful experience. I definitely will be back.
Sample of Classes to come:
October 3, 10, 17, 24– Farm-To-Table: You will actually walk to the La Jolla Farmer’s Market and go back to the kitchen to learn how to prepare dishes using fresh fruits and vegetables you just picked up.
October 8, 22– Parents Night Off -Cupcakes and a movie: Great idea! Leave your 5-9 year old and take off for a couple of hours (out to dinner, walk on the beach), come back and your kids will have decorated some cupcakes, met some new friends and watched a movie.
October 9- Burger Bromance: A class taught by former Executive chef of Roseville. Burger Secrets and techniques. Note on the description ” *This class is not exclusively for men.”
*Disclosure: I got to take the Chino Latino Class courtesy of Cups but was not required to write a post.
Love that you are supporting this great locally owned/operated business!
NEVER knew that behind the kitchen is another kitchen. They have great cupcakes, so I’m sure their cooking courses are delicious.
If we had kids, I’d do the Parents Night Off. In the meantime, I have friends who must know!
This is great Jen! Thanks for sharing… I’ve been looking for something like this and so glad to see your recommendation. If I can stay in town long enough, I’d like to sign up for a couple courses.
These classes are fun, and I am not a “cook.” I just made the chicken last night for the kids and they devoured it right up.
Whole Chicken- rub with salt and cover in saran wrap overnight
Then rub dry rum Cumin (2 tbs)/Red Chile Pepper (1/3 cup)/dry oregano
Stick a cut-up lemon inside
Stick on roasting pan for 375 for 30 min and then 350 for 20 min. (160 degrees with meat themometer)
Pull it out and it’s done. There are also sauces that go with this, but I made just the chicken and they were happy.
Forgot 3 tbs olive oil before rubbing on dry rub.
Glad everyone enjoyed the classes!
Isabel’s chicken was simple yet delicious! Two things to add: 1) the salting is done under the skin, not on top of the skin; and 2) remember if you don’t have a roasting pan, you can use an upside down cupcake or mini-muffin pan inside a baking pan for the same (and maybe even better) effect!
I wanted to correct one thing about the Farm-to-Table classes starting in October. While our current Market-to-Table classes (Sundays through the end of this month) feature a tour of the LJ Farmer’s Market, and produce purchased there, the new Farm-to-table classes beginning in October will feature the produce from one of San Diego County’s many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms, which deliver fresh, local produce in weekly boxes to subscriber-customers. The first class, on October 3, will feature Seabreeze Organic Farm in Carmel Canyon and the second class, on October 10, will feature Be Wise Ranch in Escondido, for example.
Now, if you will forgive me, one plug: tomorrow night (9/25) we are featuring Guest Personal Chef Chris Antes, who will be teaching a hands-on sushi-rolling class from 6-9pm – should be lots of fun! Few spots left – call 858 459 CUPS (2877) to sign up!
Thanks for the additions/corrections- CSAs are a great way to get fresh produce weekly and to help support local farms. I made the chicken with rubbing salt on the skin and it was still great! Great meeting you last week.
Rubbing salt on the skin always tastes good! I think the benefit of rubbing directly on the chicken meat is that, like brining, it not only makes the chicken more moist, but reduced the required cooking time.
Glad you’re a CSA fan – I just wanted to help promote them in my classes. There are so many amazing farms in San Diego, and we’re lucky to have a year-round growing season.
Great meeting you too!