The much-anticipated spring cooking class series at Harvest Restaurant is underway, and changes are afoot.
Chef Craig von Foerster and his wife, Tamara, own the fine-dining establishment, which is nestled in an orchard in Rogersville, Missouri. The pair began offering demonstration-style cooking classes last spring and fall. The classes are limited to 30 people and are held on Wednesdays, when the restaurant is closed.
The series was originally inspired by feedback from diners. “A lot of guests would say, ‘What is this? How is this done? I am not familiar with it, I’ve never had it before,’” says Tamara.
So, they decided cooking classes would be an opportunity to educate and connect with those diners. This year, the focus will shift slightly.
“Last year was recipe-based, but when we listened to what questions people were asking, they were curious about technique, so this year we are putting more of a focus on technique,” says Craig.
Classes are held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8pm, and tickets (which include a light meal) are $45 per person. The courses often sell out but Tamara says there are currently spaces left in each one.
The Spring 2019 lineup includes:
- April 10: Ice Cream & Sorbets
- April 17: Spring Soups & Bisques
- April 24: Pickling, Brining & Marinating
Typically, the main course is built around the theme of the class. "The Ice Cream & Sorbets" class, however, will feature a different meal with ice cream and sorbet offered throughout the evening, in order to to prevent guests from having what Craig refers to as a “sugar coma.”
“We have become known for our ice cream: the quality, flavor and uniqueness,” he adds. “The goal is people can go home and make these items after seeing the class. It’s not just recipe-oriented, but concept-oriented.”
For "Spring Soups & Bisques," Craig will prepare his signature soup at Harvest, which is a saffron-kissed bouillabaisse. He will also demonstrate how to create a shrimp, lobster or crab bisque, depending on what ingredients are freshest at the time. The menu also includes a cream soup with spring vegetables and a broth. “That covers the basic types and people can go with those basics and create their own flavor profile,” he says.
Finally, "Pickling, Brining & Marinating" harks back to techniques use by past generations.
“It’s kind of how everybody’s grandmother preserved food back in the day,” Tamara says. “They used a lot of creative techniques so food would last into the winter. They would always have something preserved to go with the meat. We are taking a lot of things they have done and applying it food we do at the restaurant.”
Other changes for 2019 include a new seasonal cocktail menu, which will constantly rotate to coincide with Craig's hyper-seasonal fare. The couple has also announced that Harvest will not be bringing back its Thursday happy hour this year, but the change will give them more time to spend on Tamara's family farm, which has been in her family since 1932. The couple plans to devote more time to growing their own produce on the farm, which supplies Harvest with seasonal produce, herbs and berries.
Tickets for Harvest Restaurant's spring cooking classes are $45 per person, available here.
Harvest Restaurant, 8011 E. State Hwy AD, Rogersville, Missouri, 417.830.3656, harvestmo.com