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Cooking Demonstrations and Cocktails with Chef Irv Miller


Cooking Demonstrations and Cocktails with Chef Irv Miller
at Jackson’s Steakhouse, July – November 2012

Join Chef Irv Miller of Jackson’s Steakhouse as he leads another series of cooking classes each month, July through November 2012. Classes cover everything from shopping to preparation to presentation. Two classes are scheduled for each month. The first class begins promptly at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. The second class begins at 7:30 p.m. and concludes at 9:00 p.m. Each class costs $45 per person, which covers the cooking demonstration, tastings, wine pairings and a take-home recipe booklet so you can try your hand at Miller’s recipes in the comfort of your own home. Reservations are required, so be sure to make yours by calling Maria Goldberg, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Special Events at 850-217-2347 or the restaurant at 850-469-9898.

Regional Gulf Coast Cooking: Wednesday, July 18
Chef Irv will feature the resources of our unique bodies of water and the special dishes of the region along the shores. Chef Irv will walk you through coastal cooking ingredients from Texas and Louisiana, and Florida from Pensacola to the Florida Keys, as well as the Yucatan Peninsula. Chef will use culturally inspired ingredients from each region to prepare all his recipes. He will also share information about treasured, locally available foods including favorites from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, Miller will demonstrate how to prepare some of his favorite regional recipes of Northwest Florida. This uncomplicated, regional, coastal cooking style is culturally inspired from decades of Euro-American settlement. The foods are celebrated in their locale and are created along the entire coastline by using ingredients available locally. Many of the ingredients originated in different geographical areas around the world and reflect those particular regional cultures and climates.

A Portrait of Portugal: Wednesday, August 15
Just after the 15th century, historic travels led to what is called “The Age of Discovery,” which changed the preparation of food in Portugal and around the world. With these changes, potatoes, tomatoes, Brazilian pineapple, and coffee from Africa were brought to Portugal. The Romans contributed onions, olives, grapes, garlic and wheat. The food in Portugal is often filling, rich and full of flavor. Olive oil is also one of the common bases of the foods of Portugal. Chef Irv will demonstrate and prepare a tasting of some of the rich, filling and full-flavored dishes that are closely related to Mediterranean cuisine. The influence of Portugal’s former colonial possessions is also notable, especially in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri (small, fiery chili peppers) and black pepper as well as cinnamon, vanilla and saffron. Olive oil is used for both cooking and flavoring meals. Garlic is widely used, as are herbs such as coriander and parsley.

Flavors of Fall: Wednesday, September 19
“Comfort food” is the name and slow simmering is the game! Comfort foods are not so much food that’s slow to cook as food that’s worth waiting for. Whether it’s the chill in the air or a fond childhood memory, it is food that’s eagerly anticipated with the season, which trigger feelings of a special time. We search for foods and cooking techniques to warm the soul – stick to your ribs, if you will. Soups, slightly heavier sauces, roasted and braised meats (including game), and acorn squash and pumpkin are all back! Braising, for example, is a great way to enjoy some of the heartier and coincidentally less expensive cuts of meat like beef chuck, shoulder and brisket, which make wonderful pot roasts. Lamb shanks, veal osso buco, short ribs and brisket, and chicken and dumplings also take front row seats! Chef will discuss the process for basic braising and will choose an array of fresh vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, leeks and potatoes; wine and aromatics; fresh or dried herbs and spices; and stock or broth.

Savoring Sicily: Wednesday, October 17
Most everyone loves the robust flavors from Sicily. Sicily, being geographically centered in the Mediterranean Sea, has been used, occupied, or fortified (seemingly) by every historical nation of power that has ever existed along the Mediterranean Sea coast. Chef Irv will prepare Sicilian creations from his favorite cultural-influenced regions. Sicilian cuisine shows traces of all the cultures that established themselves on the island of Sicily over the last two millennia. Although its cuisine is predominantly based on Italian cuisine, Sicilian food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences. The dishes from Sicily come directly from the flavors of nature, ingredients found in sunny, hilly lands, some surrounded by bright blue seas.

Viva 500 heritage cooking: Wednesday, November 14
As you probably already know, this upcoming year is Viva Florida 500. The Viva Florida 500 Program will showcase 500 years of Spanish influence on Florida, a year we all hold close to our culinary and historical hearts. This anniversary commemorates Florida’s rich heritage and diverse cultural history. What makes it so unique is that Ponce de León’s convoy of explorers was the first group of Europeans to document such a landing and give a name to the discovery – La Florida. In support of promoting the Viva Florida 500 heritage and in appreciation of Spain’s influence in the New World, Chef will prepare Spanish-influenced Florida dishes that stem from our geography, culture and climate. He will compose Spanish-influenced dishes from the freshest available, bold regional ingredients found locally and will create exciting recipes celebrating the culinary harvest of this sundrenched cuisine.