Chef Andrew Cooper gives back. He said he’s learned much over his 14 years working in the kitchens at the Four Seasons and now he gets to pass it on. He sets his cooks up for success, giving them a manual he created himself filled with wisdom and learning points. He teaches school kids the importance of local, sustainable foods and how to cook with fresh foods at home. He has relationships with farmers all over the area and most of the food served at the restaurant, Terra, is from a local farmer – everything from goat cheese to cattle.
Chef Andrew created the “Private Adventure Cooking Class” providing guests a memorable hands-on experience shopping, cooking and discussing food. My kids love to cook, so we naturally jumped at the chance to join Chef Andrew for a day while visiting Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.
We met Chef Andrew in the lobby and drove to the Santa Fe Farmers Market for a little shopping. He has a big heart and a passion for local, sustainable foods. As we walked through the market, pulling his wicker basket on wheels, I could see his intent. Every farmer knew him, and many market shoppers said, “Hi Chef!”
When we arrived back in the kitchens, we put on our aprons and cooked with him for several hours. The kids were giddy, enjoying a behind-the-scenes look at a fine restaurant. He brought them into the walk-in refrigerators, let them stir, chop and blanch.
When we got out the produce, he asked the girls if they knew how to cook eggs. My youngest piped in and said, “Yes! I make my own eggs every day. And I’m really great at omelets.” So the Chef challenged her to an omelet face-off. She was fired up and cooked a beautiful creation!
He then taught us to make Baked Feta Salad with baby greens and Seared Scallops with baby garlic, thyme tomatoes and carrot puree. What a feast!
Each week Chef Andrew brings his guests into the kitchen with him to cook, learn and celebrate fresh flavors. He teaches classes like: Margarita Making, Pizza Grilling, Charcuterie, Fresh Pasta, Cheese Making – you name it. Terra also offers a dining experience called “The Chef’s Table”. The whole family sits at a large table right off the line in the kitchen. Throughout the night Chef and staff surprise you with course after course. His rule is, “If you say ‘I’m full’, you get three more courses.” There’s laughter, wine, good food, and an education on fine cuisine happening all at once.
If you’ve been looking for some fun and educational classes to enjoy as a couple or even as a family, you may find the perfect fit in Santa Fe. It’s a Four Seasons experience my kids will never forget.–Carrie Vitt
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