It’s that time of year again. The time where we reflect on the past 365 days of all our highs and lows as we ring in the new year. In what seems like a blink of an eye, 2018 has come and gone. For some it may be relief that a fresh start is on the horizon. For others it may be a year we don’t want to let go of with all the milestones and fond memories that were made. No matter what side you may fall on the spectrum, a new year can be a signal for new beginnings and new goals to achieve. Admittedly, my new year’s resolutions are not always achieved by the end of a year, but setting a few at the start is always something I aim to do. In fact, five years ago one of my new year’s resolution was to finally start up my food blog and Instagram account, which became the birth of the website and account The Everyday Foodie. Now with almost 30,000 followers I am beyond grateful that I followed through with that new year’s resolution, and kept it going five years later giving me this amazing platform and community that allows me to do what I love each day.
Now that it’s 2019 it’s time to pick another new year’s resolution! As a food blogger I often get asked if I’m also a good cook. The brutally honest truth is…. not at all! I’m a superstar when it comes to eating. I’m pretty good at taking pictures of it too. But when it comes to cooking that’s a whole different story. Cooking for me has always posed a challenge. I’ve always wanted to learn new recipes and sharpen some cooking techniques, yet year after year it’s something I’ve put on the side. But not this year. Not in 2019!
I decided this is the year for me to turn it around, and what better way to make sure this new year’s resolution gets off to a good start then by enrolling in a cooking class! Located in Stouffville, Ontario King Cole Ducks has almost 70 years of experience in producing duck products spanning four generations in a family run farm. With customers all around the world, King Cole Ducks is the brand of choice with chefs across the globe and of course with chefs here locally as well.
With so many well-established chefs that trust and use their products, King Cole Ducks offer a cooking class called “Duck School.”It’s a night full of food and fun where you get to learn how to cook duck like a pro from a roster of talented local chefs right on the duck farm itself!
The class I enrolled in was led by Chef Forrest Liu, the Executive Chef at Terre Rouge located in downtown Markham. Born and raised in Shanghai, Forrest began his career at a young age, interning at Three on the Bund by Jean Georges, becoming the first ever intern hired at the Shanghai Flagship. He then decided to move to Canada to complete the Culinary Management program at George Brown College, where he then landed jobs at some of the most renowned kitchens in Toronto including One Restaurant, Canoe, George, Lee Restaurant, Carmen’s Steak House, and Toca at the Ritz Carlton. With his experience and expertise there was no better person then Chef Forrest Liu to teach me how to cook in my very first cooking class experience!
Below you will get to see the three duck dishes he taught and made for the class, which included a soup, appetizer, and entree. I also included a few duck recipes that I’ve learned from Chef Forrest Liu that will surely be useful to have in anyone’s recipe arsenal at home. Recipes that I myself will attempt to re-create at home as part of my 2019 new year’s resolution!
Braised Duck Soup
1 Whole Duck
50g Ginger, peeled
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
2pc Bay Leaves
100g Cooking Wine
10g Goji Berries
300g Baby Bok Choy
1pc Taro, cut into 1” cubes
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Put duck into stock pot and add 15L water. Bring to a boil and skim the stock until it is clear.
Add ginger, green onions, garlic, goji berries, bay leaves into stock pot and simmer at medium heat for 4 hours.
Check the duck (the meat should be falling off the bones). Add the taro and simmer for 15 minutes
Add baby bok choy and vermicelli for another 5 minutes
Season to taste
Duck Fat Mashed Potatoes
50g Duck Fat
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1” cubes as much as possible into stock pot.
Add water and salt into stock pot. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes or until soft.
Strain the water and put the potato in the potato ricer. As you rice each round, add a small amount of butter and duck fat so everything can be mixed well together
Add cream to finish and season with salt and pepper.
Duck School is a two hour class. The evening includes the lesson, a full dinner, and a duck goodie bag to take home for only $75. These are going to be skills and recipes you can keep and use forever! If you are also looking to brush up on your cooking skills this 2019 as your new year’s resolution, or just something you want to check out later on in the year visit HERE to book your spot at their next class! They do fill up fast so be sure to reserve your spot before it’s too late.
Have an amazing 2019 year everyone! Looking forward to what’s ahead!