Any day spent with either of my daughters is a perfect day to me, but yesterday really was a winner. First of all, I was at the Jersey shore, where waking up to squawking seagulls and the sweet smell of syrupy pancakes from the breakfast place across the street is part of my morning routine. Heavenly. And to make things even better, my Philly based offspring agreed to drive down and join me for a cooking demo at Phillip’s Seafood in the glitzy Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City. Our family first ate at the Phillip’s restaurant at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor many moons ago, and we’ve enjoyed the chain ever since. So when I read about cooking classes at their NJ outpost on a foodie blog called John and Lisa are Eating in South Jersey, I really wanted to go. Three classes were offered this spring. I missed the first two, but luckily was in town for the third. (The next series will begin in the fall.)
Executive Chef Paul Drew was our instructor and entertainer for over two hours.
He showed the six students how to select,clean, filet, stuff and prepare fresh fish, something that always intimidates me a bit at home. Maybe because I live in Pittsburgh and the words “fresh” and “fish” don’t always go together??
Wow, there sure was a lot of eating going on. After some dim sum appetizers, we then tasted Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder with Imperial Sauce, Tandoori Salmon, Pan Roasted Red Snapper with Roasted Shallots, Garlic and Tomatoes and Grilled Barramundi with a Citrus Marinade and Grilled Asparagus. Actually, tasted is the wrong word. Over-indulged is more like it. Each dish was about the size of an regular dinner entree. The food kept coming and coming. And it was all delicious. After we cleaned our plates four times over, the grand finale was scoop of tropically sweet mango sorbet accompanied by fresh mango “chips.”
The perfect ending. The class also included a wine pairing, with friendly General Manager Brian Fountain informing us about the vino selections. The whole event was orchestrated by the completely lovely and very accommodating Corporate Director of Marketing, Michelle Torres. As a bonus, we all went home with the most wonderful swag bag. I’m keeping the contents a secret, but believe me, this was one super goodie bag.
The Phillip’s folks can arrange cooking class “parties” for small groups, too. What a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. If you’re in the area, pay them a visit, either for one of their classes or just for a great meal at one of the coolest locations in Atlantic City.