Michael Pollan recently wrote a great article for the New York Times on Americans’ increasing obsession with cooking shows on TV, even while we spend less time than ever actually cooking food at home.  Despite my love for Top Chef, Bobby Flay, and Barefoot Contessa, many of his points resonated.  The kitchen stadium-type cooking on TV is glossier, dramatic, and incredibly entertaining – but misses the frequent failures and beautiful, messy reality of actual cooking.

With his laments ringing in my ears, we headed for a Berries and Stone Fruit class and dinner at the Seasonal Cook, the store at the Main Street Market that just relaunched its series of cooking classes after a change in ownership.  Without the flashy editing or time restraints of TV, I thought the class would have made Pollan proud: we spent two and a half hours watching Chef Ingrid Berger create an incredible meal step by step – repetitive chopping, changes of plans, and hot grills and all.  The menu celebrated the best of late summer produce with a Peach and Prosciutto di Parma with Fresh Mozzarella, Lemon Olive Oil and Chili Flakes (my favorite of the evening), Grilled Salmon with Nectarine, Plum, Goat Cheese, Toasted Hazelnuts, Arugula and Balsamic Vinegar, and a delicious Berry Crostata with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert.  The evening was entertaining, delicious, and inspiring to spend more time in the kitchen.