Got a foodie on your Christmas list? Instead of the latest kitchen gadget, why not give them an experience?
Lots of Winnipeg businesses offer the gift of hands-on learning — and when you provide the eating and drinking, being merry is part of the package.
Eadha Bread at 577 Ellice Ave. — which specializes in sourdough products, leavened using only wild yeast and long fermentation times — has gift certificates available.
They can be used to buy baked goodies, of course, but a $60 certificate gets you a Sourdough for Starters workshop, which teaches the venerable craft of baking high-hydration sourdough bread in a two-hour interactive class.
Attendees will be taught how to maintain a sourdough starter, mix and ferment dough, shape loaves and troubleshoot common issues. Bakers go home with information on the seven steps of sourdough, starter, a dough scraper, proofing basket and towel, and a loaf to bake at home.
Email email@example.com or call 204-783-3064 for more info.
Tiny Bar, run by former Forth bartender Josey Krahn, offers home cocktail workshops for folks who want to perfect a gin martini, noodle around with a negroni or whip up a refreshing spritz using ingredients from their own liquor cabinets.
Krahn will teach you the basic techniques and proportions, which allow imbibers to improvise on their own concoctions. Get in touch via his website at tinybarwpg.com. Krahn also hosts occasional cocktail events at Forth; follow him on Instagram (@tinybarwpg) for information on upcoming dates.
Prefer wine to cocktails? Check out the schedule of casual drop-in wine events at Piazza de Nardi. They are hosted by a wine professional, who’s available to answer any questions, but they are a departure from the store’s formerly offered formal wine-education seminars. They welcome guests any time between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and feature six wines to sample, selected by a sommelier to reflect the evening’s theme. Cheese and bread are provided; there is a selection of charcuterie and small plates available for an additional charge.
Tickets are $35. The next three events are Value Wine Regions (Jan. 10), Staff Picks (Jan. 24) and Viva Italia! (Feb. 21).
De Luca’s has long offered cooking classes at its 950 Portage Ave. location. Led by chef Mike Brown (who took over from Anna Paganelli in 2017), the classes are $70 and include a four-course dinner (antipasto, pasta, entrée and dessert), printed recipes, tasting samples, wine sampling, a cash bar and private shopping after class.
All classes are demonstration only; they start at 6:30 p.m. (doors at 5:45 p.m.) and run about 2½ hours.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-774-7617. The class schedule is posted at deluca.ca/events; gift cards are available at either the Portage Avenue or South Landing location from the retail store cashiers.
The Food Studio, 3200 Roblin Blvd., calls itself "Winnipeg’s premier casual cooking school." The facility, owned by chef Maria Abiusi, offers a range of services, including professional instruction in a variety of areas: baking, cooking, healthy lifestyle and international cuisine, as well as classes aimed at kids.
Traditional Sushi and More ($75), Jan. 20, features chef Sadao Ono of the late Edohei Restaurant; he’s known as the father of sushi in Winnipeg. Vegetarian Cooking, part of the Healthy Lifestyle Series ($75) is on Jan. 22; it will teach attendees how to eat a healthy, balanced veggie-based diet without overconsuming simple carbs.
See foodstudio.net for upcoming workshops, or call 204-888-3663 (they also offer gift baskets featuring any combination of biscotti, honey, pasta, spice rubs, tea, cookbooks, cooking utensils and gadgets — because sometimes people do want stuff for Christmas!).
Senior copy editor
Jill Wilson writes about culture and the culinary arts for the Arts & Life section.
Updated on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 9:53 AM CST: Fixes hyperlink