Fireside Suppers: Historic foodways cooking classes at George Ranch
Embark on a culinary adventure and discover flavors and cooking techniques of the past that are still thoroughly enjoyed in the present. Fireside Suppers are an exciting new Historic Foodways program presented by Chef Nick Castelberg, AKA “Cookie”, at George Ranch Historical Park.
Chef Castelberg said, “The Fireside Suppers are a chance for guests to explore hands-on how food was once cooked. Under my guidance they will take part in preparing the meal we will enjoy together. It’s a cooking lesson, a history lesson and a meal all in one.”
The premise of the fireside dinners is first and foremost to focus on the cooking methods used throughout the George Ranch Historical Park’s 100 year story (1830 to 1930). Guests will be given the opportunity to explore the art and science of open fire cooking then progress to hearth cooking as kitchens moved into houses with the building of chimneys as well as techniques for cooking on a wood burning stove.
Castelberg explains, “We will learn the basic laws of fire, the physics if you will. Once we understand how fire works it’s much easier to understand how to control it. Open fire cooking is all about control. We will cover all basic cooking techniques from, baking to roasting, poaching, sautéing, and grilling, to deep frying and smoking.”
“I feel very strongly about showing people that just because we are cooking over fire, the menus can be diverse and somewhat higher end than our other meals. All of our great recipes were originally prepared over wood burning fires or stoves and ovens,” Castelberg said.
During the dinners, Chef Castelberg will also discuss the ethnicity of the early settlers and teach about the food cultures that have helped to shape what is now South Texas cuisine.
Chef Castelberg says the goal of the Fireside Suppers is to prove to guests that they can be creative and in complete control in a primitive kitchen.
Fireside Suppers are to be held after regular Park hours, starting at 6 p.m. and concluding at 9 p.m., giving guest a special peek a the beauty of the Historical Park after dark.
Each Fireside Supper will be offered two nights in a row. The Fireside Suppers schedule and menus can be viewed online at www/georgeranch.org/visit/historic-meals/. Reservations are required and can be made by calling George Ranch Historical Park at (281) 343 – 0218 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $55 per person. Members of the Fort Bend Museum Association receive a $10 discount.
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