Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | 9:00 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Northeastern Dining's Xhibition Kitchen, or "XK," and as the signature dish of the semester-long celebration we welcomed Food & Wine Magazine editor-​in-​chief Dana Cowin along with three nationally-​renowned Boston chefs: Joanne Chang, the chef/​owner of four Boston-​area Flour Bakery loca­tions; Ming Tsai, an Emmy Award-​winning TV per­son­ality and chef/​owner of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon; and Kristen Kish, the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 10, to Blackman Auditorium. The Homecoming Red & Black Day event, held on Thursday, November 13, 2014, featured a private Meet & Eat with culinary icons, free signed copies of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, a live cooking demonstration, and cookbook signing.

Since the Xhibition Kitchen cannot hold the type of crowd that was drawn to watch these four culinary icons cook together, Northeastern Dining decided to instead use the space to hold a private "Meet & Eat." A three week contest was held asking the Northeastern community to write in to the Northeastern Dining website and tell their stories of how they have "mastered their mistakes in the kitchen." 30 lucky contestants were chosen from all entries and winners received a free signed copy of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, a free VIP ticket to the Live Cooking Demonstration and access to the private Meet & Eat. At this one-of-a-kind reception, all attendees experienced unique tastings from Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen – including Baked Ziti Arrabbiata, Pork Meatball Sliders, Super-Fudgy Brownies, and Minty Quinoa Salad – while eating and mingling with nationally renowned culinary icons up close and personal in the Xhibition Kitchen.

Meanwhile, Blackman Auditorium was made over in just a few short hours with the help of the entire dining services team. To transform the auditorium from its typical appearance, equipment and decorations, including a cooktop, refrigerator, and oven from Clarke and a kitchen counter top from CORT, were brought in to bring the intimate Xhibition Kitchen feel to the space.

Finally it was time for the live cooking demonstration to commence. Dana started by coming clean about her many meal mishaps. With the help of friends – all-star chefs, Ming Tsai, Kristen Kish and Joanne Chang – Cowin showed the audience how to conquer recipes dear to her heart. Ideal dishes for the home cook, each recipe has trick that makes them special.

Dana first invited Ming Tsai to the stage. As Ming started to demonstrate how to make a proper pot sticker, Dana began to explain the problems she encountered when trying to make them at home. While discussing step by step instructions to Dana’s recipe she started adding water, Dana then asked Ming "Why do you add water?" and Ming replied "I don’t, I drink water." As Ming waited for the pot stickers to get "GBD, golden brown delicious," he explained that cooking is about the sounds the food makes noting "the dumplings haven't spoken yet." Dana then invited Kristen Kish to the cooktop, stating "I love being surrounded by chefs." Kristen immediately impressed the audience with her raw kitchen talent as she demonstrated how to make braised chicken with leeks, mushrooms and peas. While breaking down a whole chicken, Kristen proved chefs indeed make things more beautiful but more complicated. Last but not least Joanne Chang came to center stage and gave the audience a small insight into her knowledge of the precise science of baking. Joanne explained how important it is to use a scale to measure ingredients while baking; a cup of flour can be measured differently every time but 140 grams of flour is just that. As our Foodie Friends' stomachs started to growl, they received a freshly baked biscuit from Flour Bakery. At the end of the live cooking demonstration, Dana personally signed hundreds of copies of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.

We are incredibly thankful for the chance to bring Northeastern all of the wonderful events so far this semester. After watching the amazing responses from students flood in on social media (don't miss our Storify of the event!), we couldn't be happier with our signature dish of the semester!


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