Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge offers many excellent noncredit culinary classes. So last Thursday night, my dad and I attended one called “An Evening in Mumbai,” led by Chef Ian T. Buchanan. Not only is Chef Buchanan the owner of Open to the World private chef services, he is also a world traveler who has spent over sixteen years following his ardor for food and culture to far reaches of the planet. He warmly shared his expertise in food with the class participants. Yet, it was his joy and love for world cuisine that really heartened the students to delve into Indian cooking with passion and care.
The class was small; only eight students filled the new and modern cooking facility at the Breckenridge campus, which is located a few miles from Main Street Breckenridge on Denison Placer Road. The college caps noncredit culinary classes at twelve participants, so the setting is always intimate. Friendships formed quickly in our class as we shared stories and helped one another with recipes. Having every modern cooking utensil at our fingertips allowed us to really explore Mumbai’s unique cuisine.
The menu was diverse. There was Maharashtrian Vegetable Pancakes, Vegetable Curry Burgers, Basmati Rice with Almonds and Currants, Chicken Cashew Curry, Sweet Saffron Lentil Puffs with Almonds and Pistachios and my favorite, Toasted Coconut Ice-cream. It was quite possibly the most delicious, creamy, perfectly sweet and textured ice-cream I have ever eaten, and I eat a lot of ice-cream. Indian music played in the background and the fresh spices and ingredients wafted in the air, inspiring us to create some positively mouthwatering dishes.
We did have a few mishaps. A big pot of curry burned on the stove. While we, as newly trained chefs, did not respond quickly enough, Ian came to the rescue with some improvisations to fix our burnt curry and gently bruised cooking egos. “You all get an F!” He shouted, “An F for fantastic!” It’s true. Although we burnt one pot, the buffet we created in just two and a half hours looked like something you would see at a swanky restaurant or on the cooking channel. It was incredible.
Another perk, as we sat down to indulge in our foodie handiworks, was the wine and beer for sale, five dollars for a glass of red or white and three dollars for a bottle of beer.
There are over thirty noncredit culinary classes offered at CMC between now and November including classes covering Sushi, Korean BBQ, Tuscan, Pacific Rim Fusion, Artisan Pizza and so much more. It is really easy to sign up. If you are a current Colorado Mountain College student, sign up over the phone at 970-453-6757 or online at www.coloradomtn.edu. If you are new to Colorado Mountain College, walk in one of the campus buildings in Breckenridge or Dillon and fill out a Registration form. Or download a Registration form at www.coloradomtn.edu and fax, scan and email, or mail it in. Interested participants can find all of the noncredit culinary offerings on the website. Simply click Classes, Continuing Education, and then Search for Classes. Plus, both the Dillon and Breckenridge facilities have Class schedules in print. Also, keep your eye on the local Summit Daily Newspaper to see upcoming classes.
Sharing my first Colorado Mountain College culinary experience with my dad will always be a fond memory. We worked together on creating a delicious meal without having to wash any of the dishes, a task we both abhor. I think next time I’ll take my husband on a date to one of the classes from the culinary series, or maybe even plan a girls’ night out. Either way, I know I’ll learn something new, just as I did last Thursday: now I can make the world’s best ice-cream.