A Holiday Cooking Class with Jenni Kayne and The Chalkboard

beautiful table

table setting

I had the pleasure of once again joining The Chalkboard Mag (one of my favorite sites), Jenni Kayne and her friends in the kitchen for another cooking class and luncheon, this time with a Christmas theme.  Even though I make a big effort to plan and get organized for Thanksgiving, I absolutely adore Christmas.  I love all the traditions I share with my family, looking for and sharing the perfect gifts, and I love planning the menu. So I was very excited to help out with this class!

Jenni and Nathan setting the table

Jenni and I lean towards a vegetarian diet, but we also both like fish.  In my family, we eat many different kinds of fish on Christmas eve, from clams and mussels to cod fish and eel, so I thought for this class, cooking individual whole fish would be delicious and a great thing to learn how to do.   I think that everyone had an especially fun experience deboning their own roasted fish!

whole roasted branzino

fun deboning fish

Summerland Farm to Frontdoor provided me with the most beautiful, fresh, locally-grown produce for the rest of the menu.  Summerland sources produce from local farms and delivers to your door.  How great is that?!  You should check them out if you live in LA.  The rest of the menu included mushroom toasts using one of my favorites, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, a salad with fennel and pomegranates and roasted baby fingerling potatoes with gremolata.  The salad was just a version of this one that I taught and posted a few years ago.  I basically left off the apples since I didn’t think that would pair well with fish.  For dessert, I made individual gingerbread trifles with poached pears.  In my regular classes I’ve been making the dessert in a traditional trifle dish, but they looked so adorable in these stemless wine glasses!  I hope to share all these recipes with step-by-step photos with you this week!  If you can’t wait, Jenni posted all the recipes on her blog, Rip + Tan.

Hen of the Woods mushroom toasts

potatoes with gremolata

mixed greens with fennel and pomegranates

Even though my focus that day was on the menu, I couldn’t help but be so inspired and captivated by what Jenni and her talented designer-friend, Nathan Turner did with the decor, especially the main dining table.  Maurice from Bloom & Plume provided the most insanely gorgeous floral arrangements.  He used these amazing bark containers from Nathan Turner’s shop and filled them with peonies (my favorite flower!), garden roses, eucalyptus and hops.  It was seriously so perfect — lush and organic-feeling, simple, but elegant.  I want to recreate the entire look for Christmas at my parents’ house!  One of the reasons I love Jenni’s blog is not only does she have the most amazing taste, but she generously shares all her sources for everything from glassware to fabrics to candles.  So if you do want to steal this look, head over to Rip + Tan.

desert table!

the gorgeous place settings

It was lovely morning and luncheon with even lovelier company.  For even more photos and details and to get you inspired for holiday entertaining, visit Rip+Tan and The Chalkboard Mag!