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Cooking class at the New York Wine and Culinary Center

Cork and corkscrew

The New York Wine and Culinary Center on Lake Canandaigua is the place to be for hands-on culinary classes in the Finger Lakes. Groups can learn to cook like pros in the center’s state-of-the-art kitchens. The extensive calendar offers culinary classes, wine seminars and more.

I opted for a Friday night Chef’s Table. Chef Brad Yearwood, a 1992 graduate of Hyde Park’s Culinary Institute of America, began with practical tips and knife techniques — knives are forged on Long Island at Mercer Knife. The evening was all about New York wines and produce, right down to the flake salt extracted from Lake Seneca.

Each station prepared an item for the meal. The evening’s menu included spicy citrus-marinated Cornish game hens, beef tenderloin filets with a blue cheese port wine crust and wine reduction sauce, pan-seared tuna steaks and steamed Long Island clams, plus sides of apple-celery salad, homemade gnocchi and roasted root vegetables. Paired with dinner were a Northfork Project Merlot and Palmer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, both from Long Island.

It was a meal to remember — one that I will gladly re-create at home. And a culinary class, par excellence, from start to finish.

Elizabeth Hey

Elizabeth Hey is a member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association and has received numerous awards for her writing and photography. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @travelbyfork.