Review of Roy’s Cooking Class in Orlando
Not a chef in the making? Not to worry, the cooking classes held twice a month at Roy’s are more of a cooking demonstration where you can learn as much as you like or simply enjoy the presentation and the food.
At my most recent class, Sous Chef Mark was the host for the afternoon demonstration. As a member of the Roy’s restaurant family (ohana) since 2005, his passion for food was as evident as his knowledge of cooking. He had an engaging personality and was very enthusiastic about the class. Chef Mark explained that our time together would be more like having friends over for dinner, gathering in the kitchen while the meal was being prepared. He was comfortable describing each step while tossing in a pinch of this and a dash of that. We enjoyed each course while asking questions about the preparation of the meal along with other cooking questions that we had. He was there to share his food knowledge – everything from which spices mix well together, smoking points for different types of oils, to some of his favorite Orlando restaurants (other than Roy’s of course.)
The menu was pre-planned and some of the prep work had already been completed by the time we arrived. The choices for the meal are at the discretion of the chef doing the presentation. This was a unique way to enjoy a good meal at a favorite restaurant. We were not there to don aprons, chop and mix. That was the chef’s job. We heard about Roy’s culinary concept while watching as fresh ingredients were combined and infused with a unique combination of flavors. One of the restaurant’s owners, Danno, and the new manager, Greg, came by to introduce themselves, tell us about the restaurant and answer questions that we had about Roy’s. It sent a warm and personal message that Roy’s isn’t just a chain, but a part of the local community. Perhaps that is why regulars fill the restaurant just about every night of the week.
The cost for the class was $30 per person, not including taxes or gratuity. Drinks including wine are available for purchase. The lunch consisted of four courses:
- Bowls of steamed Edamame were brought out as the presentation was starting.
- Wilted Spinach Salad served on top of blue cheese crumbles and a tomato slice, topped with a warm white balsamic vinegar dressing and garnished with crumbled bacon. The Chef explained that at one time this was a popular menu item, but no longer offered on the regular menu, due to the prep time required.
- Seared Salmon topped with a rich avocado, cream cheese butter. Oven roasted potatoes and sautéed bok choy. Other than the initial searing of the salmon and blanching of the bok choy, the preparation of all of these items was part of the demonstration.
- Hot Chocolate Souffle with vanilla ice cream. This was a big hit with our group, though we were not privy to the preparation of this signature dessert.