‘In The Kitchen’ with Kathy Gold: How to Chop a Shallot
Today we are back in the Kitchen with Kathy Gold, Owner of the Best of South Jersey: In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Last visit, Chef Gold provided an instruction on how to Chop and Slice an Onion and today we are going to follow the very same technique adjusting the slight variations for Chopping a Shallot.
I first met Chef Gold at the Les Dames D’ Escoffier Philadelphia Cuisine, Culture & Community Event in May where she jumped in later afternoon to impromptu cover for a Cuban Sofrito Cooking Lesson. Earlier that day Kathy briefly spoke once introduced to the days attendees as the new President of the Chapter. Besides her impressive technique, I was intrigued by her Cooking School, In The Kitchen, most especially as besides offering a full range of hands on cooking classes, and for all sorts of occasions, she offers a special program called ‘Team Building‘.
The ‘Team Building’ Cooking Class has gained popularity over the years bringing together colleagues from among companies working together in a fun atmosphere while learning to work as a Team in the kitchen environment breaking down duties and collaborating in the designated meal preparation, concluding with a breaking of the bread together in a multi- course sort of conclusion. Of course, there are some other alternatives to this type class according to Kathy, who shared with me that some companies and employees love the Iron Chef style version with each of the designated teams competing in the food driven environment whose outcome still concludes in the shared table of dining enjoyment afterward.
My fascination about the Cooking Class ‘Team Building’ Programs was that my next door neighbors, Karen and Dave had recently prior suggested I do a Post on this topic. Dave had recently participated in one of these events through his company and enjoyed a fantastic time as well as the opportunity for bonding with fellow colleagues. I think the Team Building Programs are an awesome idea for companies, even for nonprofits and Board Retreats which provide a great outside environment for relationship building.
OK, lets get into chopping our shallot, same as chopping an onion, the pointy blossom end of the shallot is snipped off.
Chef Gold then cuts the shallot in half, exposing two parts.
The anatomy difference between the shallot and the onion is the shallots two attached pieces almost resembling a skin-covered flower. The discernible root in the center removed, the shallot will then have two parts, and each small-skinned piece is separately chopped.
Below you have the shiny, peeled piece of the shallot. As with the onion, take note of the lines all across the top as they will serve as a guide in either a chopping or slicing technique.
Make two horizontal cuts up to but not through the root end. For dicing the shallot you simply make more horizontal or otherwise vertical cuts.
One horizontal cut all the way through to the root end.
Another horizontal cut leaves the shallot in thirds each cut through to the root end while using your other hand as Kathy demonstrates above to firmly hold the shallot in place.
Following the small curved lines of the shallot, make your vertical cuts through the shallot layers across the top all the way through, and once again not through the root end.
Chef Gold makes her second cut through the vertical line above.
A third cut.
A fourth cut.
One more cut moving toward the end of the vertical cuts.
And see below the cut shallot, still attached together.
Now, begin chopping, or dicing depending on your desired size and how many vertical cuts you have made on the top of your shallot.
It really is as easy as it looks. I bet you will get great satisfaction in practicing this technique to mastery which will ultimately save you time along with providing a better flavor in your dishes ensuring even cooking.
Back onto the ‘Team Building’ events at ‘In The Kitchen’ for any type of business or among colleagues, Chef Kathy Gold herself is no stranger to corporate affairs and engagement between colleagues having spent twenty years of her life as an Investment Banker in Portfolio Management. I always find it interesting to find out what brings people to careers in food and though the change for Kathy Gold transpired after having a daughter in a career that afforded little time to see her, the love affair actually began many years prior.
While attending Georgetown University in college, Kathy took on a job in a continued existing restaurant in Washington, DC called Bistro Francais. A financial career beckoned to Kathy Gold following graduation in those days but the extensive learning in exacting technique and food preparation was always to remain in Kathy’s heart and then many years later receiving formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada.
Along the journey Chef Gold found a career of her passion incorporating a blend of her talent and creativity with her leadership skills and business acumen. Each summer Gold invigorates her inspirations in a travel exploration in the South of France. Upcoming classes for the remainder of the summer are listed on the In The Kitchen website and include many interesting Theme Classes as Summer Dinner in Tuscany on August 9th , Margarita Night on August 16 with some fun choices as Grilled Shrimp Tacos, Baja Style, and Grilled Corn with Lime and Cotija and on August 23rd Dinner in Bangkok. On August 22 Chef Gold will participate in the Diner En Blanc, (yes, everyone dresses from head to toe in white) for this affair where Kathy serves as a Philadelphia event leader. Gold is also a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. You can check out the upcoming class schedule at In The Kitchen here. Thanks to Chef Kathy Gold for sharing the valuable instruction.