Shop and Learn

Today I had one of the craziest shopping experiences ever at Wegmans (which is a ridiculously awesome grocery store if you have never had the privilege of being at one.) They were in th midst of remodeling but underneath all the power tools and construction signs, the real magic was happening. Two of Wegmans’ top staff chefs were holding their own demo on anything the customers would like to see explained or prepared. The first chef, a tall lanky fellow with John Lennon-esqe glasses, started by doing a demo on grilling with planks. Having fantasized about surf and turf all day to eat, I was enamored.

The chef began by explaining why they soaked the planks and why they had chose scallops for the demo (I guess salmon is just a little to pricey these days.) The scallops were fresh from that morning, and had a wonderful sea smell to them. Chef “Lennon” then cut some fresh herbs and made a tarragon-peach glaze to lather on while grilling. I’m a demo sucker I know, but Wegmans is just one of those places where you can find almost everything, within reason. While I waited for my free scallop to finish (at $14.99 a pound, I’ll take freebies anytime) I peered over to the other chef, who looked like a former linebacker from the NFL.

This guy was built, I had to wonder if he was benching beef sides in the butchery. Speaking of beef, the second chef pulled out some organic ($5 more/lb) skirt steaks and a maple-cajun rub that they were featuring that week. Unlike the first chef, he decided to use a saute pan to put a quick sear on the meat. Then, surprisingly he pulled it from the heat and cut it open to show the growing crowd of soccer moms and geriatrics (everyone loves free food, say it with me, ev-er-y-one.) What came next was a shock to me. Instead of finishing the meat, he put the rub on AFTER the sear. Never seen that before.

I looked back to the scallops being handed out, and quickly snagged a plump one. The moment it hit my mouth I knew I needed to fork out some cash and get some. The best scallops I’ve ever had. Here’s the kicker, the leftover scallops were cut into small pieces and stuffed into the skirt steaks! The two chefs had us all fooled, we thought they were cooking two completely different demos, but ended up making one, spectacular meal (when i got to eat the stuffed steak it was knee shaking time, don’t judge.)

All in all, Wegmans is just one of those great places to learn as you shop and just try new things. I ended up trying a similar recipe for dinner, only using maple-guava glaze on mine. Wasn’t as flashy but it made for one tasty meal.

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            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
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