Grilling with Chefs at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, FL
If you’ve been reading my site long enough then you know that when it comes to cooking it up with chefs I am in heaven. Whether it be cooking demos with chefs from the Virgin Islands or cooking school with chef from Italy, I am happy to watch, learn, cook and taste away.
So of course it makes sense that during my recent family visit to Orlando, FL I would sneak away for a few hours to take participate in a grilling class hosted by the JW Marriott Orlando’s Griffin Cooking School and led by their Executive Chef Chris Brown and Sous Chef Monica Noda of Citron. Class at the Griffin School are led by diverse group of chefs that currently prepare the food at the resorts many restaurants – and for the price of these class, that level of access and wisdom is something not to be missed.
The grilling class was one of the many cooking classes held at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, and though the program hasn’t been around for long, they do fill up pretty fast. The even sweeter thing about these classes is that they are open to anyone who wants to participate, and they are a lot of fun to do.
Those with little ones who love putting on the apron and take part in the cooking – like mine do – kids can delight in classes at the Little Griffin School where they too can watch and learn from all these great chefs. Check out the JW Griffin School website for class information, schedules, and rates.
With the opening of the Grande Lakes Orlando Whisper Creek Farm, a 7,000-square-foot fruit and vegetable garden with an adjoining 6,000-square-foot outdoor event space on October 12, 2012, guests can take the foodie experience even further with farm-to-fork dining options for groups of up to 250 people. Products from the farm will be featured at events as well as used throughout the resort at both The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, in restaurant dishes, beverages, and even spa treatments at the award-winning Ritz-Carlton Spa Orlando. Guest can expect to be immersed in a unique interactive and educational dining experience, that will encourage them to peruse the garden and even pick and taste the products.
I learned a lot from my grilling class, like how to perfectly cut a chicken for grilling, as well as various cuts of steaks. I also learned how to perfectly skin a salmon fillet, which was huge since I have been doing it all wrong my entire life!
I confirmed that I much prefer charcoal or wood (cedar is my favorite) over propane, not to mention that charcoal allows for a lot more creativity and smoking – yum.
Also, one really useful tip I learned was to put my herbs, like rosemary and thyme, together and use as a brush when grilling or roasting my meats and fish. I think this was the best tip of them all because it’s one I will use often.
Last, but not least, I discovered that pretty much anything grilled is delicious. Including pizza and biscuits – oh yeah, you read correctly, and I am going to encourage you to try by sharing a recipe right here! You’ll love me for this, I promise.
BBQ Biscuit S’mores
Quick Bisquick Mix (recipe follows)
4 Tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
1/2 cup raspberry jam (the JW Marriott chefs make them fresh, I recommend this approach too)
- In a bowl, combine the Quick Biscuit Mix with the sugar. Stir in the water to form a thick batter. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Mold into biscuits and brush with olive oil. Place oil side down on the griddle. Cook for about two minutes, brush with oil and flip. Continue cooking until cooked all the way through.
- Skewer the marshmallows onto the rosemary skewers and toast until golden brown.
- Cut the biscuits and spread the jam inside. Place the toasted marshmallow inside and sandwich together. Enjoy!
Quick Biscuit Mix
2 cups self-rising flour
6 TBsp whole-milk powder
3 tsp sugar
4 Tbsp canola oil
In a bowl, whisk the flour, milk powder and sugar. Using your fingers, work in the oil until incorporated.
Thank you to chef the JW Marriott, the JW Griffin Cooking School, and Chef Chris Brown and Monica Noda for this very delicious experience.