We like to encourage students of all ages to learn more about careers in the culinary and hospitality arts, so we were glad to welcome a group of 25 young men and women who were attending the Rebel Up Summer Bridge Academy sponsored by College Now Greater Cleveland.
EDWINS was just one stop on the The Rebel Up group’s tour and we loved showing them the EDWINS Institute, Restaurant and Second Chance Life Skills Center, at which they had a chance to take part in some hands-on learning.
EDWINS’ Director of Culinary, Chef Gerry Grim, gave the students a very important lesson in making a vinaigrette. As he shared, when he was a young chef starting out at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, his first opportunity to prove himself came in the form of a vinaigrette.
“Often chefs who are starting out will be asked to make a salad special because every chef knows that if you can’t season a vinaigrette properly, you’re not ready to move on.”
Chef Gerry talked about the importance of emulsifiers and showed the students how to add the ingredients to the blender in the proper order, saving the oil for last to drizzle in a steady stream.
While a good ratio for a vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part acid, Chef Gerry made sure to give the students a tried and true recipe they could take home and use on salads and for a marinade. We want to share it with you today, too!
Red Wine Vinaigrette
Yields 2 cups
4 oz. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs. Minced Shallot
12 oz. Canola Oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
- Combine the Vinegar, Mustard, Shallot, Salt and Pepper and let rest for 30 seconds in the blender.
- On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
The students took their vinaigrette home to share and Chef Gerry gave them a homework assignment to review the ingredients in a bottle of salad dressing. “Once you know how simple it is to make your own vinaigrette, you’ll never want to buy it again – especially when there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce.”
A good lesson for all of us!