Since mid-October {maybe even a little earlier}, my Dad has had something up his sleeve.

All he would tell us was that he had a “family surprise” planned for the Saturday after Christmas.  No other hints, his lips were sealed.  If you know my Dad, then you know that the possibilities here are endless.  We tried guessing everything we possibly could to get a clue out of him.  Is alcohol involved?  No.  Do we need to dress up?  No.  Hypnotist?  No.  Dolphins? {yes that was a real guess}  But again, no.  You can’t crack this guy.

So on Saturday morning my family, Jimmy, and myself all rolled out of bed and headed to The Streets of Southpoint in Durham {a local mega mall}.  After walking around for a bit, we ended up in front of Sur La Table and quickly realized that we were about to enter a cooking class!

If you’ve never been to a Sur La Table cooking class, find out your nearest location here.  Each class has a different theme and menu.  Our class revolved around Holiday Tapas.  “Tapas” essentially means a wide variety of appetizers and finger foods, which originates from the Spanish culture.

A man and his dream.  That’s Kev, front and center.

When you attend a Sur La Table class, there are about four people per station.  Each station has pre-measured ingredients ready to go, so that you can easily cook along with the head chef.  We had Chef Warren Slate, and he was truly awesome.  Between my family, and working very closely with La Famiglia when I was in Huntington, I feel like I know my way around the kitchen.  After this class I learned so many additional tips and tricks when it comes to cooking!

On the menu we prepared the following:

Marinated Olives with Rosemary and Chile {top corner of the picture below}

Seared Saffron-Tomato Shrimp

Rioja-Style Potatoes with Chorizo {too good, we ate it before I could snap}

Spicy Pork Skewers with Romesco Sauce

Ryan, Jimmy, my Mom, and I were split up on a team, and my dad was with the group next to us.  Like I said, they had us in groups of four.

{and just for the record, Ryan played a much bigger role in the cooking class.  This was the only shot we could get we were all so busy}

We were each given a packet of our recipes to take home and a 10% off coupon from your entire purchase at Sur La Table afterwards.  Great marketing technique, but I’m not complaining!

All in all, it was a great experience and a wonderful family outing.  Kevin did it again!  It was also a great ending to Christmas break with Jimmy and my family, couldn’t have honestly asked for a better one.  It came at the perfect time because it reminded Jimmy and me how much we like cooking together.  With our schedules it sometimes falls to the wayside, so we’re definitely going to try to do it more often.

If you’re in the market for a new family friendly idea, or a cute little date night, be sure to check out the cooking classes available in your area.  {I’m sure Groupon has some great deals as well}!

Have any of you ever been to a cooking class?  What was your experience?

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