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Contemporary cooking series at Wegmans Hunt Valley

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There’s nothing like a new technique or two to liven up the home kitchen. Learning to cook with confidence is at the heart of the Contemporary Cooking Series, which resumes at Wegmans Hunt Valley in January 2014. This year, chefs from the Wegmans kitchen brigade, led by Hunt Valley executive chef Jason Hancock, will be joined by special guests Galen Sampson, chef and COO of the soon-to-open Farmstead Grill in Canton, and Barry Fleischmann, chef/owner of Innovative Gourmet, a catering company in Owings Mills.

The classes run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the first (or second) Wednesday of the month, from January to May. The cost is $20 per class, which includes demonstration and tastings of four recipes, plus a gift bag to take home. Reservations are required. Please call 410-773-3900 or stop by the Hunt Valley customer service desk for tickets. Wegmans Hunt Valley is located at 122 Shawan Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

How to Braise with the Best of Them

Wednesday, January 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Talk about versatile! The technique of braising, whether in the oven, on top of the stove or in a slow cooker, turns inexpensive cuts of meat into tender, luscious meals. Hunt Valley executive chef Jason Hancock kicks off the 2014 Contemporary Cooking Series with an in-depth view of this indispensable cooking method.

Hearty Vegetarian Cooking

Wednesday, February 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

With the right recipes and a few simple techniques, vegetarian meals can be as hearty and satisfying as any meat-based cuisine. Executive Chef Galen Sampson of the soon-to-open Farmstead Grill in Canton will show you how to lose the beef, but not the flavor, turning beans, grains and more into soulful dishes for every appetite.

Winging It in the Kitchen

Wednesday, March 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Ever stand in front of your pantry wondering how to pull together a tasty meal from whatever’s on hand? All it takes is an elementary understanding of how flavor works and in what combinations. Wegmans Hunt Valley chef Ian Carroll will present a basic tool kit for winging it with confidence in your own kitchen.

Sunny with a Chance of Meatballs!

Wednesday, April 2, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Chef Barry Fleischmann, owner of the renowned catering company Innovative Gourmet, has a passion for…meatballs. But these aren’t just any meatballs. They’re creative concoctions, including seafood and vegetarian versions complete with special sauces and sides, as perfect for weeknight dinners as they are for weekend guests.

The Glories of Shellfish for Spring

Wednesday, May 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Ready to lighten up for spring? Think shellfish. A new world of flavorful possibilities opens up when you know the correct techniques for cooking shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster and more. Wegmans chef Patrick Deans will offer a primer on how to select, store and cook shellfish and incorporate them into delicious recipes.

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