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Cooking eggs: A challenge worth pursuing

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So how do you like your eggs? Scrambled, fried, or sunny side up? Or perhaps you love omelets, eggs benedict, egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs. But have you ever thought of a twice-baked cheese soufflé with quail egg, braised leeks and slow roasted tomatoes?

If you would like to learn how to be more adventuresome in cooking (and eating) eggs, you might want to attend the upcoming Egg Cookery class at Europa Village Winery. The winery’s Executive Chef, Dean Thomas, is offering this class on Saturday, January 11, in the winery’s “Il Cave.” Europa Village Winery is located in the Temecula Valley Wine Country, which is less than two hours from almost anywhere in San Diego, Riverside or Orange counties.

When asked why he decided to offer a class on cooking eggs, Chef Dean points out that according to classic culinary wisdom, cooking the egg properly is one of the most difficult culinary tasks to master because the egg is so delicate. Yet there are countless ways to cook eggs and use eggs in recipes, making the egg one of the most versatile food items in the world. Eggs also have great nutritional value. Chef Dean calls the egg “the ultimate protein.”

Chef Dean’s experience is extensive and impressive. His career has taken him to prestigious assignments all over the world from Hilton Head to Tucson to the Virgin Islands to San Diego. He has earned countless honors and awards throughout his career with numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medallions from the American Culinary Federation. In 2008, he was honored as the Federation’s Chef of the Year in San Diego. In 2009, he was nominated in the California Restaurant Association’s San Diego Chef of the Year competition.

Chef Dean’s cooking philosophy focuses on seasonal, regional ingredients and on supporting sustainable products. When it comes to his cooking, he believes that “less is more.” Not only does Chef Dean prepare food for all catered events at Europa Village Winery, but he and his wife, Nicole, manage the Inn at Europa Village where they prepare a gourmet breakfast for overnight guests each morning, usually serving Chef Dean’s own original creations. So it’s no surprise that the Chef is interested in teaching a class about cooking eggs.

The class, which will be held on Saturday, January 11, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., will start with Europa Village’s signature mimosas and will include basic and gourmet egg cooking demonstrations. Information will also be provided on purchasing and storing eggs. Participants will enjoy tastes of several dishes paired with Europa Village wines. Cost is $45 per person or $40.50 for wine club members. Tickets can be purchased online at events@europavillage.com. Or call the winery at 888-383-8767. Stay tuned for an update on this cooking class, which promises to be informative and certainly lots of fun.

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