Your fridge might be down to a few simple condiments and the remainder of last week’s case of your favourite craft beer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to feed yourself, and others. While you’ve done well so far by picking up the latest in gourmet pizzas on your journey home, it’s quite easy to expand your repertoire of take out, and perhaps even delve into some home cooking of your own, with The Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen.
The Dirty Apron is a one-stop shop for delicious on-the-go breakfasts, lunches and dinners, gourmet shopping and cooking lessons. The project is a joint venture between Karri and Nico Schuermans, owners of Chambar (the adjacent restaurant, and one Vancouver’s favourite dining spots) and their former Sous-Chef, David Robertson. Conveniently located in Crosstown, this Mecca for foodies should be on your list of to-dos for 2012.
The deli opens at 10:30 a.m., serving high-end coffee and fresh-baked pastries, including ham and gruyere croissants, chocolate and peanut butter loaf and savoury and sweet scones. If you have a normal 9-5 job and need sustenance for an important breakfast meeting, The Dirty Apron is up early and can easily prepare a tray of baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, fruit salad and juice, and deliver it all (with a minimum order of $60).
During lunch hour the counter serves sandwiches and salads, and manages additional catering orders. The sandwiches are among the best in the city, made with fresh baguette and filled with everything from Montreal smoked meat, shaved fennel, cheese and champagne shallot mustard to confit albacore tuna; vegetarian options are also available. Salads such as organic greens, beat almond and bulgur vegetable round out your meal. Everyday there are a few mains available from the Apron’s repertoire of meats, curries, casseroles and pastas: Grab a selection and a simple dinner party comes together like magic. Decadent desserts for the finale? Naturellement.
On the other side of the room, Chef David Robertson and guest chefs teach inspiring hands-on classes for everyone from novices to pros. Classes can focus on regional cuisine, special ingredients, or technique such as knife skills. In the upcoming months, the school offers French and Italian cooking, seafood, brunch, sausage-making and more. If you’re an eligible bachelor, Feb. 3’s “Singles in the City: Food Lover Unite!” class still has spots for men. This evening is designed to help attendees meet their match in the kitchen, as five different dishes are prepared by you and your prospective matches as you rotate through stations to mingle, cook and eat. House Wine joins the group to teach wine-pairing skills. Even if you don’t leave with a phone number, you’ll at least have some tricks up your sleeve for the next time you’re taxed with meal prep. 540 Beatty Street, 604-879-8588
Image couresty of The Dirty Apron.