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Sausage king Bruce Aidells to hold charcuterie class at Kapiolani Community College, Feb. 21


Sausage king Bruce Aidells is coming to KCC for February classes in charcuterie. Bacon, sausage, pâté. Yum.

Courtesy Bruce Aidells

You've seen his bearded likeness on innumerable packages of Aidells gourmet sausage as you walk through the supermarket.  Chef/founder Bruce Aidells left the sausage company that bears his name nine years ago.  But he continues to be America's expert on cooking meat. 

He's authored 11 notable cookbooks, written for Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Food and Wine, Gourmet, Real Food and Cooking Light magazines, and made innumerable radio and television appearances.

Next month, the Hale Aina Foundation is bringing Aidells to Kapiolani Community College for classes on charcuterie.

Charcuterie, in case you're fuzzy on the term, is art of making prepared meats, as in hams, bacon, sausages, pâtés, terrines, all that good stuff.

"Charcuterie is the hottest trend among chefs these days.  More and more are embracing the idea of using the whole animal.  Plus customers love it," says Aidell.  "The term is French, but, of course, it includes Italy.  Thanks to Mario Battali, Italian chefs are now all preparing their own salumi."

Salumi isn't a spelling error.  It's a collective noun.  Salami is only one kind of salumi, which also includes things like prosciutto, pancetta, bresaola and mortadella.

If just the idea of all this makes your mouth water, Aidells will be giving two classes.  One is free, but only for culinary students of the community colleges—so the next generation of Hawaii chefs will know how to do charcuterie.

The other, Feb. 21, costs $95, and is directed mainly at kitchen professionals.  If you're a chef—or if you're just that serious about preparing your own sausage etc.—you can reserve a slot by calling the Hale Aina Foundation's Hayley Matson-Mathes at 941-9088 or emailing here.

The registration covers a tasting and copies of Aidells' cookbooks, The Complete Book of Pork and The Complete Sausage Book.

"It's going to be fun," says Aidell.  "We're doing dry cured bacon, Tuscan crostini, stuffed pork belly, Hawaiian Portuguese sausage v. traditional linguiça."

Aidell's bringing one of his oldest friends, Franco Dunn, who, he describes, as "a real character and a genius with Italian styles.  Franco will make a polpettone, which is kind of a giant stuffed Italian meatball, with everything—egg, cheese, prosciutto, salami.  It puts stuffed meatloaf to shame."

If you can't make the class, Biting Commentary plans to be there and will bring you a full report.

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