29 March 2012

Cherry Blossom Cooking Class - Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms are a magnificent gift from Tokyo, Japan to Washington D.C. exactly 100 years ago.  Some are calling it a "once in a lifetime celebration"!  This centennial celebration of the beautiful cherry blossoms drew me in for a visit to witness our Nation's Capital in full bloom.  I found a very tasty and exciting treat when I learned the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. was hosting a Masters of Food & Wine cooking class with Blue Duck Tavern Pastry Chef Peter Brett.  It was time to put my culinary skills--or lack there of--to the test and create a cherry blossom treat to commemorate the Cherry Blossom Centennial!

"Once in a Lifetime Celebration" - Centennial Cherry Blossoms
Six brave souls gathered together to attempt to make Spring Rhubarb Tart with Almond Crumble and Cherry Blossom Sorbet--with the very close guidance of Chef Peter Brett of course!  I was a bit surprised when I saw that this was going to be a hands-on class but I figured what do I have to lose?  I learned a lot but a few things really stood out:

  1. Rhubarb is not a giant stalk of red celery--hey, I am from Texas!
  2. The pretty arrangement (see rhubarb picture) is NOT for decoration, it IS in fact the rhubarb we are going to use in the class.
  3. Chef Peter Brett is extremely talented and super patient because my tart was a success and people actually ate it AND liked it!
  • Dough
  • Frangipan
  • Almond Crumble
  • Rhubarb
  • Cherry Blossom Sorbet
  • Whipped Cream (optional)
Rhubarb, Raw Tart Dough Ingredients, Frangipan, Almond Crumble

This part was fun.  I really felt like I was doing something genius--doesn't take much to get me going!  It was so easy, I will never purchase pie crust at the store again.

They called this part the "Method".  This is where your masterpiece really starts to come together.  In just three easy steps you are almost there.  All you have to do is: spread, chop and fold.

At this point everyone is excited and all we want to do is sample our creations!  Thank goodness the baking time is no more than 45 minutes and the Park Hyatt lets us pass the time with champagne.

Delicious!!  I can't wait to make this for my friends.  They will be so impressed.


  1. I can't wait for you to make this either! This looks fab!

    1. I will make it for you! It is so good.

  2. Thank you for joining us at Park Hyatt Washington. We look forward to you joining us for future events.