Brazilian Cooking Classes at Pampa Steakhouse

>> Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ever since I could remember I’ve always been a huge fan of the Olympics. I’m not sure if it’s because I still remember holding a little plastic torch when the athletes came through Calgary during the ’88 Olympics, but when they’re on television, I’ll always have it playing 24/7. Needless to say, I’m super excited about the summer Olympics in Rio this year. I would have loved to visit and not only attend all the events but also eat all the delicious Brazilian cuisine while I’m in town.

Sadly since I couldn’t make it there the next best thing would be to cook some Brazilian food here at home and as luck would have it Pampa Steakhouse has started a wonderful cooking class to educate all about Brazilian cuisine. We were lucky enough to be one of the first to be invited down to attend their class which also comes with an amazing 3 course meal at the end.

To start their interactive class, everybody was served the traditional Brazilian drink of Caipirinha which is made with raw sugar cane liquor called Cachaca. The liquor can be mixed with various juices to form different flavour combos. This one was made with lime and passionfruit, a refreshing way to start the class!

Next the chef then moved on to show us different courses that we would be helping with, you also get to keep all the recipes which is a bonus! We started with preparing the Passionfruit Mousse so it can set while we attend to the rest of the courses. Some of my classmates were very helpful and it was just fun to get people off their seats and helping with prep. Next up we made their famous Cheese Bread, which isn’t really quite cheesy but more like a popover. Something I’ll definitely be replicating at home, then came the Calamari Mango Salad, Chicken Drumsticks, Lime Coconut Prawns, Rump Steak and Grilled Pineapple (plus some other great uses for pinapple!!).

I enjoyed most about the class was being able to sample the food as it was being prepared, I would have loved to taste more but since it was their first test run, it was definitely something they will be incorporating more in their future classes. The best part of the evening had to have been when we all got to taste the labour of our hard work. All the classes end with a 3 course meal of the food that was prepared during the class.

It was extremely hard to pick out which course I liked the most because they were all quite unique in taste and texture. The Calamari Mango Salad reminded me of a ceviche but everything was cooked through. The contrast of the vinaigrette and the accompaniments in the salad made for a very refreshing starter. The Lime Coconut Prawns had amazing flavour even though they only required 10 minutes of marinating time. It just goes to show that not everything takes a long time to taste amazing. The Chicken Drumsticks were moist when roasted over their charcoal oven and of course the highlight of the night was the Rump Steak.

The Rump Steak is a Brazilian favorite, tender and juicy, the steak is roasted to perfection and served in the traditional method by Gauchos, who come around and slice off the pieces of meat for your enjoyment. The flavour of the steak is uncompromised, considering it is roasted with nothing but salt and pepper. You really taste the flavour of the meat and the smokiness of the charcoal. The charcoal is what also makes the Grilled Pineapple unique. The pineapple is one of the highlights of the meal, what’s better than cinnamon sugar with warm tangy pineapple? If that wasn’t enough we now get to taste the delicious Passionfruit Mousse that was made during the beginning of the class. The mousse is smooth and sweet with a good amount of passionfruit flavour. It will definitely satisfy those who have a sweet tooth.

So although I won’t be making it down to Brazil this year to attend the Olympics, I’ll definitely be making some of these delicious recipes that we were sent home with during our cooking class. Most likely I’ll be enjoying them while pretending that I’m sitting front row center for those Olympic events. I guess for now, visiting Brazil will have to remain on the bucket list, but cooking the food doesn’t have to be! I want to thank Chef Joao Dachery and his amazing team for making the class fun and cooking us some amazing Brazilian cuisine.

They offer 2 different sessions, one for lunch which runs the first and last Saturday of the month or an evening dinner session which runs the first and last Wednesday of the month. They’re perfect for couples, groups and even team building or if you’re looking for something different, there are tons of interesting events they also put on throughout the year. Check out their website for more information.

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse
521 10 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 354-3441


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