Three hours at the top of the Palms, five courses, plenty of booze, and you leave with some serious culinary know-how. It’s hard to find a reason not to go to chef Geno Bernardo’s fall cooking class at Nove Italiano, which begins October 13 at noon
The chef has been hosting cooking classes for about three years now. One of them featured world-famous DJ Paul Oakenfold, an aspiring chef of sorts. “He went to culinary school in England, so he knows what he’s doing,” Bernardo says.
The class begins with a cocktail, and then Bernardo welcomes his students into the kitchen to discuss fresh ingredients and demonstrate preparation for each of the five courses. After about an hour of instruction, it’s time for lunch. This weekend’s class focuses on fall flavors. Bernardo will cook heirloom pumpkin soup, kale and apple salad with pancetta and pecans, Block Island striped bass with caramelized Brussels sprouts, pan-seared duck with roasted Jerusalem artichokes, and a pumpkin crème brûlée with ginger snap cookies.
Bernardo sources much of his produce from two small Pahrump-area farms, so this weekend’s students will be eating locally while they learn. Some of the local ingredients used include apples, kale, pumpkins and artichokes. “It’s all about the fall, which is one of my favorite times of the year,” Bernardo says. “One great thing about living near the West Coast is, we still have some great stuff you can’t get on the east coast. Heirloom tomatoes are still good right now, but there are none back home.”
On October 6, Nove celebrated its sixth anniversary. “It doesn’t feel like six years at all,” Bernardo says. “We’re still just getting started, still trying to change the way people dine, and that’s why I love doing these classes. And the staff loves it. It gives us something more to play with.”
The class costs 85 per person, which includes all five courses paired with wines and specialty cocktails. For reservations, call 942-6832 or email [email protected]