By Bryen Dunn
Vaughan’s The Chef Upstairs offers a cooking experience like no other, intimate, interactive and interesting.
Book an in-studio class and watch as chefs prepare outstanding menus using fresh, local ingredients, pairing each course with the perfect wines (or a healthy smoothie for the kids). Each course offers you the chance to learn the preparation skills to duplicate the same experience at home.
Imagine being part of an intimate event at a private dining venue, surrounded by great friends, family or colleagues. Your group assists a fabulous chef in preparing an outstanding menu that is paired with wonderful wines. Whether it’s a cooking class with friends, or work function, you’ll find the chefs’ passion for food and fun makes every occasion memorable.
This Valentine’s Day, why not take your cooking skills to the next level, and prepare a tasty meal for your loved one. The Chef Upstairs is hosting both virtual (with optional delivery of ingredients) and in-studio (almost sold out!) experiences from February 11 to 14, 2022.
In-Studio Cooking Classes – From $115 per person
Classes combine fun and learning through an interactive, team approach. Create a full meal of several courses under the guidance of your experienced chef – learn and then eat! The chef will offer tips and tricks based on their personal experiences. When not cooking, relax with a glass of wine, beer, cocktail or soft drink (available for purchase during the class).
Virtual Classes – $49.50 per household
Enjoy an interactive group experience from the comfort of your own home. Cook with friends, family colleagues, and new friends. Class includes a full meal, prepared by you under the guidance of a professional chef, as well as a list of ingredients and kitchen tools you will need.
Danielle Pancer, Events Manager at The Chef Upstairs, offers this spectacular Reverse Sear Filet Mignon with Garlic Herb Compound Butter recipe to try for yourself at home.
2 filet mignon steaks about 6-8 ounces each, about 2″ thick
Herb Compound Butter
½ cup unsalted butter softened
¼ cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
1 to 1 ½ teaspoon garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Liberally season steaks on both sides with plenty of kosher salt. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for at least 60 minutes, and preferably 2 hours.
Meanwhile, to make the garlic herb compound butter: place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log shape. Chill until firm.
Preheat the oven to 225º F. Place the pan with steaks in the oven and insert an internal meat thermometer with probe. For medium rare, cook until the internal temperature reaches 120º Fahrenheit, about 25-30 minutes. Larger or thicker steaks will take longer; I highly recommend using an internal meat thermometer with probe here. To cook filet mignon steaks to a different warmth, like medium or medium well, see note.
Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 120º F. Preheat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes while steaks rest. Pat steaks dry.
Carefully place steaks in hot skillet and cook 45 seconds; flip and place a pat of garlic herb compound butter, about 1 tablespoon per steak, on top of the filet. Cook another 45 seconds, then flip a couple times until steaks are a richer brown color, about 20-40 seconds total. Press the sides of the filet up against the sides of the cast iron skillet briefly until no longer red or pink. Remove from skillet, let rest 5 minutes and serve with more garlic herb compound butter.
Notes: To cook your filet mignon steaks to a different temperature, follow this chart:
Rare: Target temperature: 120°-125°F Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 110 F.
Medium Rare: Target temperature: 130°-135°F Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 120 F.
Medium: Target temperature: 140°-145°F Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 130º F.
Medium Well: 150°-155°F Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 140º F.
Well Done: 160°-175°F Remove from oven when internal temperature reaches 160º F.
Serves two, and for wine accompaniment, Pancer suggests a good Rhone or a full bodied red to pair with the tenderloin.
The Chef Upstairs 555 N. Rivermede Rd, Vaughan
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on adventure, ecotourism, lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality. He contributes to several industry and consumer publications, and also has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews.