Cooking with Graham Elliot and Walmart

Written by Janice Choi aka @bluntfoodreview (Good Food Toronto guest writer)

On May 20th I had the (probably once in a lifetime) opportunity to cook with chef Graham Elliot! Graham Elliot is a host on Masterchef US and Masterchef Junior, and was awarded two Michelin stars for his restaurant in Chicago – only one of fifteen in the US to have that distinction!

I arrived at Nella Cucina at 4:30pm, a stunning kitchen store with a kitchen and demonstration area in the upper level. I was quickly welcomed with a drink and found a station with 4 other ladies.

The event was hosted by Walmart to promote their fresh food offering. As the event started, we were given an introduction to Walmart and their fresh food department, which has been around for 8 years. They make all their bread in store every day, and are planning to offer fresh sushi at their stores!

Time to start cooking!! On the menu was Striploin Steak with Creamed Spinach, and Pan-Seared Salmon with Cabbage slaw and Whole-Grained Mustard. We were given beautiful Angus steaks and an assortment of pre-measured ingredients.

Graham Elliot was so friendly and down to earth. He came around to every station and chatted with us, gave a quick explanation and some tips on what we should do. Our team members were clearly not the greatest chefs so he came around and actually showed us how to shape and season our steaks.

While my other teammates worked on the creamed spinach (which was a bit of a disaster), I went up to the front to grill the steaks.

Once our steaks were almost done, we brought our creamed spinach up to plate and admired Chef Graham’s steak cutting skills. Cutting the steaks will allow your guests to see the how beautifully it’s cooked… unfortunately ours was slightly overcooked, but still very tasty!

Sadly we were nearing the end of the event and were running out of time for the salmon dish. We quickly mixed the slaw while Chef Graham pan-seared the salmon. In my opinion it was probably better that we didn’t cook this dish, it gave us the opportunity to taste Chef Graham’s cooking first hand.  No doubt it was a perfectly balanced and mouth-watering dish!

Overall a very fun event and one I’ll never forget. I think my cooking skills may have improved just a little bit! Hoping to be able to visit Chicago and pay a visit to Graham Elliot’s restaurant Graham Elliot Bistro sometime in the near future!