Chef Rick Bayless for Macy’s Culinary Council (Dallas, TX)

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I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

This year, I’ll be hosting and cooking for Christmas and was drawing a blank on what to serve. I was invited to check out a Macy’s Culinary Council cooking demo at Northpark Center, which was great timing because Chef Rick Bayless was going to demonstrate some holiday-inspired dishes!

chef rick bayless
If you’re unfamiliar with Chef Rick Bayless, he won Bravo’s Top Chef Master, has a cooking show, and is the author of several books.

I was slightly star-struck seeing him in person and it was even more of a delight that he was such a warm soul! He demonstrated a Kuri Pumpkin Soup with Ancho and Apple, Guacamole with Toasted Walnuts and Pomegranate, and a Blood Orange Margarita.

It was my first time watching a successful chef cook and do a demo and I have to say, it was truly inspiring! I was so surprised with how little I knew about cooking. Here are a few tips I learned:

1. Use the seeds. Most people discard them especially when working with squashes and pumpkins, but the seeds serve this nutty flavor that complements the squash flavor. Chef Rick Bayless blended it in with his Kuri Pumpkin Soup with Ancho and Apple, pictured below:

You can also toast the seeds and use it as garnish!

2. You’ll know an avocado is ripe when you push the bottom of the avocado and it’s soft. That area is the last to ripen so if that part is soft, then you’re ready to make guacamole, just like this one with toasted walnuts and pomegranate:

3. If you juice any citrus fruit, try to juice the peel as much as possible. Chef Rick Bayless mentioned that most of the citrus flavors we know and love actually come from the oils in the peel rather than the juice! Isn’t that amazing? Blood oranges are very much in season right now and the red is very reminiscent of Christmas! (I did not get to try the Blood Orange Martini, but I can bet that it’s delicious.)

There were other culinary tips and tricks offered during the demo but there were just too many to count. You will have to attend one and see for yourself! It was such an honor to witness Chef Rick Bayless be so passionate about his hobby/job. I love that Macy’s Culinary Council holds these events because it’s perfect for people like me who need that motivation to take their cooking to the next level. I got so excited about my new cooking knowledge that I picked up some avocados on the way home!

frontera book

If you need some more party planning inspiration, check out Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks.

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