Friday, March 26, 2010

Culinary Daytrip with Mary

New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua
My adventurous friend, Mary, invited me to join her for a daytrip to Canandaigua, about an hour and half north of here, to check out the New York Wine and Culinary Center.  I didn't even know it existed.  We are lucky to have it in our backyard.

Turns out it opened in 2006 and is situated at the northern tip of Canandaigua lake, at the lower end of Main street.  It's new construction of New York state materials, and funded by the owners of Constellation Brands, the Wegman family, and RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).

Viking donated all of the equipment in the hands-on kitchen.

In addition to holding cooking classes, it has a large stadium-style lecture hall where demos are given, and conferences are held.  It has presentation screens. Companies can rent it out for meetings and also have team-building cooking classes next door. 

The information desk told us that lots of people give gift certificates for their popular couples cooking classes.  And that wedding parties come to cook together as well.  The list of classes looks interesting.  Would be fun to take a class when family or friends visit us at the lake, especially on a rainy day.

They have a winemaker's room for special dinners and it is rented out as a conference room.

There is a large wine tasting room with wines from all over New York state.  We learned that theThousand Islands is an up and coming wine area.  And that the Hudson River wine trail was the first. 

They also have an extensive selection of beers from New York state.  Lots of interesting microbreweries.

Upstairs is the restaurant.  The staircase is made of New York state cherry.  The building is very handsome inside.  It also houses the New York Wine and Grape Foundation.  It has an exhibit hall and a small gift shop, too.

We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a corner table and had the place to ourselves because it was a cold, rainy Thursday in the off-season.

Mary had a beautiful salad. 

And I had the braised lamb over couscous with turnips.

We thought it was well worth the visit.  It is an excellent resource to know about in our area.

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