I’ve been lucky enough to have collected a slew of incredible experiences as an Austinite event blogger. In the past few years, I’ve tried ziplining, beekeeping, fly-boarding, indoor skydiving and hot-air ballooning, to name a handful of favorites.
So when I was invited to join a cooking class overlooking a lake in Austin, I wasn’t really expecting this to go on my blogging top five. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I would love it, and who can turn down delicious food? Not me. But I have just been so honored and humbled by the adventures that I’ve been able to join in on in the past few years, that I looked forward to this one in a more absentminded sort of way.
This made the surprise of my Hudson’s on the Bend experience that much more incredible.
The event started out at the head chef’s house-mansion-thing-with-views-like-whoa. I turned onto a normal enough looking road and drove for a couple of miles before I then turned onto a gravel road and parked. Nothing out of the ordinary yet. But as I approached the entrance, my breath was nearly taken away. You guys, I have lived in Austin my entire life and have seen some lovely things but this was definitely amongst the most gorgeous of these. The views of Lake Travis paired with the scenery and décor of this abode were bar none. I stood at the entrance, probably with my mouth agape, but was quickly ushered in with a “Go grab a drink and sit down!” I was then promptly handed a vanilla vodka fizz that was always quickly refilled without so much as a request. I sat down to begin watching some pretty extraordinary chefs do their thang, which felt as if I was up close and personal with a comedic yet informative show featured on the Cooking Channel.
After working up an appetite whilst watching this mouthwatering food sizzle, our cooking group headed back to Hudson’s on the Bend. We were more than ready to eat all of the delicious meals that had been whipped up before our wonderstruck eyes.
This four course meal started off with rain forest ceviche, a ceviche made with coconut milk, habanero peppers and fresh ginger root marinade and a shaved coconut and pineapple marinade. This light, fresh and tasty appetizer was a perfect palette-greeter and left me greedy for more.
Next came the hot and crunchy avocado with mango jalapeno aeoli, ancho paint and mango jalapeno slaw. Ancho paint, for anyone curious, is made from ancho peppers soaked in hot water and then pureed with a handful of delectable ingredients like lemon and garlic. It was all just as mouth orgasmic as it sounds, y’all. The fruity and refreshing slaw, ancho and aeoli flavors perfectly complemented the delicately fried avocado. My mind kept telling me to slow down and bring home a bite or two for the hubby but my tastebuds were having none of it. I ate it all. Sorry not sorry.
The main course followed, shrimp and lobster in saffron crepes with a brandied lobster sauce. The phrase in itself is a mouthful with the power to make ones’ mouth water, and you better believe the dish all went into my mouth. This dish was decadent, creamy, buttery and yes, saffrony. I’m making saffrony into a word because the saffron is such a key ingredient here. The most expensive spice in the world added a sophistication and complexity to this dish which left me savoring every last bite.
Last but not least, the chai cheesecake. Oh my. Everyone at the table was oohing and ahing over this. One of my tablemates even commented that, though she doesn’t like cheesecake, she loved this one. The coconut almond crust and the fruit compote topping paired with the chai and cardamom flavors left us all swooning. And possibly drooling. Or maybe the drooling bit was just me. Great cheesecake doesn’t always allow me to be classy.
Paired with great company and endless wine, the dishes served at Hudson’s on the Bend made this experience immediately jump to my top five of blogging adventures. I can’t wait to go back, but in the meantime? All in attendance were given a recipe book of all dishes made in the class. I don’t know that my cooking skills will be able to do these recipes the justice they deserve, but it’s really nice that I have the option to try.
Dishes made at Hudson’s on the Bend cooking school vary with each class, and recipes for each meal are given out before the chefs begin. The class, which includes a four course meal and wine, costs $135 per person. Click here to make reservations, y’all!
I was able to attend this class free of charge, but was not obligated to write anything other than my honest thoughts. All opinions expressed are entirely my own!