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Tucked away in the corporate area of Lake Forest is The Wine Artist, a premier, Tuscan-inspired boutique winery that also serves as venue for business and private functions with its unique 'wine bottling' service. Aside from the winery services are amazing cooking classes taught by instructor and The Wine Artist owner, MJ Hong. After leaving a corporate job of 15 years, MJ pursued her passion for entertaining, food, and wine. I had the pleasure of getting to take the Meditterean Cooking Class with MJ, and not only was it a delectable experience, but also a delight to experience MJ's love for what she does, not only sharing her knowledge of food and cooking, but also connecting with others. And the kicker? MJ is self taught when it comes to the knowledge and skills of cooking such a variety of cuisine. If you haven't taken a cooking class before, cooking with MJ will be the perfect introduction; and trust me, you'll want to go back to take a cooking class in every type of cuisine that she offers.

What about the cooking class itself? MJ started off by offering homemade sangria (red and white) to her cooking students, and as they snacked on small bites and sipped sangria; she got to know and educated them on what they would be cooking. Since we would be making Mediterranean food, she took a few minutes to introduce the special ingredients and cooking tips, as well as which markets to purchase the ingredients from. After introducing everyone to the cooking space, she let her students find a spot in front of a cutting board; students were paired off and given a part of a recipe to tackle. We were going to be making Dolmades, Stuffed Eggplants with Rice, Lamb & Beef Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce, and Baklava. Although each student did not work on a dish in its entirety, students were able to ask each other or MJ how they completed specific parts of the recipes. It was fun and interesting to see how the dishes came together at the end after seeing everyone work on their cooking task. And of course the best part was getting to sit down together and enjoy the fruits of our labor. It was really a fulfilling and enjoyable experience and I was excited to take home a packet of the recipes to try it at home on my own.

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So who's going to the next cooking class at The Wine Artist?

Check out the entire class schedule here! For those less into cooking, but equally into eating delicious food, The Wine Artist also offers tasting events! For the kiddies of the family, kids' cooking and baking camps are available this Summer!

The Wine Artist
21064 Bake Parkway, Ste. 100
(Bake Pkwy & Cape May)
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Ph: 949.297.3656
Fax: 949.297.3657

Tuesday - Friday 10AM - 6PM
Saturday 12PM - 5PM
Sunday & Monday Closed

The Wine Artist is open every day and extended hours for private events.

Contact Via Email- info@TheWineArtist.com

Happy Cooking & Eating,

Amanda