etc, etc

“Home is the Key” Advanced Skills Chef’s Course at Sur La Table for Habitat for Humanity

They say the way to the heart is through the stomach, and whoever “they” are… “They” definitely know what they’re talking about! I was recently invited to attend a cooking class at Sur La Table at Phipps Plaza here in Atlanta, and now I feel so ready to win over everyone in my life! 😉

This event was in partnership with Habitat for Humanity—a fantastic cause. It was called their #HomeIsTheKey campaign, and throughout the month of April, every time that hashtag is mentioned, Nissan has been donating $1 to Habitat for Humanity. Gotta love it when companies work together for good!

Sur La Table Cooking Class Highlights

After a brief intro from Habitat, we got right to cooking with Chef Ashley Thomas. SLT’s hands-on cooking class taught us some much-needed cooking techniques such as how to prep food, proper chopping technique, and how to mix and infuse ingredients. Let me tell you… chopping is definitely not as simple as it looks on those cooking shows! I felt so fancy learning how to do it the right way.

We attended the advanced class, but SLT offers classes for all ages and skill levels, so every kind of cook can learn something new. There’s no such things as too many cooks in the kitchen at these classes! I loved actually preparing and cooking the dishes like the pros… look out, Food Network! 😉

The Menu

Okay, now on to the good stuff: the grub! If you were wondering what we whipped up, prepare to be amazed. We cooked everything on the menu STL provided, including the Smoked Bourbon Vanilla ice cream! This sweet treat was even more exciting for me to make because I’ve never made ice cream from scratch. This. Was. Major. Here’s everything we made:

  • Beluga Lentil Salad with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Salt Block Scallops with Classic Beurre Blanc
  • Glazed Sous-Vide Carrots with Handmade Vadouvan Curry
  • Smoked Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

Now let me tell you about these scallops… First of all, I LOVE scallops, so I was in heaven! Secondly, we cooked these little guys in the coolest way. We used a Himalayan Salt Block to cook the scallops on. Yes, those colorful, prehistoric crystals are gorgeous to look at, but they also cook healthier, tastier, and more interesting meals! Who knew?! It can turn any ordinary cook into a “rock star” chef. 😉


I had so much fun learning how to cook like a pro—especially how to use all the food prep tools— and to top it all off, I scored a Scanpan Pro S5 Skillet, which is seriously awesome. We’ve been using this skillet for every meal ever since the event!

I’m not saying I’m a brand new person, but let’s just say that the amateur cooking ways of mine are long-gone—you can call me Chef Nikka from now on. And, of course, I loved that this event was for Habitat for Humanity, a cause I think is absolutely uh-mazing!!! There’s nothing quite like cooking for a cause. 🙂

To learn more about Home is the Key, Habitat’s first nationwide cause campaign, visit Oh, and be sure to use hashtag #HomeIsTheKey when you share on social media. 

Nikka Shae The Undercover Socialite

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  • Reply Courtney April 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering! Everything looks absolutely delicious!! Such a good cause too!


  • Reply Briana Anderson April 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I have always wanted to take one of their classes!! This looks so fun and yummy!
    x, Bri ||

  • Reply Robin Rue May 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

    That sounds like such a fun time. I LOVE Sur La Table cooking classes 🙂

  • Reply Amber May 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I would so do this! I am a horrible cook and I’m trying to get better. Plus I like that this is for a good cause.

  • Reply Alli Smith May 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The cooking class looks like so much fun and the food looks amazing. Habitat for Humanity is such a worthy cause.

  • Reply kage2015 May 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Cooking classes are becoming the hot new thing. They have been around for awhile but all of a sudden they are popular once again.

  • Reply Jeanette May 1, 2017 at 9:33 am

    My gosh I would have loved to take one of those classes. I am not the best of cooks and every little helps and took that someone can give me the better I can get. What a great cause.

  • Reply Dasha May 1, 2017 at 10:03 am

    OMG! What a great organization to partner with. Looks like you had a great time. Smoked Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream?!? YES PLEASE!

    Dasha |

  • Reply Christy Maurer May 1, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I would love to take one of these classes to get some extra skills in! That looks like such great food and great fun!

  • Reply Jaime Nicole May 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I would have loved to take this class- how fun! And it looks like you did a great job on the scallops!

  • Reply Jenn @ EngineerMommy May 1, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I would love to take one of these cooking classes. I cook often but would love to fine tune my skills and learn new techniques.

  • Reply Jenn May 1, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    This is sooo cool. I would love to take one of these classes. I have never been a good cook, though I do try every now and then.

  • Reply Bonnie (@wemake7blog) May 1, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Looks like you had a really great time. That food looks really good.

  • Reply Ricci May 2, 2017 at 12:36 am

    This looks like it was a great cooking class!! I also love that it was put on by Habitat for Humanity!! What a great organization!!

  • Reply My Teen Guide May 2, 2017 at 2:24 am

    The dishes came out looking good and delicious. I love this campaign of learning to cook and being able to give back to the community too. I can see you really had fun Chef Nikka!

  • Reply toastycritic May 2, 2017 at 2:32 am

    It sounds like it was such a fun time. I love to cook and the things you ended up making looks amazing.

  • Reply danik May 2, 2017 at 6:10 am

    After reading this I just wanna eat the food 😀

  • Reply Kita Bryant May 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    i bet those classes were a tone of fun. You are doing a really great job.

  • Reply Amanda Kruse May 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    This looks so fun and everything looks so good! ]

    Amanda ||

  • Reply Kiwi May 3, 2017 at 1:55 am

    I love a great cooking demo where you are hands on. This was an amazing initiative partnered by Habitat for Humanity!

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