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Hot Stove Society : Shellfish


Hot Stove Society

The Hot Stove Society, Tom Douglas’ shiny, new, cooking school, opened late last summer. I’ve visited the space a few times but didn’t get in for a class until this past Friday.  I’ve always enjoyed the classes and events they’ve held in the restaurants or at Palace Ballroom but this new facility is gorgeous and is a big step up!

Herschell Working, Rawle Supervising

There’s a great demo kitchen at the front of the room with fancy-pants cameras, big screens, a slightly rounded counter space which seats ten or so and all kinds of great cooking gear.  The rest of the room is filled with rolling, butcher block workstations that can be moved and configured as needed.  Rows of color-coordinated equipment and stacks of  shiny pots and pans surround the room. I learned on Friday that Kitchenaid is a sponsor which explains all the pretty equipment. And, there’s a row of gas ranges along the back of the room.

Student Workstations

My class on Friday was a combination of lecture, hands-on, and demo.  I’d been hoping for a little more hands-on (all that equipment has had me dying to dig in) but this was a fun and interesting class.

Talking Oysters

Herschell Taghap, one of the primary instructors at the school, led the class.  Rawle Jeffereds from Penn Cove Shellfish co-presented.  I thought I knew quite a bit about oysters but learned several new things including why some oysters are darker colored than others.  Beach-raised oysters have darker, harder shells than those raised in bags or cages.  They also have a longer shelf-life and a more earthy taste. Those in bags or cages will have a more delicate, “cleaner” flavor.  The differences are primarily attributed to exposure to light, air and tide motion.  Beach-raised are exposed and tumbled twice a day at low-tide, while those in bags/cages remain under water their whole life. We also learned some shucking tricks and then got to practice – and eat our work!

Practice makes perfect

We then moved into the demo (and sample) portion of the class.  Herschell cooked up Hangtown Oyster Fry; Spaghetti with Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce; and Smoked Clam Dip with Gaufrettes (a waffle-ridged, potato chip). Herschell is a great presenter and instructor: a touch of humor; clear instructions; and good interaction with the class make a winning combination.  If you follow any of the Tom Douglas social feeds that’s Herschell behind the scenes. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Hangtown Oyster Fry

Spagetti with Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce

I needed to bring something to a friend’s house for the Saturday Seahawks’ game (we won!).  With a busy day and limited time to prep, the Smoked Clam Dip seemed to be just the thing – although I bought my chips and substituted Penn Cove Shellfish (canned) Smoked Mussels, to save time.  The dip was a big hit – both in class and at the party.

Smoked Clam Dip & Gaufrettes

I love this new facility and am looking forward to finding a class where I get to roll up my sleeves and do the work.

You can see more photos of the facility and class here.

Hot Stove Society
Located on the 2nd floor of Hotel Andra
2000 4th Ave

Penn Cove Shellfish
Sponsors of Penn Cove Musselfest
Whidbey Island


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