Chef Carol Nardello hosting cooking classes at Richland's Northern Tier Library - PineCreek Journal

Chef Carol Nardello hosting cooking classes at Richland’s Northern Tier Library

Saturday, August 31, 2019 | 12:01 AM

When chef Carol Nardello was living and working in Hawaii as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, her multicourse menu using chocolate as the star ingredient was featured on a television show about entertaining in paradise.

She’s now bringing that menu and others to Northern Tier Regional Library for a series of fall classes for adults. In addition to the “entertaining in paradise” class on Sept. 17, the Oct. 8 class will feature pumpkin and the Nov. 12 class will be a Mediterranean feast.

“They’re kind of seasonal, but also the library now has a following for the cooking classes so I was able to ask my class what they’d like to learn, what are they interesting in doing, and that’s how it came together,” said Nardello, who lives in Wexford and also teaches children’s cooking classes at the library.

September’s menu: dark chocolate hummus with crudites, chocolate-fig pate crostini, spring mix with strawberries and dark chocolate vinaigrette, chicken mole, steamed rice with peas, savory chocolate bread and salted caramel fudge tart.

“I really enjoy entertaining at home when I feature one ingredient and have it in every course,” Nardello said. “It’s a fun way to feature something, and who doesn’t love chocolate? It can be both sweet and savory so it’s an interesting ingredient and a fun challenge.”

October’s theme is “fall in love” and the menu will feature creamy pumpkin soup, savory pumpkin pasta, roasted pumpkin salad and pumpkin spice cake with maple cream-cheese frosting.

“I know some people may be a little tired of pumpkin spice, but it’s one of my favorites and I can’t wait for it to return,” she said. “But I’m not using all the nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves in every course. Pumpkin is like chocolate in that it can be both savory and sweet, and it lends well to soups and interesting pastas, and like any vibrant vegetable, it just gets better when it’s roasted.”

The Mediterranean class will feature pesto bruschetta with feta, tomatoes, and Kalamata olives, braised Mediterranean chicken, lemon and herb couscous, roasted vegetable medley and tiramisu.

Each class is $40, or all three for $100 if registered and paid for by Sept. 10. Class size is limited to 20 people.