Delicious Dishes for Every Season: Spring

Taught By Multiple Professors
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Tortilla Española and Sherry
1: Tortilla Española and Sherry

A tradition of Mediterranean small dishes exists all around the Mediterranean region, which is perfect for light dining fare during the spring. Among the most well-known are tapas from Spain, typically enjoyed as separate from a meal and with sherry. Join Chef Briwa as he demonstrates how to prepare three easy and delicious complementary tapas: a Spanish tortilla, stuffed olives, and Padron peppers.

19 min
Potato Leek Pizza
2: Potato Leek Pizza

Try a tasty twist on a traditional favorite with a healthier version of pizza that incorporates a light spring vegetable that is often overlooked: the leek. Part of the allium family and related to onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and Chinese onions, leeks are used in numerous cuisines around the world. This delicious pizza is surprisingly easy and flexible, working well with a variety of cheeses and pairing deliciously with a number of other dishes.

14 min
Spatchcocked Chicken
3: Spatchcocked Chicken

Spring is not usually a season associated with heavy meat dishes, but Chef Briwa shows you an innovative way to prepare chicken in a fast, efficient, and exceptionally tasty manner, a dish which goes seamlessly with the warmer days this season brings. Spatchcockin (as it’s called in England) or crapaudine (as it’s called in France) allows you to roast a chicken perfectly in about 20 minutes. And wait until you see how he uses a brick!

7 min
Southeast Asian Spaghetti Squash Salad
4: Southeast Asian Spaghetti Squash Salad

With an abundance of produce springing in spring, salads are a staple of the season, but they don’t have to be limited to lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Chef Briwa introduces you to a Southeast Asian salad that incorporates chicken, fruit, a spicy dressing, and a special touch: spaghetti squash. If you've never used spaghetti squash before, this is a great introduction to what it can do in your kitchen and it makes for a delicious and refreshingly unique spring salad.

11 min
Panna Cotta
5: Panna Cotta

For a lovely, cool dessert to top off your perfect spring picnic, discover the deliciousness of panna cotta. Panna cotta, which literally means “cooked cream,” has the rich, luxurious quality of a custard, but in fact, it’s not a custard; it’s a cream-based dessert thickened with gelatin. Join Chef Durfee to discover how incredibly easy panna cotta is to make, and how the delicious dish allows for such variation and versatility.

8 min
Bill Briwa

Don't waste any time wishing you were a better taster. Put your effort into becoming a better taster through focused attention and curiosity every time you prepare, season, and eat food. This skill set is really foundational.


The Culinary Institute of America


The Culinary Institute of America

About Bill Briwa

A popular chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Bill Briwa has worked in the hospitality business as a professional chef and culinary instructor for experts and laypeople around the world for more than 30 years. He was the resident chef for The Hess Collection Winery in the Napa Valley, California; the executive chef for The Wine Spectator Restaurant at the CIA at Greystone; and an officer on the board of the St. Helena Farmers' Market. Over the past 15 years, Chef Briwa has devoted himself full time to teaching audiences around the world about cooking, flavor dynamics, gastronomy, and food and wine pairing. As a member of the Industry Services Group at the CIA, he works closely with a range of corporate clients to help them realize their culinary goals. Chef Briwa has been a speaker, presenter, and judge at numerous professional conferences, gatherings, and competitions in the culinary world, including the annual International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference and the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Illinois. His writing on food and wine has been featured in industry journals and publications, including Fine Cooking, Mise en Place, and Practical Winery &Vineyard Journal.

Chef Briwa participated in The Great Courses Professor Chat series. Read the chat to learn more about cooking

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Stephen L. Durfee

So many people are interested in learning how to bake, but they’re intimidated because they think that it is either too complicated or scientific. The truth is baking can be a lot of fun. It’s not that complicated and if you master just a few basic techniques, that’s really all you need to know to get started. 


Hamilton College


The Culinary Institute of America

About Stephen L. Durfee

Stephen L. Durfee is a Pastry Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone, where he has been on staff for more than 10 years. He is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and a Certified Hospitality Educator. Before then, he was the Executive Pastry Chef at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. While there, he won the 1998 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and in 1999, he was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines. Chef Durfee's extensive career includes working as a pastry chef at Charles Nob Hill in San Francisco, California, and at the Wheatleigh in Lenox, Massachusetts; and as a pastry instructor at the New York Cooking School (where he earned his certificate in pastry/baking). He also apprenticed at restaurants in Paris and ChambEry, France. Chef Durfee has also participated in and judged numerous cooking competitions and challenges. In 2007, he represented the CIA at the National Pastry Team Championships, where his team won a bronze medal. In 2010, he finished third in the World Chocolate Masters competition. In 2012, he won the position of chocolatier on the U.S. team that will compete in the Coupe du Monde de P,tisserie in Lyon, France, in 2013.

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