Hoboken’s {First} Cooking Studio: The Hudson Table

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For many, cooking is pleasurable. For others, it can be a foreign concept…myself included — especially when I get texts like this back from my fiancé when I tell him I’m cooking dinner:

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Clearly this happens very often and comes as quite the surprise.

But when it comes to a cooking class, I am all in…because I love food, trying new things, and having a fun night out {and adding to my slim food repertoire}. That’s where Hudson Table, Hoboken’s new {and only!} cooking studio, comes into play.

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Located 1403 Clinton Street {on the little area of Clinton Street that runs the opposite way, only accessible from 15th street in Hoboken, FYI [our Uber driver totally got uuuber confused about this]}, The Hudson Table has daily cooking classes and caters to a variety of taste buds and cooking levels. Being a beginner in the kitchen myself {I can whip up a dinner for a group of people under pressure and a lot of YouTube videos/googling, but cooking on the regular does not happen often, unfortunately}, I was excited to learn some of the ins and outs to Chinese Stir Fry cooking, the class we decided to take. Oh, and YES, it’s BYOB all day err’day.

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BYO-wine and they’ll supply a little bruschetta or a light snack. Love it.

The Hudson Table has three types of classes to choose from:

1. Hands-On {what we did!}

This is the most immersive experience as you actively prepare a set of courses under the direction of HT’s in-house culinary instructor. You get to prep your meal from scratch in small groups, each assigned to a fully loaded cooking stations. At the end, you get to eat your creations with the group. It is awesome.

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Some of my Top Chef-mates, with Eton giving us the 101 about Chinese Stir Fry during class

2. Demo

Sit back, relax and indulge as the in-house culinary instructor demonstrates a wide range of recipes. This is a chef’s table-like experience which is  better for those not looking to take on the chopping block. Eating out takes on a new meaning as you take part in this unique culinary experience.

3. One-Dish Cooking Class

This option teaches you everything you need to know about ONE dish including preparation, ingredients, equipment, cooking and of course, relishing the meal. This class type is ideal for those still looking for an immersive experience, but with a focus on a specific technique or recipe.

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The beautiful Hudson Table space

So on to our actual experience at Hudson Table. It truly was fantastic. In addition to the space being a state-of-the-art kitchen and beautiful, expansive space with large windows and gorgeous stainless steel everything, it was well-thought out, and organized as a class.  We opted for a Chinese Stir Fry Class, knowing that the fruits of our labor in the kitchen would come to fruition at the end in the form of our dinner with lots of rice, beef, and shrimp. MMM.

On the menu:

– Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli with Sesame and Garlic

– Stir-Fry Shrimp

– Chinese Fried Rice

– A Beef Dish that was sooo good but I forget the name

 

Our instructor was a chef at Facebook headquarters in NYC {which totally sparked my attention/was way cool}, and he was very informative. Before we began our hands-on, we sat around the huge kitchen/stove area, and he explained some of the core ingredients of Chinese cooking. We passed them around and asked questions — a few of the ladies in attendance seemed to be veteran cooks and had very specific questions about certain spices. I was more of a spectator. It really seems like any level of cook/chef is welcome, which is great.

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Eton, the Facebook chef extraordinaire, showing us how to cut an onion without crying.

 

Next, our instructor showed us some helpful techniques in food preparation {ex: how to cut ginger, garlic, and onions — something I struggled with — who knew there was a technique to cutting ginger?}. It was very helpful and easy to learn. After we finished there, we paired off into to smaller groups of 4 {there were 8-10 total in the class, it was a great size} and got to work.

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Step 1: Wash your hands. LOVE that they made us do this!

Our food was prepped a bit for us, but most of the work we had to do ourselves, which I really liked. I find that food prep is honestly the hardest part about cooking, and it takes practice and time. Cutting things, keeping things neat, and making sure that you have everything ready to go into the pot at the correct time is tricky, IMHO. Luckily, our stations were prepared for us neatly, and you can tell that Hudson Table pride themselves on cleanliness and organization. We had bowls for scraps, bowls for prepared foods, and everything was kept separately before we went to the stove top with it.

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Our food post-prep ready to go!

 On to the stove top:

This was where you really have the option to sit back and let your “team” of cooks do more of the work or take a front row seat in the action. I did a bit of both, watching and learning a bunch, but also doing some mixing and sautéing.

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Me, deer in headlights, during class as Eton was explaining next steps. But our dish came out deliciously!

More of the hands-on part:

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Our Beef Dish

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The beginnings of fried Chinese rice. SOOOOO good.

We made our three dishes in a decent amount of time {probably around 30-40 minutes of cooking time}, and then we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. TOTALLY worth it.

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The shrimp fried rice, looking fiiiiine.

After everyone was ready to eat, we all sat down to a beautiful meal with our new friends and dined for the last 45 minutes or so. It really was a beautiful night filled with learning, making new friends, and eating delicious food. And, they cleaned up after us like you were out at a restaurant, which added to the luxury effect.

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VOILA! Dinner with our new friends.

The next day we all received an email with the recipes we had made as well as a “Thank You” for attending. They also welcomed comments and suggestions, which I thought was a nice touch. I had none — the class was seriously better than any other cooking class I’ve taken before.

Some of the upcoming classes I found when perusing the HT website included:

– Fondue Party

– Gluten Free Dinner Party

– World Dumplings

– The Vegetarian Kitchen

Cupcake Shoppe

Handmade Pasta

– Tacos, Burritos, and the Whole Enchilada

…and so many more! Kind of amazing that you can design your own dinner depending on the night’s cooking class offerings and what you’re in the mood for.

I 100% want to come back here — it would also be so fun to bring a group of friends here for a class, perfect couples’ or girls’ night out with friends. Word on the street is that they do private parties here now too!

 

About the owner, Allen Bari:

It was so nice to chat with him about his journey to opening a cooking studio in Hoboken. Allen spent the past five years traveling the world as a professional poker player, a career that culminated with a World Series of Poker bracelet and an experience that ignited his interest in food. He left a career in Wall Street to pursue poker and then enrolled in the French Culinary Institute which led him to founding Hudson Table to address a void in the market.

PS: HG Gluten-Free contributor Val of Mangiamo Hoboken also went to the Hudson Table for a gluten free pasta making class and loved it; read all about her experience here!

 

Have you been to The Hudson Table? What did you think?


Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.