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Cooking with Chobani

Last week I was invited to attend a holiday cooking event at the Chobani office in Charlotte. I love all things food and cooking and I love Chobani so I eagerly accepted. Chobani opened a sales office in uptown Charlotte about six months ago.

Their offices are on the sixteenth floor of one of the big buildings and feature a giant test kitchen!

Chobani invited a group of local foodies and bloggers to the event. I was happy to see quite a few familiar faces and connect with some new Charlotte-area foodies. We were welcomed with appetizers and wine. I helped myself to a glass of red wine and made an appetizer plate. All of the dips that they served included Chobani in the recipe.

We were encouraged to bring a guest so I invited my friend Lauren to share the experience. We were not quite sure what to expect going into the event but were thrilled to learn that we would actually be doing the cooking.

Chobani brought in one of their corporate chef’s for the event and he prepared all of the cooking stations for us with necessary equipment and ingredients. I would like to have this service in my kitchen all the time, please! Lauren and I claimed the pumpkin risotto station because we both agreed that stirring risotto and drinking wine sounded pretty up our alley.

The kitchen was busy with activity. Cooking is one of the things that I enjoy most and it’s even better when I can share it with such fun people.

Brittany was whipping up a batch of butternut squash soup at the station next to Lauren and me. We had a great time catching up with her. All three of us actually went to the University of Georgia and Lauren and Brittany were sorority sisters. Small world!

We got our risotto started by sautéing an onion and then adding the diced pumpkin, sage and rice. We deglazed the pan with a little white wine and then got to alternating adding broth and stirring for the next 20-30 minutes.

Risotto is one of those dishes that seems complicated and hard to prepare but really it just needs a little TLC. One of my favorite things to do to unwind in the kitchen is play a little jazz, light a candle, pour some wine and stir some risotto. It’s mindless but you feel so accomplished at the end to have created such a delicious dish.

It was so much fun to watch everyone else get their dishes together. Chef Tim was super helpful and walked around answering questions and helping where needed.

We plated our dishes and set them out to create our final spread. Starting at top and moving clockwise…gorgonzola crostini, mixed greens with honey walnut dressing, pumpkin risotto, holiday stuffing, asparagus with hollandaise, roasted butternut squash soup and smashed potatoes with broccoli.

We sat down for a family-style feast. Everyone did an amazing job with their dishes and I cleaned my plate.

The highlight of the meal came when I was seated right next to the iced gingerbread bundt cake. We sliced it up and passed it around the table. It was still warm from the oven and probably the best gingerbread I have ever had. I will definitely be keeping this recipe on file for future holidays!

A huge thank you to Chobani for organizing such a fun event. I regularly cook and bake with Greek yogurt but this totally opened my eyes to a whole new set of possibilities. Check out the Chobani Kitchen for recipes and ideas and stay tuned for another post about that pumpkin risotto!

Do you ever cook or bake with Greek yogurt? I find it to be a great sub for everything from butter and oil to mayonaise to sour cream…and apparently much more! :)

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • 1
    theresa @ aspoonfulofsunshine December 19, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Iced Gingerbread Bundt Cake? Oh Chobani, they can do no harm! I just bookmarked that recipe, it sounds like it would be perfect to make for my families Christmas party. It is awesome that Chobani invited you over for an intimate dinner gathering. I suspect that company is truly full of foodies :)

  • 2
    Addy @ Six-Kick Switch December 19, 2012, 12:35 pm

    What a cool event! I love risotto and Chobani – this looks perfect! And the gingerbread bundt cake is a great idea too!

  • 3
    Brooke @ sweats & sweets December 19, 2012, 12:50 pm

    I love a lemon-yogurt cake, its so delicious and summery. Great for any occasion!

  • 4
    ashley December 19, 2012, 1:17 pm

    This looks like so much fun! I love making eggs benedict for Sunday breakfast but I usually talk myself out of it b/c all of my hollandaise recipes are super fatty. I can’t wait to try the Chobani version!

  • 5
    Michelle December 19, 2012, 1:22 pm

    What a fun and great opportunity for you! I love cooking and add some wine and appetizers to the festivities? Heaven.

    I usually use Greek yogurt where it calls for mayo (my husband gets sick when he eats mayo). I’ve even started using it as salad dressing (you gave me the idea to plop some on top of a salad or veggies) and in place of sour cream on baked potatoes. Yummy!

  • 6
    Sana December 19, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Love Cho! Super cool event!

  • 7
    Jen December 19, 2012, 2:41 pm

    I’ve never tried yogurt in a savory dish before, but I often use it in baked goods. I also make a dessert dip with vanilla yogurt, nutella, and pumpkin. Awesome with gingerbread cookies or graham crackers!

    • 8
      Michelle December 19, 2012, 3:12 pm

      True! I think you put in your oatmeal, right? I got the idea to plop it on salads and veggies (plain yogurt) from your oatmeal idea. Sorry I didn’t say that above. The dessert dip sounds really delicious!

      • 9
        Jen December 20, 2012, 12:00 am

        Oh I’m a different Jen! Not the blog author :-) but I do like oatmeal and yogurt.

        • 10
          Michelle December 20, 2012, 12:37 pm

          Haha! Too funny :-)

  • 11
    She Rocks Fitness December 19, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Love eating and cooking with Greek yogurt. It truly is a fabulous alternative to other “not so” healthy ingredients and it honestly tastes just as good. That gingerbread cake looks so festive and delicious. Glad to see you enjoyed yourself!

  • 12
    Tiff December 19, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Ahhh, so jealous! Looks like fun. I want a piece of that gingerbread cake!

  • 13
    Linda December 19, 2012, 3:29 pm

    What a fun event! All the recipes look amazing!!

  • 14
    Rachel December 19, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Jen, where are your ancestors from? Sometimes I think you look Native American, and I mean that as a compliment!

  • 15
    Natalie December 19, 2012, 4:17 pm

    What a killer kitchen!!!!!!! Wonder who designed it? Can you find out because I am so impressed. Happy holidays!

  • 16
    Katherine December 19, 2012, 4:47 pm
  • 17
    Kerry @ Totes My Oats December 19, 2012, 7:38 pm

    What a great experience! I use Greek yogurt in my banana bread. It keeps it nice and moist!

  • 18
    Tara Deal December 20, 2012, 4:52 am

    How fun!! All of the recipes look amazing :) I am going to a holiday party and need to bring a vegetarian/gluten free dish…that risotto may be it!

  • 19
    Lauren K December 20, 2012, 9:55 am

    Such a fun night! Wine and risotto all the way…now I need to recreate some of these at home, especially the gingerbread!

  • 20
    Paige @ The Balancing Act December 20, 2012, 12:23 pm

    How appropriate–I’m eating Greek yogurt as I type! Since I’m on a bit of a tight food budget, I usually have to buy the store brand, but Chobani is by far my favorite and such a treat when I do decide to splurge! I haven’t done much baking with Greek yogurt yet, but I do use it for a ton of things, from overnight oats to fruit dips to quesadilla toppings (alongside salsa & guac). I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to regular yogurt!

    Your event looked like so much fun. The only thing better than cooking and eating delicious food is doing so with great company!

  • 21
    Katie @ running4cupcakes December 23, 2012, 11:09 am

    Love cooking with chobani- they make the best pancakes. I love your hair clip that you were wearing- so simple and cute!

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