“The North thinks it know how to make corn bread, but this is a gross superstition. Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern corn bread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite as bad as the Northern imitation of it.”

Mark Twain

EDIT: Classe Catering was acquired by Mazzone Catering in 2013.

This past Wednesday I went to Classe Catering‘s Food Blogger Tasting Event featuring Chef Jeremy Kane. Classe Catering (2 Petra Lane in Albany, off of Rapp Road between Washington and Central Avenues) is already a well-established catering company but they recently decided to add barbeque to their menu and my job as a food blogger was to taste & comment (& of course blog).

Joined by FUSSYlittleBLOG, Wendalicious & The Crispy Cook, we were presented with a well decorated table full of sauces, varying side dishes and my mouth began to water. We started with a pulled pork sandwich which they describe as “seasoned with our signature rub, smoked for 24 hours and tossed with a chipotle bbq sauce and served on a warm buttermilk biscuit” paired with creamy coleslaw, “hand shredded and tossed with caraway, vinegar and sugar.” The first thing I thought when they put this in front of me (other than, ew I hate coleslaw) was that I love the mason jar concept they’ve developed. “Classy” BBQ is what they set out to make and I think the mason jars still keep this fancier BBQ food a little rugged.

I really enjoyed this pulled pork. I feel like if meat is seasoned well enough, you shouldn’t need sauce- at least not too much, and that was the case here. This pork wasn’t drowning in sauce but you could definitely taste it. After eating we all discussed that the biscuit was a little too much, though. I ended up eating this mini sandwich with only one half of the biscuit- and I love biscuits.  The dryness of the biscuit wasn’t a very good pairing with this drier version of pulled pork.

As for the coleslaw, I was incredibly impressed. Chef Kane created a coleslaw that I not only tasted & continued to eat but finished. I hate coleslaw. If there’s coleslaw on my plate I turn into a little girl and squeal until it’s removed, I don’t know where this hatred stems from because I love everything in coleslaw, I just hate it all put together. I figured I’d taste it to be polite and then ask my Mom (who also attended) her opinion but I really enjoyed it. Mostly because I could taste all the various vegetables and it wasn’t drowning in mayonnaise, the vinegar was a nice lighter touch & the size of the vegetables was perfect, I’m impressed.

Next, we were given collard greens “stewed with ham hocks, onion and vinegar.” I don’t eat collard greens very often but I liked them. The size was a little big for my taste, I felt like I was eating giant pieces of green and they were somewhat difficult to chew through so I ended up having to shove the whole thing in my mouth.

Next, we were served the ribs, “brined for 24 hours, dry rubbed for 12 hours, smoked for eight hours and finished with Big KaHoona’s house-made barbecue sauce” & the brisket, “seasoned with our signature rub and slow smoked for 12 hours.” As for the ribs, I really liked the way they were cooked. They were tender enough to tear off the bone but not too tender where they literally would have fallen off of the bone. The house BBQ sauce was probably my favorite of the 4 we were given as options which included: a Dr. Pepper Based Sauce developed by his nephew, Mango Chipotle, Jalapeno Peach as well as the House BBQ. The taste was strong but the smoky flavor was a little more subtle and I liked it that way. I loved the brisket, it was gone before I realized I didn’t take a picture of it. The texture was juicy but I wouldn’t have minded a bit of fat on there, that’s where the flavor is, right?

The brisket burnt ends were also thrown into the Macaroni & Cheese, “elbow noodles tossed with an extra sharp Vermont cheddar cheese sauce, “burnt ends” Dijon laced buttery bread crumbs and baked until golden brown.” I thought the smoky flavor in the Mac & Cheese was bacon but it was the brisket. I really enjoyed the Mac&Cheese, the smoky flavor was a great surprise but, in my opinion, could have used a bit more cheese. I may be lactose-intolerant but as I said that day, if I’m gonna eat the cheese, I want to really be able to taste it!

The last bit of meat we were served was the Jamaican jerk chicken, “marinated in island spices, grilled over charcoal and glazed with a light mango barbecue sauce.” Out of all of the meats, this was my least favorite. It tasted good but I didn’t taste anything different in this chicken that wowed me. I really enjoyed the mango sauce but whatever the “island spices” were, I didn’t really taste them, just chicken.

I really enjoyed their Baked Beans as well, “slow cooked with salt pork and molasses.” I like baked beans anyway & to me, there’s no BBQ without them.

My favorite thing all night was the cornbread, “with jalapeño and roasted corn and served with honey butter.” I really dislike when cornbread is shaped like a muffin, to me those tend to be packed too tight and are lackluster in flavor. This cornbread looked like it was homemade, cut into various sized pieces and almost fell apart in your mouth with each bite. With the first bite, I found bits of actual corn. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the jalapeno but I did taste something different with this cornbread than previous BBQ places I’ve been to. It wasn’t spicy like jalapeno but it was very satisfying.

After we were done eating, Chef Kane showed us the kitchen and the little tool to thank for our wonderful meal. The smoker came up to his chest with only 5 shelves (I took a picture but it came out too blurry). I can’t imagine having to cater a whole party with that smoker especially with the ribs smoking for one period of time and the brisket another.

Reading this blog entry make your mouth water? On Thursday, June 16th you have the opportunity to taste the great food I did at their Launch Party at the Pruyn House with BBQ/Beer Pairings, Live Music & Entertainment from 4:00PM-7:00PM for a $5 Donation to benefit the Food Pantries and Friends of the Pruyn House. RSVP “I’m In” to BBQBASH@classecatering.com  — Hopefully, I’ll see you there!! 🙂

Daniel from FUSSYlittleBLOG w/ Miss Fussy, Wendy from Wendalicious, Rachel from The Crispy Cook, Me & Chef Jeremy Kane