Posts for the 'cookery-school' Category


L’atelier des Chefs – Spanish Masterclass

Cookery school L’atelier des Chefs run an impressive range of cookery classes including French classics, macaroon making, bread baking and knife skills, to name but a few. You can also choose by length of class starting from the “Cook, Eat and Run” classes (starting from £15 for 30 minutes) to masterclasses that last for several hours and cost up to £144.

L'atelier des Chefs

L’atelier des Chefs

The school operates out of two locations, Oxford Circus and St Paul’s, and it was to the latter that I headed to for the Spanish masterclass (£144). Head Chef was Neil Matthews who comes with an impressive CV, having worked at one-Michelin starred The Castle Hotel, two-Michelin starred Gidleigh Park with Michael Caines and Roux’s three-Michelin starred Waterside Inn. Neil also did a stint at the River Cottage organic farm with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall before joining L’atelier des Chefs at the beginning of 2012.

Head Chef Neil Matthews

Head Chef Neil Matthews

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London Foodie Japanese Supper Club

If you don’t know who LondonFoodie is, then let me introduce you. He is a fabulous food blogger who bravely quit his investment banking job last year to take up his calling in food. A foodie journey to Japan ensued, during which time he sampled his way around the many delights in the cities of Tokyo and Kyoto, all of which you can read about on his blog. This year he became a student of the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School to study for his Grand Diplome. He also has a new venture, the London Foodie Japanese Supper Club. The menu includes a five-course tasting, and ever the gracious host, diners firstly gather for canapés and drinks before heading to dinner in the dining room which runs adjacent to the kitchen and where guests can ogle at the most massive aga cooker imaginable.

I recently attended one of LondonFoodie’s Japanese Supper Clubs which kicked off with a South American styled salmon sashimi accompanied by a wasabi flavoured sour cream, shallot chips, chives and a Japanese vinaigrette. The salmon was beautifully fresh, the cream and chips added a lovely creamy and crunchy textural contrast, and the vinaigrette provided a nice acidic zing to the dish.

Salmon sashimi

Salmon sashimi

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Waitrose Cookery School

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview evening at the new Waitrose cookery where we were treated to a macaroon masterclass. The school opened this Monday and is situated above the Waitrose John Barnes branch on Finchley Road.

The cookery school is state of the art. No expense was spared to fit it out and it has those sleek white lines that are the trademark look of all the Waitrose supermarkets. I was very impressed. It’s spacious and comfortable and far classier than my days spent in the kitchens at Westminster Kingsway Cookery College.

Waitrose Cookery School

Waitrose Cookery School

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Discover the Origin at La Cucina Caldesi

Discover the Origin

A couple of weeks I went to a ‘Discover the Origin’ event at La Cucina Caldesi Italian Cookery School. Discover the Origin is a campaign representing Italy, France and Portugal in support of five key products from those countries which bear protected origin designations such as Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC). Protected origin designations provides assurance to the consumer about the provenance, quality and the authenticity of the origin of the product. With a trend towards ethical sourcing and seasonal produce, etc, greater awareness in this area only seems fitting.

The five key products supported by Discover the Origin are Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)), Burgundy wine (AOC) and Port and Douro Valley wines (Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC)). As a case in point, Parmigiano-Reggiano is not to be confused with any ordinary parmesan cheese. Under Italian law, only versions of this hard granular cheese produced in the Italian areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna and Mantova may be called Parmigiano-Reggiano – hence the PDO designation. Similar cheeses produced elsewhere are instead to be called parmesan.

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Bumbu Bali: A Taste of Bali

Curious to discover more about Balinese cooking techniques and the varied ingredients that make up the various flavours, I signed up for a cooking course. A number of restaurants in Ubud offer such courses, but I chose Bumbu Bali, a Balinese restaurant where I’d had dinner a few nights ago. Having eaten there, I knew the food was good and I’d therefore concluded that the course would probably be good too.

Ubud market

Ubud market

My day began with a visit to the markets to wade through the different types of local produce. Shopping at the markets for food has been a long standing tradition in my family. I prefer it to picking out packages of homogeneously sized vegetables at a supermarket. Chances are the produce has been produced nearby rather than shipped from afar, and I also prefer it for the fact that you also get to touch and smell the produce.

Back at the restaurant, we ran through the ingredients typically used in Balinese food including the many varieties of green and red chillies which I declined to taste test (ouch!). I was to cover six different dishes, but first and foremost, we covered in detail the base gede which is the true heart and soul of many Balinese dishes. This mixed spice paste consists of a large number of different spices including the most obvious ones such as ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric.

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