Posts for the 'Westminster Kingsway College Cookery School' Category


Westminster Kingways College – Cookery school

Bread

A sample of my bread

Some of you might remember my blog posts about my NVQ Level 1 cookery classes at Westminster College from before the summer. I did go back to Cookery School after my big summer trip ended in September. In fact, I even started NVQ Level 2 at Westminster – a course which I am about one third of the way through. The only thing I didn’t do was keep up with my blog posts, something that I feel a wee bit bad about because there were occasionally some amusing tales to tell.

So I have decided to end the year, and the decade, by capturing some of the more memorable dishes and moments from the past few months of college. I always did enjoy sharing my cookery school stories with you, so it will be nice to end the year with a little note on one other cherished aspect of my foodie life.

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Westminster Kingsway College – Cookery School (Day 21)

It was the last day of cookery school before we broke for the summer. As I walked into class, Chef told me with great amusement that J was unable to attend. Readers might recall that a few weeks ago, I had a small bust up with J over salt – yes, salt. (For that post, click here). I have no problem with J, but I think that particular incident provided great amusement for many, including Chef. I too, can see the humourous side of it now, and so it came as no surprise when C, another girl in my class, mentioned to me during our break that she found my blog posts about the infighting in class to be absolutely hilarious. Although I don’t wish for more fights, I do hope for more amusing material to entertain you all with!

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(Cookery) School Excursion to Tottenham Hotspurs (Day 20)

White Hart Lane

For our cookery class this week, we paid a visit to White Hart Lane, home to the Tottenham Hotspurs. This might seem an unusual trip for cookery students to make, but a few weeks ago, Stephen Hurley, the head Chef of Kudos Hospitality, the organisation that provides the on-site catering for the Spurs, paid our Cookery School a visit. As a consequence, the gesture was reciprocated to us. Stephen, a Chef with almost 20 years experience, joined Tottenham last year after spending a couple of years as Head Chef at Restaurant Associates. Prior to that he was the Lead Chef for Compass All Leisure at Twickenham Stadium.

I can’t remember the last time I went on a ‘school excursion’, but rest assured, this was a little different. We didn’t have to hold hands and we weren’t made to walk in an orderly fashion. Nor did we get told off for chatting too loudly on the school bus. It was all very civilised, although I was probably a little naughty at certain points of the tour, holding the others up a little bit with my picture taking.

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When the Honeymoon is Over – Cookery School (Day 18)

They say in a relationship there is a honeymoon period, during which time you are usually on your best behaviour. But there will come a point in the relationship when the dynamics change, and there is no longer a need to be polite to one another. Well, it seems that ours is well and truly over. Readers will know that a few weeks ago, G and R came to blows over the use of one pasta rolling machine, resulting in G descending into a heated tirade. This week, it was my turn to loose my cool.

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Westminster Kingsway College – Cookery School (Days 16 & 17)

This week we made puff pastry. It’s not so much complicated as it is time consuming, waiting for each turn of that pastry to set before rolling it again. And all that butter! Surely it cannot be good for you. I suppose I have always known how fattening pastry is, but knowing and seeing aren’t necessarily the same thing. You attain a new sense of reality when you work with food, and so perhaps ignorance was indeed bliss.

Puff pastry goodies

Puff pastry goodies

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The Case of the Temperamental Ovens – Cookery School (Day 15)

This week we covered short pastry. We made leek, asparagus and blue cheese tart (yum), chicken and mushroom pie (delicious) and lamb pasties (ok). There was lots of prep, so it ended up being a rather long day. But making the pastries wasn’t so much the challenge as trying to bake them in the ovens at college. The ovens can be a bit temperamental, and they don’t always work as they should. After half an hour of baking, my pies still would not cook, and it took two oven changes, and a further 20 minutes before I achieved a result.

Chicken & mushroom pie

Chicken & mushroom pie

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Westminster Kingsway College – Cookery School (Days 13 & 14)

We had another assessment this week. In an attempt to impress Chef, I cooked with a wee bit more butter, probably more than I would normally. Of course this wouldn’t matter if the food never passed my lips. But invariably it does, and although it makes all the food very tasty, surely cannot be a good thing for my waist. I also find that butter is making its way into my home cooking more and more as well. And that too, cannot be a good thing either.

For the assessment we made chicken holstein, potato marquise and courgette provencal. I was quite happy to make the chicken again, seeing as I’ve discovered what a fan I am of crumbed chicken, fried egg, anchovies, capers and beurre noisette. My courgette provencal was fine, although I wrestled with the marquise potato as I can’t say I’m a big fan of piping. It’s far harder than it looks, and I have no patience for such things. My turned out like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I have also decided presentation is not one of my strong points. I have no artistic flair to speak of, so I wonder if posting photos of what I cook on my blog works for me, or against me.

Chicken holstein, etc

Chicken holstein, etc

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Drama at College – Cookery School (Day 12)

There was lots of drama and excitement at Cookery School this week. We had barely set up our work stations in the kitchen when the fire alarm went off. It wasn’t quite as loud as the piercing, tortuous wailing noise that emits from the alarm in my kitchen when I smoke it out (and which simply refuses to stop sounding no matter how hard I try to fan it), but it was still pretty loud. A mass evacuation ensured, and when I say ‘mass’, I mean the entire school. So here we were, hundreds of cookery students and chefs in whites lining the streets outside the college.

A sea of students

A sea of students

At one point, a fire engine turned up.

The fire engine

The fire engine

And then a police car.

The police car

The police car

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