Konditor and Cook – Curly Whirly Experience

KONDITOR AND COOK

Konditor and Cook, the boutique bakery, is best known for its brownies and its Curly Whirly cake, a decadent chocolate cake with a vanilla mascarpone icing. The Konditor & Cook chocolate cake has always been one of the biggest sellers for the bakery, and the story goes, when Mrs Simon of Sloane Square requested a vanilla filling instead of the customary ganache one Thanksgiving, the Curly Whirly was born.

In addition to the delectable delights that you can buy from the six Konditor & Cook stores throughout London, Konditor & Cook also run a cake school and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try the Curly Whirly Experience one Saturday afternoon, a baking class where we learned to make the Curly Whirly Cake with a Vanilla mascarpone frosting and some Curly Whirly Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl.

Konditor and Cook - London Food Blog - Brownies & cupcakes

Konditor and Cook – Brownies & cupcakes

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Nutrition in Practice – Leiths School of Food and Wine

NUTRITION IN PRACTICE AT LEITHS SCHOOL OF FOOD AND WINE

The Pure Package, London’s award-winning gourmet dietary food delivery service joined forces last year with Leiths School of Food and Wine last year to launch Nutrition in Practice: The Professional Chefs’ Accreditation. The Nutrition in Practice focused on nutrition and dietary theory and practice and proved to be hugely successful. So this year the course is back, and is now being rolled out to students from a wider range of culinary backgrounds, from amateur cooks to professional chefs.

The Pure Package has long been established as a leading healthy dining option for Londoners, especially those who are time poor. The meals offered by Pure Package are based on the principles of the ‘perfectly balanced diet’. Each day’s delivery includes three meals and two snacks, all of which are designed to ensure that the diner receives the correct balance of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats. The Pure Package has a solid celebrity fan base, and includes stars such as Hugh Jackman and Lily Cole. Leiths School of Food and Wine, founded by Prue Leith, has long garnered an international reputation for being one of the leading cookery schools in the UK for both amateurs and professionals, and its alumni includes notable names such Lorraine Pascale and Matt Tebbutt.

The Nutrition in Practice Programme will therefore by taught by the culinary teachers at Leiths in partnership with nutritional experts from The Pure Package. The programme will offer a comprehensive understanding of the nutritional make up and effect of food, and will be presented in informative discussions and hands-on cooking sessions. The course is fully accredited and is certified by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission.

I was invited to a preview evening of Nutrition in Practice: The Accreditation hosted by Jennifer Irvine, the founder of Pure Package, and Camilla Schneideman, the Managing Director of Leiths. The evening opened with a very informative talk by Jennifer on the details on the programme which will cover topics such as portion control; managing food allergies and intolerances; the importance of blood sugar regulation in weight management and complex carbohydrates.

Nutrition in Practice at Leiths - London Food Blog - Jennifer

Nutrition in Practice at Leiths – Jennifer

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Cookery School Social

Cookery School - Our charming host, Rosalind

Our charming host, Rosalind

I went to a cooking social at Cookery School last Thursday hosted by its founder Rosalind Rathouse. Cookery School opened ten years ago and aims to bring cooking to a wider audience by demystifying and simplifying some classic home cooking techniques. What’s more, and this is the piece I admired the most about Cookery School, is that it focuses on sustainability.

Over 75% of the ingredients used at Cookery School are both organic and sourced locally, all food waste is recycled and Cookery School also has a ‘no plastics’ policy. Therefore, not only does Cookery School not use any plastic, it also chooses supplies that are delivered in glass or tins. It is for this reason that Cookery School was awarded a Three Star Rating – the highest possible – from the Sustainability Restaurant Association (SRA) for the last two years running.

Cookery School - Piping sponge fingers

Piping sponge fingers

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School of Wok – Experiencedays.com

Experiencedays.co.uk has a wide array of ‘experience days’ to suit every guilty pleasure, ranging from spa pampering temptations to a tonne of adventure experiences. There are airborne exploits such as skydiving and flying lessons, thrills such as track days and off-road stunts, and a wide array of water sports – all of which are available in a variety of locations throughout the UK. And it was through the Experiencedays.co.uk website that I stumbled upon something closer to my heart, The School of Wok which offers a gourmet day out. More specifically The School of Wok is a Chinese Cookery school based in Covent Garden specialising in Oriental seafood and fish cookery courses. The school is unique as it is one of only a handful of Chinese cookery days in the UK. Founded by Jeremy Pang, The School of Wok has officially been in operation for about a year, but prior to that Pang use to teach cookery courses from home.

The course was priced at £95 and the session began with some basic knife skills with a Chinese cleaver led by our instructor Stefan. We chopped our way through a spectrum of vegetables that formed the mise en place for our meal.

Stefan demonstrating knife skills

Stefan demonstrating knife skills

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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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The Chop House – Lamb Butchery Masterclass

Chop House head chef Martin Kroon

Chop House head chef Martin Kroon

The Chop House at Butlers Wharf is hosting a series of butchery masterclasses at the restaurant.
Run by Head Chef Martin Kroon, we covered the butchery of a Blackface lamb from Ben Weatherall’s 6,000 acre estate in Dumfriesshire in South West Scotland.

The lamb

The lamb

I covered lamb butchery when I attended Westminster Kingsway Cookery College, but I still found it interesting to watch the process again. Most of us tend to stick to best end, leg and shoulder cuts, but Martin proved very informative as he provided commentary during the session on how each cut of lamb should be cooked to achieve optimal results. Martin does all his own animal butchery. Purchasing an animal whole is more economical than purchasing cuts of meat. In this way, Martin is able to buy better quality meat for the restaurant whilst keeping his costs down.

Chef Martin showing off his butchery skills

Chef Martin showing off his butchery skills

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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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