The idea was to offer some basic culinary techniques to give the novice and nervous cooks a little more confidence and also some of our secrets. We have some now rather popular features on our menus and I am always keen to share them.
So we decided to hold some rather exclusive little lessons – how to bone a chicken and the making of a stock followed by using the jointed bird in a simple dish and the stock used to make a soup.
We also made our now somewhat infamous “Moodley’s” Beer Bread and also our rather moreish porridge oat biscuits to go with a simple selection of cheeses.
What might seem simple for me proves challenging for others but the main thing I tried to do was to de-mystify it all and illustrate cooking is not hard!
What is most important beside the right ingredients is to put it simply just good organisation. So many cooks and chefs for that matter overcomplicate things so much that is when things can so easily wrong!
So our students got well into is with some basic knife skills…the cornerstone of any good cook is how they handle their tools of the trade and so many fail to learn this. Practice make perfect and learning these basics is vital.
Jamie Oliver illustrates this well here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGQltxIipFg
There are plenty of others on the web so get surfing.
The jointing of a chicken was slightly more of a challenge and what seemed more amusing was how squeamish people are about holding and touching the meat! I guess we have become anesthetised by ready portioned and pre packed food! Still they all managed it and if they have all now forgotten about it this little video on the BBC website should refresh their memories
It was a busy lesson what with making the stock, soup, biscuits and bread but as we sat down to eat the labours of the morning it became clear to me that to make it easier you need to have the confidence and belief in the skills you have and well one attendee Michelle texted me later the same day after her lesson to say the following…
“I can’t thank you enough – had such an amazing time – laughed at my knife skills and touching a chicken let alone boning it. Amazing”
The recipes for each of the dishes (apart from the chicken) can be found by clicking each link
If you are looking to purchase some chef knives I can recommend the following site for a next day delivery.
You only need to purchase a few but it will be a great investment and remember to keep practising. I am just putting final touches to the next dates so watch this space!
Happy Cooking – Hari Covert