Wednesday, 3 October 2007

England, Ashburton Cookery School, Devon

Ashburton Cookery School
My skills in the kitchen were already good, with wonderful feedback from husband, friends and family...but I felt that this course would give me some food cred.

The day was long and intense and we began with coffee and a chat about our day at 9:00am. There were 8 including me in my group and people had travelled as far as London. The school receives accolades from some of the most prestigious food publications.

Finally we were let lose in the kitchen under Darrin's (our head chef) watchful eye. We were given a recipe sheet, then shown the ovens, implements and ingredients. Everything we use is fresh and brought in daily such as the eggs, herbs, butter and milk. The school arranged for soya milk to be brought in for me. We use the milk/soya milk to poach the haddock before adding it to the quiche.

Darrin was our head chef for the day and he talked us through the ingredients, the method and how and why things work best without. We made haddock and leek quiche, fresh white bread, fettuccini with fresh basil pesto, seared chicken breast, and gooey chocolate brownies.

We were told about food hygiene, safety with our knives, and then about consistency with our ingredients, for example the fresh yeast ratio to water.

My bread has never been so good. I still think my quiche and chocolate brownies are the best, but I did pick up some useful tips to make things even better.

When the chicken breast was sealed, we served it on top of our fresh pesto pasta and sat down to our banquet and a glass of wine. I was absolutely stuffed and it was one of those meals that you never want to end.

Ten out of ten!