Archive for ‘Cooking Class’

December 23, 2012

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore’s Christmas Masterclass @ Quay

by minibites

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Christmas is around the corner and there’s no better time to stock up on the stretchy pants, exercising our credit cards and stuffing ourselves silly. I had the pleasure of attending Peter Gilmore’s masterclass with him cooking up a storm for his Christmas lunch twist. Surprisingly it’s so impressive, yet secretly quite simple and adaptable.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

Sourced from WA, marron works perfectly as it’s super fresh, so fresh, it was still jittering in Peter’s hand. The ultimate way is to source the marron live and place it in iced water to “coma-ize” the marron with a quick death by slicing the head off with a sharp knife between the eyes.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The marron is no fuss, cooked swiftly with luscious butter and freshly chopped herbs. The entree is served with a colourful assortment of edible flowers. Lobster also works wonders if you’re feeling particularly generous to your guests.

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSteamed fresh water Marron w/ herb butter, aioli, young leaf and flower salad

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Next up is Peter’s twist on the traditional lunch roast; a juicy roasted rack of Angus beef served with all the trimmings. The meat is seasoned and sealed on the stovetop before throwing it into the oven for just over 2 hours. It’s ready when the centre is at the perfect 60 degrees and don’t forget to rest!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Peter can barely contain his excitement over the steak and he drizzled a reduced beef jus over the rack before serving. Our trimmings are fresh steamed baby veggies alongside a bubbling potato and truffle gratin. Yes, the freshly shaved truffle and layers of potatoes are a self-indulgent, but hey, it’s Christmas after all!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

If the beef jus isn’t enough, a béarnaise sauce nicely accompanies the roast meat. Béarnaise sauce is an incredible test of endurance and a labour of love; just remember to whisk, whisk, whisk! It helps to have a friendly hand to help slowly pour in the ingredients while you finish your arm workout.

To save a béarnaise sauce that has spilt, Peter suggests starting with some egg yolks (like you would with a fresh batch) and slowly add the split mixture back.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassRoasted rib of prime angus beef served w/ young steamed vegetables, truffle and potato gratin and classic béarnaise sauce

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

With the finale, there’s nothing else but a Christmas pudding inspired dessert. Being an Aussie where our Christmases are filled with heat waves and sunshine, Peter twists the dessert into a Christmas pudding ice cream terrine topped with some delectable caramelised figs.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The room is filled with complete sweetness while Peter uses a dry caramelisation technique with the figs. Sugar goes straight into the pan with butter added shortly after. Keeping a keen eye is important to make sure it doesn’t cook for too long as caramalisation can turn awfully bitter.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The caramalised figs are removed onto a silcon mat while the terrine is sprinkled generously with raspberries and almonds and our version of snow, icing sugar!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The figs are added right before serving. Peter loves using figs as they are in season but also work amazingly well with the caramel as they hold their figure. Other stone fruits; peaches and nectarines could work too but the skin is recommended to be kept on.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassChristmas pudding ice cream terrine w/ caramelised fresh figs

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Tada! And to think that the night will end here at 3 courses… well, we’re greeted to a wonderfully lit Christmas treat of another 5 courses off the al-carte menu, cue the unbuttoning of jeans please!

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSalad of preserved wild cherries, albino, chioggia beetroots, treviso, creme fraiche, black truffle, violets

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Congee of northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart, egg yolk emulsion

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, scallop, jerusalem artichoke leaves, juniper, bay

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Poached fillet of pasture raised veal, parsnip cream, roasted grains, mushrooms

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Jersey cream, salted caramel, prunes, walnuts, ethereal sheets

If you wish to give this fantastic menu a go, don’t be shy to email me for the recipes!

Minibites attended the Electrolux masterclass at Quay courtesy of Open Haus.

Quay
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney
www.quay.com.au

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November 20, 2011

SIFF 2011 Pepe Saya’s Churn: Great Butter

by minibites

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

I know absolutely nothing about butter, no clue of its processes, but after a night at Pepe Saya’s kitchen, I learnt the entire process of churning butter all the way through to packaging and cooking delicious garlic butter mussels.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We were welcomed to a table filled with freshly baked sourdough breads, cheeses, butters, olives and meats – not to mention plentiful bottles of wine and beers. This class was apart of the Crave Sydney events, and attracted a very niche crowd of butter enthusiasts.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We head into the kitchen with our scrubs and hair nets in and begin the tour. Surprisingly the kitchen is a lot smaller than I had imagined. Pepe Saya also shares their kitchen with Pat & Sticks, who are famous for their ice cream sandwiches!

Over here, Pierre explains to us the initial stages of churning butter, adding sorts of packaged bacteria and serving us teaspoons at each stage so we could taste the butter slowly develop.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre showing off his prized possession as the butter turns into a “butter popcorn” stage. Churn churn churn!

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

In the next stage, the butter is literally washed. Pierre squeezes as much of the liquid as possible (which essentially is buttermilk!) and it is hosed down with good ol’ Sydney tap water.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

The fun begins when the load of butter is spread onto the kitchen tops and it’s time to get dirrrty! Our role here is to continue squeezing all the water out and prepare them for the moulds. This is also the stage where the salt is added (hence, salted butter) with a mix of normal salt and the treasured pink salt flakes. It isn’t too soon before we realise that you need to work super fast as butter tends to melt at 35 degrees, which is also our body temp.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Aw! Look at that grin of happiness while playing with butter.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre packing the butter into a 2kg wheel mould which is mainly purchased by restaurants. It’s also the only product that is sold with the traditional packaging with a sheet of baking paper and twine.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya2kg Deli Wheel in the traditional packaging

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

After all our hard work, we dig into more food. At the end of this, we’re absolutely exhausted. Definitely props to the team at Pepe Saya for the dedication, love and care that is taken into making cultured butter. It is a tremendous amount of work for what essentially is, butter! But it is definitely worth all the effort from its delicious taste.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya also produce the range of Homemade Fine Foods using their cultured butter making amazing chocolate mousses, tiramisu, pannacottas, bread & butter puddings and apple crumbles; all winning medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show! They also stock plenty of pestos, tapenades and garlic paste – which go harmoniously with the butter and fresh mussels. All of these are available at their Tempe factory.

Minibites attended this event thanks to Vivan at When the World Stops Spinning 

Pepe Saya
Unit 4, 3 Wood St
Tempe, Sydney
www.pepesaya.com.au 

October 1, 2011

Fratelli Fresh Cooking Class

by minibites

Fratelli Fresh Cooking Class

Fratelli Fresh Cooking Class

Through the great wooden gates on Danks St is a hidden treasure chest of fresh fruit and veggie produce, a cooking studio and the Italian delight, Cafe Sopra. Every week, Fratelli Fresh offers a free cooking class with two quick and simple recipes.

Fratelli Fresh Cooking ClassZucchini & Fennel Salad

This month, the starter is a fresh summer salad with ribbons of fennel and zucchini (so thin, it almost resembles pasta!) with a lightly drizzled lemon vingearette, fresh parsley and sourdough croutons. Incredibly light and so simple to whip up!

Fratelli Fresh Cooking ClassTagliatelle with Crushed Peas, Sausage and Pecorino

The main is a fresh tagliatelle pasta with a light, mashed pea sauce with lamb sausage meatballs and plenty of different cheeses. I’ve never ventured beyond a bolognese or boscaiola sauce so learning a quick 5 minute sauce with frozen peas, mascarpone and sausages is brilliant, and oh so tasty.

In a hour, learn how to cook a great meal, then shop for everything downstairs!

Fratelli Fresh
7 Danks St
Waterloo, Sydney
www.fratellifresh.com.au

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July 17, 2011

Couture Cake Cupcake Decorating Class

by minibites

I’ve always enjoyed the smiles and oohs and aahs that come from people admiring fondant decorated cupcakes, and although I admit they are not the most flavoursome things on a cake, it’s amazing what things this icing can make.

My fellow baker and I spent our Saturday morning learning some neat tricks and tips from the pros at Couture Cake in a quick 2-hour class. It felt like being in kindergarten all over again moulding and rolling play-doh textured icing and cutting our wonderful shapes and faces.

Cupcake Couture Class

Cupcake Couture Class

Beginning with 6 plain cupcakes, we begin by spreading chocolate ganache and white fondant as a base for our decorations. We dive into the world of quilting, edible pearls, shimmer dust, floral tools, cutters, water and edible pens – learning to make 3D ladybugs and flowers, balloons and cheesy bears.

Cupcake Couture Class

The tools that are definitely going on my wishlist is a water pen (so much easier to use than a paintbrush & pot of water!), KopyKake edible pen for fiddly details, a set of ball tools for 3D flowers, a quilting tool and plenty of cutters! And not to forget, the wonders of what a square of transparency paper, which is used as little sander for the white bases.

Cupcake Couture Class

This lesson was purchased on the daily deal website, JumpOnIt. More classes are available on the website.

Couture Cake Classes
www.couturecakeclasses.com.au 

June 29, 2011

Sydney Seafood School: Warren Turnbull

by minibites

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After my first cooking class here with Brent Savage, I’ve been hooked! This time, my colleagues join me to cook alongside Warren Turnbull of Assiette and District Dining. I have yet to go check out these two thriving restaurants that I have heard all the fuss and chatter about.

Tonight we learn two of his dishes from District Dining; Prawn Cocktail with Prawn Toast and a Smoked Eel Pate with Green Onion Flatbread. I was super keen to learn a dish to spice up the humble prawn, as well learning to incorporate a tricker protein of smoked eel. Both dishes have featured on his menu recently.

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After Warren’s demonstration, we’re spilt into teams of 4-6 people and we prepare our mise en place; by de-shelling prawns, skinning and deboning a smoked eel and chopping our mountains of fresh herbs. Warren takes his time to wander around the kitchen to each bench aiding us with our techniques as well as having a quick chat about his favourites in Melbourne and his future ambitions, another restaurant perhaps?

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

This time round, there are many more components to absorb including making the eel pate, frying prawn toast, pickling cucumbers, preparing the prawn cocktail sauce, a green onion spread for the fresh toasty flatbread while trying to think of how to best plate everything up!

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After a long hour of go go go, our table is set with a nice bottle of white wine for us to dive into our creations. Delicious! Simple but my favourite are the prawn toast with a drizzle of sauce and crunchy pickled cucumber on the side. The smoked eel pate is interesting but a little overpowering for my palate. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to learn how to make a pate without feeling paranoid.

Sydney Seafood School has classes all year round with the occasional handful with restaurant chefs, check their website for more details.

Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Fish Market
Bank St, Sydney
www.sydneyfishmarket.com/seafoodschool

Assiette
48 Albion St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.restaurantassiette.com.au

District Dining
17 Randle St
Surry Hills
www.districtdining.com.au