Guide to the Three Best Cooking Schools

 

Vive Cooking School

Vive is the glamorous new cooking school at the newly opened Saporium – a warehouse space packed with all things gourmet, organic and just plain yummy. Head chef Julien Vasseur spent seven years working in Switzerland’s top kitchens, his passion for organic produce and ‘freestyle’ cooking stands him apart, as does the glass room with its stunning SMEG appliances.

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Try a French ‘Gourmet on a Budget’ class which starts making an apple tart. Whip up a custard with a shot of whisky, make half an apple look like sliced art and in it goes. Next the national dish of France – who knew that a bucket of finely sliced onions cooked on low till they are tanned like George Harrison on puff pastry dotted with olives and anchovies creates an amazing Pissaladiere. Roast a side of Berkshire pork belly and learn that the best mash in the world needs great potatoes, lots of cream, cold butter and there is only one other secret, that’s mouille & elbow power.

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Salt Meats Cheese

Book early for these crazy popular classes from the much loved SMC crew who will teach you how to create pizza, pasta and ravioli. Alassandro from Tuscany shows us how to make great pizza  and gives you a bit of history. Did you know pizza dates back to 1889 in Naples? It’s about the best ingredients; Caputo flour from Naples, Mutti tomatoes from Palma and Vanella Mozzeralla.

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Gather together to watch the dough master first; then it’s your turn. Start with flour, add water, oil and sugar to activate your yeast then get stuck in with your hands and no air pockets! We all work on a long table each creating a potential masterpiece. A new magical (rested & risen) batch appears as we learn the different methods to roll, stretch and throw our dough. A glass of red wine & then onto the toppings. Each creation gets its time in the wood fired oven and the best bit – the taste testing!

smc2The Bake Club

Anneka Manning has had a lifetime in cooking as author, food editor, consultant and publisher. Today she spends her time with her new passion – teaching all things baking to wannabe bakers at her kitchens in Rosebery. If you want to get over your fear of pastry, bread, or desserts this is the one for you. Anneka kicks of demonstrating a few dishes and sharing her knowledge tips n tricks.

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We all have ah-ha moments; never use nonstick for pastry (it’s got nothing to grip it falls back on its self). Cold and ugly should be your mantra for short crust, don’t over knead. Add cocoa, orange, sugar and all of a sudden you have an array of options. Each group works on two different recipes at the end of the session we have a table overflowing with pride (and food) it’s a marvelous sight with roast pumpkin and feta tarts, asparagus and gruyere, leek and blue cheese followed by a chocolate and pecan tart to finish. We take home our recipes and gifts of baking beads plus something far more valuable we have conquered our fear of baking!

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