Last week I received a very exciting invitation for a cooking event with Saturday Kitchen's very own James Martin. I'm used to my interactions with James Martin being via a TV screen whilst I am still in pyjama mode, so it was a real treat to get dressed and head over to the wonderful cooking school, Food at 52, just off Old Street in East London to meet the man himself and hopefully pick up a few tricks of the trade.

The day was arranged by the lovely people at Thomas Cook, whose in-flights meals James Martin has recently designed. The day was split into two parts, with the morning spent cooking our 3 course lunch under James' watchful eye, and the afternoon being a 6 course cooking demonstration given by James, which I unfortunately had to miss.

There were 12 of us at the event, an equal split of enthusiastic food bloggers, and Thomas Cook marketing staff. We got aproned up and took our places around a long table, with James at one end, instructing and helping us. We prepped all the ingredients for the three course lunch, which was Thai Crab Risotto, followed by smoked haddock Rarebit, and a chocolate pudding for desert. It was really good fun to get involved with all the food prep and pick up some cooking tips from James (for example, I learnt that when using tomato puree in a recipe, it should always be added at the start of cooking to give it time to cook through and reduce any bitter taste). He also talked us through how to get all the meat out of a crab for his delicious risotto.

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