I've been lucky enough to go on a few cookery classes and talks at cooking schools recently, which I've found absolutely fascinating. These have ranged from learning about French caviar production at Le Cordon Bleu, cooking up a Portuguese feast at L'Atelier des Chefs to celebrate Monarch Airline's new flight path to Lisbon, and learning how to make Japanese dumplings with Hashi Cookery at The Ivy. All very different, and all work checking out if you want to broaden your culinary repertoire.

Starting from the beginning was an evening learning about caviar production and what to eat with caviar at Le Cordon Bleu. I hadn't realised that Le Cordon Bleu offered such sessions, having always assumed it was just diplomas that you could do there. In fact, they do evening and day courses covering all sorts of topics including canap├ęs and wine pairing, Discover Chocolate where you can learn to make bonbons and truffles, and nose to tail butchery demos, amongst others. It was such an interesting evening. I learnt so much about caviar, having not really known anything about it before. Each fish has to grow to 9 years old before the caviar can be extracted from them, and to at least 2 years old before they can even tell the gender of the fish, and therefore if it's going to produce caviar. The lady who gave the talk was from Caviar Perle Noire, a premium caviar house in South West France.

Having learnt about the production of this caviar, which is one of the only caviars produced in France without using chemical medicines on the fish, we were given a demo by chef, who made an amaranth waffle and topped it with asparagus, confit duck egg yolk, buttermilk and French Caviar Perle Noire.

I've since been lucky enough to spend an evening with another French caviar producer so will tell you even more about the delicacy in that post.

Next up was an evening with Monarch Airlines at L'Atelier des Chefs making pork and clam stew, and pastel de nata with a big gang of bloggers. Such a fun evening, but I sadly had to rush home to cook my own feast for a catering job I was doing the next day....! Still, I got to take custard tart with me to eat en route home, and sat down at the cookery school to eat our main course we'd cooked together before I left. You can find out more about L'Atelier des Chefs here.

Last but by no means least was the Sunday I spent learning all things dumplings with the wonderful Reiko, who runs Hashi Cooking. Reiko runs various classes, workshops and courses at different locations across London. Though primarily at her sparkling new kitchen in South West London, the dumpling course I went to was at The Club at The Ivy in Covent Garden. Reiko is a brilliantly patient teacher, having been teaching for 13 years, and taught us how to make chicken gyoza (one of my favourites), and pork shumai, which are an open type of Japanese dumpling. We learnt how to make the fillings and craft each dumpling, then got to sit down and eat our creations with a glass or three of sake. It's such a great course to do and I highly recommend it - there were couples, individuals and groups of friends so good for everyone. Reiko's other courses can be found here and range from short and easy courses, right through to professional ones.



  1. I've done Reiko's cookery class, she's brilliant!

    1. She's so good isn't she! Very inspiring.

      Rosie xx


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