Friday, March 28, 2014

Atelier des Chefs - Cook, Eat and Run

I enjoy cookery lessons and had a great time when I went to the Atelier des Chefs near St Paul's for my boyfriend's birthday; we had a private lesson making burgers and potato wedges. I worked near to the venue so when I knew I was leaving my job back in February, I decided to go there one last time. As well as 60 and 90 minute evening courses, they run a lunchtime session called "cook, eat and run". The idea is that you spend thirty minutes learning to prepare a dish, then you can either sit down and eat it or take it back to the office with you - so the whole thing fits neatly into a lunchbreak (as long as you work nearby!). Best of all, the whole thing - the lesson, and the meal that you get to eat - only costs £15.

The classes each focus on cooking one dish, so I had a look at the calendar and chose a date that suited me but also a meal that I liked the sound of. I chose a French dish of chicken with tarragon and creme fraiche.

When I arrived, there was only one other person there and we were waiting for one more. While we were waiting, the chef asked if we fancied making a chocolate brownie dessert, so of course we said yes! He had some melted chocolate and we whipped it up with the other ingredients and he poured the mixture into a tin which went into the oven, and that was that.

When the third person had arrived, we started the lesson. We each had a space on the workstation with bowls of ingredients, including mushrooms and fresh tarragon. The mushrooms had to be washed and sliced, the tarragon chopped and some onion chopped as well.

We tossed the chicken pieces in some oil - these big tongs were a particularly good tool for the job and I bought myself some similar ones afterwards.

The chicken is then griddled at a high temperature until it is cooked

We had some sliced potatoes which had been parboiled; these were added to a large frying pan along with the chicken, the onion, the creme fraiche and finally the tarragon.

It was a simple recipe but really very tasty. We served our own portions and sat down to eat.

The chef then took the chocolate brownies out of the oven, which he had made in a muffin tin. The brownies were chewy on the outside and almost runny on the inside - more like a chocolate fondant than a brownie. Absolutely delicious!

We were charged extra for the drinks we had with the meal and I didn't realise we were also going to be charged for the dessert as well; I thought we had been allowed to make it as a bonus to kill time while we were waiting for someone to turn up. On the other hand I didn't really mind paying a few pounds for such a delicious dessert! The class is extremely good value, at only £15 for the lesson and the food - you would pay at least that for the food alone in a pub or cafe as it was really good quality. I no longer work so close to the Atelier des Chefs location but I'm really not that far away so I hope to go again at some point. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a cookery course in London.


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