I know what I want for Christmas.
No, that doesn’t mean that I think Christmas is all about presents. It just means I KNOW it’s a tiny, little bit about that. I so enjoy buying a present for someone that totally and completely excites them. And who am I to stand there, arms crossed, looking all grinch-y and say that getting a present for myself is silly? This is Australia’s silly season after all.
Now that I’ve completely justified it to myself – I’d like to ask for another cooking class at The Social Kitchen, please. And thank you.
This past Saturday was my first.
Parking at Queen Victoria Market is easy at 9:30am and finding your way to the all-black, pop up cooking school is even easier – head towards the corner of Peel and Victoria Street and you’ll spot it. Make your way through the sliding glass doors and you’ll be greeted with a smile, a name tag and a request for a coffee order.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the room is beautiful. Straight out of the set of a cooking show, except better because there are no cameras, lights, or audiences crowding the room. It’s just you, your new friends (“I swear I’m not looking at you boobs, I’m just trying to read your name tag”), the fresh food from Queen Victoria Market, the kick-ass Fisher and Paykel appliances and your chef.
Half the fun of the class is the chef. The Social Kitchen offers a full range of classes and a full range of chefs to choose from. We’re not talking any old chefs, we’re talking the heads of the most delicious restaurants in Melbourne. Our chef was Keith Jackson. He is a hands on, do it to taste, do-what-you-want-as-long-as-it-tastes-good type of chef and I absolutely loved it. Keith danced from cooking station to cooking station making sure we were heading in the right direction with our recipes. He didn’t even get angry when I burnt the meringues courtesy of the white wine I couldn’t stop consuming. It was about 10:30am.
What I loved most is that we didn’t just have fun trying to follow recipes, we learned valuable things. For example:
- The correct way to chop onions (I went home and tried it that very night and did not cry one tear. Jack was very impressed.)
- Simply chopping a garlic will not do a thing, you must smash it to pieces and then do what you will with it.
- MSG is not all bad, it’s the fake MSG that gets you because, okay, there is MSG is parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce, and anchovies.
- We cannot taste salt past a certain level in the air.
- Scones are actually the perfect meal.
- I desperately need a new kitchen with all Fisher and Paykel appliances.
I’m sorry I’m bombarding you with information, but I just had SO MUCH FUN that I needed to share. In the end we made strawberry bruschettas, pan seared Duck in shiraz with garlic spinach and raspberries, and a deconstructed smashed pavlova. YUM!
I wish there was some sort of monthly membership to The Social Kitchen. It would be such a better gift to give myself than only one class. Oh well, I just really hope I like it.
Pan seared Duck, Shiraz and Raspberries recipe after the jump!