Friday, May 12, 2006

Cordon Vert Cookery School

Cordon Vert Cookery School
Vegetarian Society

Last weekend I attended the Far Eastern cookery course at the Vegetarian Society's Cordon Vert cookery school near Manchester. This course marks the halfway point of the diploma course that I'm doing.

It's a two and a bit day course. The first evening the tutor, Chico - who runs a couple of cookery schools of his own and is also chef to the ex-royal family of Germany - gave us a brief introduction followed by a meal that highlighted the kind of dishes that we would be cooking over the next couple of days. During the meal I got to know the other nine students that were taking the course.

The next morning, we all gathered in the kitchen for a demo of what we would be cooking and Chico regailed us with various hints and tips gleaned from his travels. The course is based around the 'real' food of the far east (Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailad etc) rather than around fancy restaurant quality dishes.

After the intro talk we began cooking for our lunch, which included a spicy soup with peppers, lime leaves and coconut, stir fry salad and a dessert made with sweet potato. We also made sushi and a dipping sauce from vinegar, sugar and chilli.

After lunch it was back into the kitchen for more demos. My job this afternoon was to make chinese leaves stuffed with tempeh, ginger, garlic, shoyu, beansprouts and beanshoots. The other groups made various spicy dishes including curries and stirfries and the table was bowing under the weight of the food when we sat down for dinner. After eating everyone sat around chatting until almost midnight.

Sunday morning started with a chat about different oils and vinegars and then continued with a demonstration of different presentation techniques. After a quick demo of some of the dishes we were to cook everyone was split into teams again to cook lunch. I cooked some vegetable fritters and did the melon balls for dessert. Lunch consisted of the fritters, tofu sesame toasts, black bean and yellow rice, kebabs and wonton soup.

The course was great fun, the people that were on the course were nice, and easy to get along with and I can't wait for my next one in a few weeks time.

No comments: