Saturday, August 14, 2010

Her Chefy Romance

On Thursday I had the most fabulously fun day! Stella, who I am working for here at the Old Rectory, also happens to run the Ashburton Cookery School - one of the best cookery schools in the world as stated by the Waitrose Food Magazine - and I was lucky enough to get on one of their one day Modern Vegetarian courses!

The day starts off with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and introductions to the lovely staff, before heading into the kitchen and getting straight into it. We started off preparing our take home dish, a creamy parsnip, lentil and cumin soup, before going on to prepare our snacks which were to tide us over until the main meal was ready.

Our snacks consisted of celeriac, carrot, and feta cheese fritters (one of which had already found it's way to my stomach by the time I remembered to take a photo!) and baked courgette, mozzarella, and pesto rolls, served on a drizzle of balsamic. Oh heavens were they divine!

Our chef for the day was the lovely Joe Bartlett who was brilliant at what he did, making amazing food and making everyone feel so comfortable and happy to give everything a go at the same time.

Joe demonstrating the preparation of our main course

Next on the menu was a filo pastry tart filled with creamy leek, apple, wild mushrooms, and tarragon, with a soft poached egg.

This dish was just mouth-watering and I learned some handy little tricks when it comes to washing a cutting leaks and mushrooms - I can't wait to make this dish again!

Our main course was stuffed aubergine with griddled halloumi cheese, roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, coriander, and sweet chili sauce, served with a dressed watercress salad.

I am a huge fan of halloumi so anything with this on the plate I am guaranteed to love but putting that sentiment aside, this dish was just amazing! It's almost enough to make a girl give up meat... Almost!

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