Monday, September 17, 2012

Chop!

Just when I thought he was getting old and a little bit fat, Jamie Oliver has landed himself another winner. His new "store", just opposite Notting Hill Gate, is called Recipease. On the ground floor is a takeout-cum-Jamie's signature cookware kind of shop. And some cooking counters, and stairs leading up to what at first glance is a chilled out cafe. But then, it's also a cooking school.

I signed up for knife skills class last week. It's something I've wanted to do for a while but also felt that it could be a bore - what's fun about chopping vegetables for a couple of hours. Well, let me tell you then, the class at Jamie's is actually fun. You walk in and get offered a glass of wine. Given that I was just about to be handed some very sharp knives, I stuck to water and saved that wine until after the class.

Then the class started. But it didn't feel like one. It felt instead, like you've walked into a friend's house, and she wants you to stand in the kitchen and chat while she fixes the dinner. Dinner in this case was an Asian prawn salad. And so the two women teaching the class started by cleaning the prawns. Then they showed us how to finely chop chillies, ginger, garlic and onions. At this stage, everyone went to their own stations and practised chopping everything that went into the dressing.

Next, we went back to the demo station and learnt to do a chiffonade with the cabbage that went into the salad. And chopped other assorted vegetables. Back to station, repeat the chopping for yourself, add the dressing and that's your dinner. Here's a picture of my finished salad, just before we sat down at one of the cafe tables to eat.


So was it all fun and chatting and eating out with friends? Oh no! although it never felt like we were in a class, I went home having learnt a lot about the proper way to handle knives, how to save your hands from getting cut and that "rockstar" cutting movement TV chefs always awe you with. The teachers make sure you have fun but they also make sure you learn something at the end of the class. Therein lies the genius of Recipease!

5 comments:

Usha Menon said...

very interesting.

Swati Raman Garg said...

hey simmi hows u ... looks like u r having super fun... jamie oliver ! shud i envy u :D .... mujhe bhi hamesha mann tha to do a knife skills class.. woww.. i felt so good reading this.. do u have pics of the stuffs u guys 'chopped' ?

Curry Leaf said...

Wow, you lucky girl. Envious. I wish I could be there ...

*P* Just me.... said...

Haha, guess what I did the course too, and ended up chopping my fingers ;))))

*P* Just me.... said...

Haha, guess what I did the course too, and ended up chopping my fingers ;))))