To celebrate National Curry Week (5th – 11th October 2020), the Cook School Scotland is delighted to announce a new game curry Cook School @ Home class in collaboration with BGA (British Game Alliance).
Launched during lockdown, our Cook School @ Home classes have gone from strength to strength. Online, fun and interactive events, they really are a night in with a difference! With over 15 themes now available, the BGA Game Curry Evening is our first game cooking event and has been planned to coincide with Great British Game Week at the end of November.
The price for the class is £50.00, for which you will receive a box full of all ingredients required to create the mouth-watering menu for the evening:
Hot & sour mallard duck salad with toasted peanuts & crispy shallots
Thai red pheasant curry, jasmine rice & coconut
Chilled kaffir lime leaf rice pudding, poached pear & cardamom for two
Included in the price is a link to a live cooking evening on Zoom, which takes place on 26th November, to cook your curry led by our Head Chef Stuart. You will also receive an Eat Wild game recipe booklet as an added extra to this special event.
Tickets are limited to 20 households, go on sale during National Curry Week. Don’t miss out!
This year has been a whirlwind, with most of the summer months spent in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As much of the year has flown by, Christmas will be here before you know it. So, with less than 100 days left until 25 December, it’s never to early to start planning (or salivating over) your Christmas dinner.
The Cook School Scotland are excited to share our amazing Christmas dinner range that is now available to order from our online Christmas Shop. No matter how big or small this year’s festivities will be, you’ll be able to get prepped and ready for a feast!
From canapés, starters, main courses, desserts and if you’re not stuffed from all that we have lots of delicious cheeses for your cheeseboard.
What strikes me most about taking part in a virtual cookery class is the number of things you learn without expecting to. For example, the amount of advance prep that’s required from the chef and staff. Receiving one’s box full of each carefully-measured, weighed, portioned, chilled, sometimes partially-cooked, and packaged component of the multiple-course menu, plus printed instructions, is the first thrill. Some are sent to hundreds of participants all over town and beyond. Not only does it makes you realise the sheer hard graft that goes into running a professional kitchen; the added complication of logistics – getting the ingredients safely delivered intact and in compliance with health and safety regs – is pretty impressive.
I took part in one of the first @Home classes hosted by Stuart Leslie, head chef at The Cook School, the sister company of Braehead Foods in Kilmarnock. The £50-for-two menu was Italian and we made aubergine cannelloni (ten ingredients), mushroom risotto (11 ingredients), chicken breast wrapped in Parma ham (four ingredients), and chef kindly threw in a pre-made vanilla Panna Cotta for dessert. The equipment list packed into my box required some 19 items to be found around my kitchen and laid out in advance (a useful time-saver during the 90-minute class).
The second thing I learned that night was how great it was to be able to ogle other participants’ kitchens. Forget politicians’ bookcases being featured on news channels as TV interviews have been conducted at home, following social distancing guidelines: this was far more interesting, if a little envy-inducing.
The third thing was how to chop an onion. Finally. Chef Stuart cheerfully – and tearlessly – demonstrated how you’re meant to cut the top of the onion off and keep the root on so that vertical slices stay together until you cut the root off. Bravo. As the atmosphere between us and the dozen or so others was relaxed and full of banter, helped along by the fact that most of us had a glass of wine to hand, I didn’t feel embarrassed at my ignorance.
“There’s no such thing as a silly question, as we’re here to be comfortable as we go,” chef Stuart assured me. I’ve since been told that someone in another class on vegetarian cookery enquired about the best way to cook a steak.
So I wasn’t abashed to discover that risotto should be served slightly sloppy, otherwise it’s more of a paella, and that it should be eaten on a cold plate to stop it continuing to cook and congeal.
Speed, precision, keeping the work station clean and tidy, sticking to the plan and paying attention to detail were also important lessons I learned as a home cook. Thanks to chef, I was really pleased with the end result of my dishes.
I also discovered that the presentation skills of the host chef are key to the whole thing. Chef Stuart has been running The Cook School for some years now, so is used to performing in front of an audience. Others may have to learn this – it’s no longer the case that a chef’s life is destined to be led in obscurity, stuck behind the stove. If the Coronavirus pandemic continues and lockdowns are imposed around the country, online classes are set to stay.
“Doing live classes were Stuart’s idea, and the reaction and feedback so far have been absolutely brilliant,” says Craig Stevenson, managing director of Braehead Foods. “They were designed for lockdown to cater for those working from home, learning to cook, who need a break or a date night, but can’t go out to eat,” he says. “We will be continuing this into the future even if lockdown stops. It’s a good way to educate and entertain customers, while helping local producers and suppliers and even delivery drivers stay in work.”
About Cate Devine
As a journalist, Cate has been covering developments in food and drink for over 25 years, variously as a deputy monthly magazine editor; weekly magazine editor; daily newspaper commissioning features editor, women’s editor, senior writer and food specialist; and latterly freelance contributor, broadcaster and interviewer.
Friday night is pudding night! Profiteroles with vanilla cream and warm chocolate sauce…
Cook School Head Chef, Stuart Leslie, and Braehead Foods New Product Development Head Chef, Andy Beattie, will be hosting the evening with Stuart doing the cooking. We’re starting at the earlier time of 6pm tonight as well.
All ingredients and equipment needed to cook along are listed below so you can prepare in advance…
This Friday’s Live Facebook cook along starts at 7pm and will see Head Chef of the Cook School, Stuart Leslie, demo a new dish, along with the company of Braehead Foods New Product Development Chef, Andy Beattie.
This week – classic spaghetti carbonara with panna cotta to finish.
Below is the full list of ingredients and the equipment you will need to join in and cook along!
Stuart and Andy are ready to answer any of your cookery questions on what we’re making on the day, as well as any burning (!) culinary queries…
100g pancetta 50g pecorino cheese 50g Parmesan 3 large eggs 350g spaghetti 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and left whole 50g unsalted butter Salt and pepper
We are pleased to say that next week we plan to publish a full schedule of classes running seven days a week from 29th October through to Christmas. This will allow those with gift vouchers that expired during the period in which we were closed to get booked in a class.
All vouchers which were due to expire from 1st March through to 31st July have automatically been extended to 31st October. Vouchers expire on 31st October but this just means you have to have a class booked by this date i.e. book any time before 31st October for a class in November and December.
We will be reducing the numbers in our classes to 10 people in order to offer social distancing of customers, and the format of our classes may differ slightly from previously. This will be reviewed under government guidance as and when new guidance is issued.
All customers who had a booking which was cancelled will be contacted by email next week to get them booked back in.
Our takeaway and shop have now reopened with safe social distancing measures in place to help protect staff and customers. We are open 7 days a week from 8am until 5pm (takeaway closes at 4pm). Please enter via the Cook School entrance at the end of the building and exit via the normal cafe entrance.
The number of Brits turning to a plant-based diet is growing daily, as more and more are making the decision to go vegan. 350,000 people signed up to the 2020 Veganuary campaign with some continuing on their new diet choice throughout the year.
Whether you’re looking to try out a plant-based diet or have followed one for years and you’re looking for inspiration for new foods to cook, this class is perfect for you.
Join us for the day as our chefs will help you prepare a full vegan menu for you. You will prepare and cook your dishes before sitting down to enjoy them in the afternoon with a glass of wine or soft drink.
We asked, you answered, and NEW for 2020 are our Japanese cookery classes introducing you to the traditional foods of Japan including Ramen and Sushi Nori.
The first Demo & Dine evening will take place on Friday 1st May, with our full day cookery class on Friday 5th June.
Demo & Dine
Join us to watch our chefs prepare five delicious dishes for you to enjoy throughout the evening. As you enjoy a drink, our chefs will demonstrate the menu for the evening offering three tasters to kick start you night.
You will then move through to our dining room to enjoy your main course and dessert washed down with a glass of wine.
Your evening will include three drinks per person with a vast range to choose from including wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks.
Join us as our chefs will show you how to prepare five delicious Japanese dishes throughout the day.
Mid afternoon you will have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy everything you have made with your glass in our dining room.
You can enjoy your lunch with your choice of beverage including wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks.