I am extremely lucky that my friends know I absolutely adore cooking (and eating!) food so I was thrilled when I received a gift voucher for L’Atelier des Chefs cookery school. The only problem became which of their many wonderful sounding classes to book!
After spending time drooling over the upcoming classes list I opted to book a lunchtime 30 minute class for myself and a work friend at the extremely convenient Oxford Circus location. They also have a second school over at St. Paul’s.
The Cook, Eat & Run lunch class runs every weekday lunchtime and they are a fantastic way to learn a new seasonal dish. These change weekly, so you can keep coming back for more and are probably a more productive way to spend your lunch hour than your usual desk lunch!
After a warm welcome, I had some time to browse the amazing shop before the class started! They have a fairly extensive range of cookware and equipment that after using it in a class you may want to purchase, as well an extensive range of ingredients! Look at all these spices!
The dish I had selected to cook was a Hot & sour Goan prawn curry with pilau rice. A foodie trip down memory lane to the dishes I devoured on my trip around India! (Check out my Goan cooking class too)
Once all the participants arrived, it was time to get into the prepped kitchen with Chef Giles to guide us on our quick culinary adventure.
The class started with a small explanation of what we would be doing to get to our end meal. As we had rice accompanying our dish and time is constricted, the rice had already been pre-washed and the spices added to the pan on the hob ready for cooking.
Immediately I picked up a tip! I do wash my rice before cooking, but I never realised that different types of rice should be washed varying times to get the best results and avoid a gluggy rice disaster! Also to resist the urge to lift the lid after cooking before the steaming time – once that steam escapes you can’t get it back!
Our main involvement was to chop the base for the curry sauce and garnishes, with demonstrations on how best to get chef style results from our chopping. The knives are extremely sharp, so I was very happy to come away unscathed, as well as picking up some great tips.
The excellent thing is that you are sent a full recipe after the class, so you can concentrate on the ingredients and processes on the day without worrying about memorising anything.
In a flash the meal was ready! It was really simple and would be a delicious, easy midweek meal. It looked fantastic in the pan, so we all decided it was best to serve our group effort in a sharing style, which would also make this a great entertaining dish!
Once we’d finished cooking, we were able to sit down and enjoy our meal in a lovely dining area with the other class attendees. If you would like a glass of wine, hot drink or soft drink to enjoy with your meal you can purchase one from the front of house staff.
The only small hiccup was that the class ran over time, so I would ensure you are flexible on your timings, in case it does go longer as you can end up waiting for other attendees to arrive.
I thoroughly enjoyed my cooking class and definitely felt like I’d reclaimed my lunch hour to learn a new recipe and do something I love! I would definitely recommend trying a lunchtime class and can’t wait to go back for more of these and some of the longer sessions!
Price & Time: Cook, Eat & Run lunchtime classes cost £15 for a 30 minute class. Other lengths of classes are available at different costs.
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus or St. Paul’s venues.
Website: L’Atelier des Chefs – there is an extensive range of courses available to book at their two locations!
Date: March 2019