Wednesday, 2 March 2016

spanish cookery class at l'atelier des chefs, london.


L'atelier des Chefs, translating as the chef's studio or workshop, is London cookery school which runs a plethora of culinary courses. From learning the secrets of baking bread to macaron masterclasses, their St Paul's and Oxford Street locations promise a fun event where you can learn new kitchen skills and make a few friends too. 

Their courses would make for perfect Mother's Day presents or birthday treats, with vouchers available too. I've been to all sorts of classes with my mum - from Tunisian cookery to cake pop decorating - although this time the London class was a bit far away from her Leicestershire home. I went along with my foodie pal Grace to sample their Spanish cookery class; 90 minutes of creating calamari, patatas bravas, traditional paella and croquetas. Challenge accepted!


The evening began at 6pm with a rundown of the menu, timings and a quick bit of housekeeping. We were soon at our chopping boards and surrounded by various fresh ingredients, bowls and knives. As the croquetas needed to chill in the fridge (making the perfect make-ahead dinner party starter) we began these first. Before I knew it, I was up at the front of the class making a creamy b├ęchamel sauce. This was then filled with jamon, or cheese for the veggies, and left to cool down.


As the class went on, we took it in turns to chop, grate and slice different elements of the dishes, with everyone getting a chance to make the dish with the chef at the front of the room. Everyone was all hands on deck as we chopped onions, sprinkled parsley and grated more garlic than I thought imaginable! 

 

As this was only an hour and a half class, I was disappointed not to learn more about the calamari preparation. To most people's happiness, the squid had been prepared earlier and just needed slicing into rings. On the other hand, I would have found this a more worthwhile lesson than chopping potatoes and peppers. I should say we did pick up tips in preparing mussels and de-veining prawns, which were really helpful.

 

Most of the ingredients had been weighed out and were cleared away for us, which meant we could get stuck in with paella tips, blending the spicy bravas sauce and breading the croquetas. Unlike the potato croquettes I first imagined (hello 90s school dinners...) these are actually filled with a white sauce, breaded and then fried off. So deliciously creamy and best served hot! Before we knew it, everything was ready to be taken to the table and enjoyed with their recommended white wine.

 
 

It was crazy to think how much we'd made in 90 minutes and definitely gave me the confidence to make the dishes at home. I actually hosted a tapas dinner party with my family last year, and it inspired me to plan another! Overall I'd definitely recommend Atelier des Chefs for a Mother's Day gift, an alternative date idea, corporate team building or even a hen party for a foodie bride-to-be!
Coming in at £58 a head, this isn't bad at all for 90 minutes of entertainment plus your dinner included really, especially in London.

Have you ever been on a Spanish cookery class? Or any other cooking lessons in London or at L'atelier des chefs?

I was invited on the course free of charge to review my experience. I was not expected to write a positive review or otherwise.

3 comments:

  1. I adore seafood - had a mega seafood pasta last night actually. Would really love to give real paella a go, as long as I can find decent seafood to buy in London! Looks like you had a fun evening.

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  2. Sounds like you had a fab time! Great photos - everything looks lovely.

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  3. I would absolutely love to do something like this - what a brilliant experience!

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