Le Creuset at the Silwood Kitchen a few weeks ago. Linda posted about the class on her blog, The Squashed Tomato, Sam blogged on Drizzle and Dip, Bernice at Betty Bake was there too, among others. Although I was invited to the evening, I was on holiday that week, and was so upset to have missed the evening.
As luck would have it, however, the lovely Gill at Le Creuset invited me back to another class last week, so one dark and stormy night (no, really, it was pelting rain), I went over to Silwood and enjoyed a lovely evening of cooking with strangers who became friends.
We started off with the basics, and although I consider myself someone who can cook, I've had no formal training, so the small things we learnt were, for me, the most important. Take crushed garlic, for example. Most people, myself included, have used the bottle crushed garlic, or the nutcracker-like instrument specifically design to squash garlic, but gets most of it stuck in the holes. But Gary, our chef-teacher for the evening, showed us a simple, small trick, of crushing the garlic using the point of a knife and salt flakes as an abrasive. You dice the garlic roughly, then sprinkle it with salt and, using the point of a knife, gently flatten the garlic along the board, and before long, there's a small pile of lovely fresh, crushed garlic. SO much better than anything from a bottle!
What was especially wonderful, was how, instead of doing one dish or course at a time, Gary expected us to multitask, cooking the pork, while making the dessert, a deliciously decadent chocolate fondant, which is, let me tell you, the easiest thing in the world to make.
I don't have the recipes on hand, but if you'd like more detailed recipes, I'd be happy to provide them. I want to make the fondants for a party soon, so I'll post the recipe for that as soon as I can.
In short, if you're ever invited to one of these evenings, do your best to go - you'll have a lovely evening, learn some new things, and go home with some lovely goodies from Le Creuset, as well as some show-stopping recipes!