With the generousity of Edyth Ban of The Cooking House, I got to attend my first cooking lesson ever in my entire life on Sunday. LOL very funny huh?? Read on ok...
A wee bit about The Cooking House - this place was established at the end of 2006 and located in a very convenient Desa Sri Hartamas. The Cooking House holds leisure cooking classes in a very condusive and spacious kitchen studio (read - we, the gals, loved the kitchen... a lot!!!), and classes were done informally in a fun and interactive environment. I liked the type of classes available here as they varied from fun food, children classes, thematic ones like those designed for the singles, cake baking and decorating, and right on to fine dining!
A few food bloggers (floggers) namely Teckiee, Jackson, Lianne, Fat Boy Bakes and myself were privileged to be able to attend a lively Salad Turned Around session conducted by a *ahem* delish looking (in my book, can or not?? LOL) Ryan Khang. Ryan is actually a nutritionist and it was great to have him as our instructor as he was so cool in handling a boisterous 19 participants crowding around the cooking island. During his intro, he mentioned that he was kinda nervous having a bunch of floggers around but hey Ryan, you did handled us very well ranging from answering our never ending questions and having to put up to our constant photo shoots.
The kitchen studio is spacious and looked clean and bright in pristine white! Have I mentioned that we gals loved the kitchen?
The ingredients for the 4 salads were presented on one corner of the cooking island. We can't help but bombarding Ryan on where the heck he had gotten those so fresh looking ingredients which he replied tongue in cheek... from his garden. Duh! LOL but in actual fact he advised us to get them from the wet market.
Ryan showed us how to prepare the dressings for the 4 salads, meanwhile some of us helped out in stirring the reductions, roasting peanuts, squeezing limes and slicing vegetables. He also showed us how to pan fried duck breasts and we were told to get French ones as they're meatier. Later on, he coated the tenderloin with assorted herbs and seared it to medium. I am not sure who assisted him in cooking the seafood as I was at the other corner slicing vegetables taking care not to slice my ownself with the sharp knife where else Lianne told me her knife is not sharp enough to handle the tomatoes hahaha...
You can check out Ryan and some participants helping out with the Mango, Avocado and Prawns in Passion Fruit and Chardonnay dressing - served with radicchio, iceberg lettuce and rocket leaves and Pomelo; Duck Breast in Tangy Kaffir Lime and Palm Sugar Vinaigrette - served with lettuce, mint and corriander; and Thai Seafood Salad With Zesty Kasturi Lime, Lemon Grass, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing - with tomato, onion and multi greens.
Next on Ryan prepared the Pan Seared Tenderloin in Balsamic, Red Wine Vinegar and Maple Syrup Vinaigrette - with seared peaches and swiss brown mushroom. He flexed his muscles by pounding the garlic together with the ingredients that made up the vinaigrette ala Jamie Oliver.
Needless to say, we got to taste all these at the end of the 2 1/2 hours session which seems to have glided thru quickly. The first one was a firm favourite with almost everyone, it's sweet with a slight tang dressing went well with the mangoes and avocados. Ryan was persuading us to literally drink the dressing up to taste the reduced chardonnay. Since I was the last to leave, I cleaned out the remainder mangoes and avocados on the plate :p
For the duck breast salad, I personally feel that the duck breast ought to be on the pan a few more minutes to cook a bit thru as the center portion was kinda too chewy and to drain out the pomelo juice after skinning them as the juice sort of diluted the dressing.
The seafood salad is very appetising indeed due to the zesty dressing which is soo sooo simple to concoct. Best to bring to a Malaysian potluck party to relieve a heavy meal ahead.
Since Teckie and myself did not get to taste much of the Tenderloin salad, we can't really say much about this one except that it's a wonderful meal on its own. I did sample the dressing earlier one and I liked it a lot. Best to go with red meat.
As we floggers were busy to be in the thick of actions - listening, writing, questioning, volunteering, smelling, tasting, stirring, squeezing, sampling, chopping, messing, shooting, joking, pretending (to be Nigella Lawson) and etc... I really pitied the rest of the 14 attendees. I know some of them were like death serious in getting the techniques right and jotting down the important tips that Ryan imparted but the 5 of us were literally having fun and fooling away. I hope they are not offended. I've read what Lianne had wrote about her experience and I can't help but to quote Lianne for I share the same sentiments as hers...
I learned a lot from the class - from a food nutritionist whom is a lot younger than many of us "oldie" food blogger. While the rest of his student paid attention to what he'd said, the foodbloggers can't help multi-tasking to learn, taste, hands-on, trying hard to think of question so that to appear smart (hehehe), and lastly, tool of the trade - clicking away with our cameras.
Thanks Ryan for putting up with our antics and most importantly, Edyth, for accommodating us.
Did you know that other than learning and having fun, it's a great way to meet new friends AND bump into old!!! FBB discovered that Edyth's sister was his classmate whom had inspired him to be a great baker as he is now and they managed to catch up with each other. Teckiee recognised one of the participants was her tuition classmate! Talk about coincidence.
So now, if you guys or gals are interested to have fun like we did, do check out the schedule and sign yourself up but hey, it's best to bring along friends and/or family. More fun that way. I know for sure I'm gonna attend more! Not only that, I'll enrol my boiboi in one of those children classes and let Edyth handle my mischievious son hehehe... good luck Edyth!
The Cooking House
20-1, Jalan 31/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2300 1070
Email: thecookinghouse(at)gmail(dot)com for further enquiries
Click here for map. The Cooking House is located at the row behind Souled Out. You can't miss the red signage.