A great Christmas present, for men in particular, is a gift of a series of cooking classes.
I say men as; 1. They generally love to cook, 2. They need to learn, more so than women and 3. It gets them out of the house.
With this in mind I sent off my partner, Eamon, to participate in Peter Ayub’s 4 week course which he runs at his Sense of Taste premises in Maitland.
This is his report.
Sense of Taste 4 week course.
18 strangers, 1/2 women,1/2 men.Singles and partners. A very well equipped kitchen, work stations, aprons and knives for everyone and beer.
Lots of it, and free. Hmmmmm…..
Peter Ayub is an intense sort of fellow who commands attention. He started at the basics and in no time at all he had us learning how to hold and use a sharp knife the correct way. We practised by showing that we could cut onions and carrots different ways.
On night one we learned all about beef stock and how to make it, creme fraiche, tartar sauce, the best places to buy chicken and some interesting things about garlic.
The most interesting bits are Peter’s little nuggets of information about food, restaurant’s and eating in Cape Town. He has 20 years experience at all levels, all over the world, so he’s worth listening to.
It’s all seafood this week. Prawns and squid galore. We are taught to make calamari, how to clean and prepare squid, how to prepare prawns and the best place to buy them.
Risotto and pasta feature heavily tonight with wild mushroom risotto and gnocchi on the menu. We are also taught the fundamentals of Blue Cheese, Puttanesca and Tomato sauces.
For the first time in my life I saw a single piece of meat containing the Chateaubriand, the filet and the filet mignon – I never knew all three cuts came from the tenderloin.
We cooked these on a high heat to baste and they only saw the inside of an oven for 4 minutes.
You could have filled a pothole with my first attempt at bechamel sauce but eventually I succeeded.
The best thing about the course is that it gave everyone present a lot of confidence. Cooking is easy when you know how and there are lots of great recipe books that will guide you.
What I enjoyed most were all the little gobbets of interesting information – the best place to get knives sharpened, where to get the best
mozzarella, why a lot of beef in South Africa is poor quality, why battery chicken is bad etc.
The course is well structured and interesting. Peter is a great chatter, and knows a lot about most things. He has a nice way of imparting information.
The ingredients we used were top quality, we got to eat at the end of each evening and Peter’s support team kept us all well supplied with ingredients, equipment ……… and beer.
There was a nice atmosphere of camaraderie and people had a good time.
The course costs R2,000 for the 4 weeks. You get an apron, full recipe notes, a certificate and a sense of satisfaction.
What more could you ask for?
Sense of Taste
021 511 0426 Contact Peter and Debbie Ayub.
021 511 0426
Contact Peter and Debbie Ayub.