Having grown up with, worked alongside and dated chefs I always seem to find myself back in a kitchen! However, I’m not too often on the cooking side of things. This is by no means me saying that I cannot cook, or that I don’t like doing so, because I definitely do – I’m just not often in the place of having to cook myself, and when I do it’s rather hard to please the likes of a chef!
Anyway, I recently got the wonderful opportunity of cooking in the depths of Pied à Terre’s Michelin Star kitchen, with the guidance of no other than their head chef, Asimakis Chaniotis.
What did the kitchen masterclass experience entail?
Well, we got guided through the creation of three exquisite restaurant dishes and some beautiful sourdough rolls and Leek bread. The dishes weren’t my usual everyday go-to, but who wants that when you’re dining at a michelin starred restaurant? Through each process we copied a demonstration and go guided through the (appealingly easy) steps, which were obviously not made to look so swish by my capable hands. We also learnt about the ingredients and flavour combinations from the fabulous Asimakis, who is highly regarded within the industry for his exceptional skill for dedicating balancing dishes.
It gives me the biggest pleasure to also write that this kitchen has a strict no searing policy . Yes, that’s right. Asimakis Chaniotis has initiated a swearing ban for all his staff.
What does this mean?
Well, taken from an article recently written for the Guardian by Amanda Bootes it means that Asimakis “Believes that the kitchen should be a place of creativity, innovation and serenity, a place where you can allow your food to speak and a place for chefs of all ages, genders and levels to grow.”
Amanda points out that “This swearing ban has created a more hospitable environment to work in, and helps to combat the gender divide. It’s no longer about who can shout or swear the loudest. His kitchen’s focus is on quality, innovation and creativity. Chefs should be given accolades for their skill and talent, rather than their ability to maintain a toxic stereotype.”
Personally, I think that this is a marvellous step forward and an example of how such industries that run with high pressure working environments can make little steps to improve the mental health and happiness of their workforces.
Anyway, onto the food itself!
What did we make?
Smoked Quail/Organic Spelt Risotto/Girolles
Whole Native Lobster/Sweetcorn/Seaweed/Rouille
Raspberry Millefeuille/Hibiscus/White Chocolate
Unfortunately I had to run off but with the usual experience, each guest is welcomed into the dining room to experience the full gastronomic experience Pied à Terre is renowned for. The lunchtime menu includes a four course lunch accompanied with wine pairings – perfect for Christmas.
Who doesn’t love a goodie bag?! As well as the knowledge, memories and full stomachs, we also get to go home with the newly created produce, a delicious selection of pantry delights and an embossed Pied à Terre apron.
I want to do this, when can I sign up?
The masterclass takes place every first and third Friday in the month, or by appointment with a minimum of 3 guests.
Okay, how much?
The experience starts at £195 per person.
Where can I find out more information?
Please visit: www.pied-a-terre.co.uk or call 020 7636 1178 to purchase vouchers and reserve YOUR place.