Half way along Old Street, hidden behind an unsuspecting doorway, down a flight of dusty stone stairs, is the secret kitchen of the Underground Cookery School. Prepped to educate even the most amateur of chefs in all things tasty, yummy and damn right delicious, the School invited myself and a group of other bloggers to a ‘Light & Summery Cookery Lesson’, where we were able to help make and then eat a three course meal.
Welcomed with a glass of prosecco (which magically never seemed to be empty…), we were treated to some beautiful canapes including smoked salmon and the most incredible arancini balls I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that I was practically stuffed by the time we actually started cooking, but I wasn’t complaining!
We got right now to helping prep the dishes which included shelling broad beans and chopping herbs, before getting down to learning some more intricate kitchen skills. Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I love food – I take photos of everything I eat, and I try and challenge myself with new recipes as often as possible. So when I was told that we’d be learning how to butcher a chicken and fillet a seabass, I was genuinely excited! These are skills that it’s hard to teach yourself, and even though I have roasted a chicken many a time, there’s nothing to say that I’ve been cutting it up right.
The main thing I learnt with both disciplines is that your hands are just as important as the knife – you often have to feel before you cut, something that a few of my fellow bloggers weren’t happy with! There were a few squeamish faces, but everyone got involved, and most importantly, everyone had something to eat. The other important thing I learnt is that a sharp knife is essential. I can’t imagine trying to do something as delicate as filleting a seabass with the crappy knives I own, I really need to invest in a new set.
We were also taught how to make a meringue roulade, something that looks extremely daunting but they made it looks surprisingly easy. With the help of a KitchenAid (top of my Christmas wish list this year!) and a baking sheet, I rolled the meringue with only minimal damage and risk of ruining everyone’s pudding.
And so it came to serving time:
Fillet of sea bass with salad of pea and fresh mint, lemon dressing
Roast breast of chicken with broad beans, jersey royals and salsa verde
Strawberry meringue roulade
For more information and weekly recipes, visit the Underground Cookery School blog. A huge thank you to Anneliese and the guys at The Underground Cookery School for inviting me, I had a great evening!
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event for free, but all opinions are unbiased and truthful. All photos by me or Ashleigh-Jayne O’Connell at Writer’s Block and Broken Lenses