I should have written about this sooner. It’s not because I didn’t want to, it’s because there is SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. My evening at Jenius Social is like nothing I have ever done before. I enjoy cooking, I love to discover new recipes, and I love feeding other people (I get that from my mum). But I have never even contemplated cooking offal. I’m not all that confident with different cuts of meat, and I’m trying to expand my fish repetoire, but offal? As in, the INSIDES of an animal. It just doesn’t sound appealing but it DOES sound intriguing, and when Jenius Social invited me to try their Nose to Tail Tapas Class, I held my breath and apprehensively accepted.
Jenius Social is a new venture in Islington, providing a massive range of daily events including masterclasses, supper clubs and cookery classes, hosted by professional chefs and experts in their shiny social space. The kitchen is wonderful, with two large islands for participants to prep and cook everything from scratch. This isn’t like other cookery classes I’ve been to, these guys really let you get completely hands on, with mini hobs on each place so everything is down to you alone. We were introduced to our tutor for the evening and watched him introduce our ‘exotic’ ingredients for the evening. My favourite part was that if we couldn’t see what he was doing, there was a camera directly above the hob which showed us everything on a big screen. Brilliant forward-thinking!
And on the menu?
- Potted Beef Tongue Madeira
- Spicy Pig’s Ears Tacos with Guacamole
- Breaded Lamb’s Testicles with Peanut Butter Sauce on Quinoa
- Pig’s Trotters Pressed Terrine
- Braised Oxtail
Handling completely new ingredients like this was a real novelty, but eye opening to realise that it isn’t as scary as it sounds. Yes, I did have to remove some preeeeeeeetty long hairs from the pig trotters, and I couldn’t resist a stupid photo opportunity with the pig ears. And I made lots of obscene jokes when handling the lamb testicles (who wouldn’t?!). But seeing these transformed into dishes that not just looked, but smelled AND tasted delicious blew my mind.
Without a doubt, my favourite was the lamb’s testicles – the one dish I didn’t know if I’d even be able to try before I got there. I wasn’t too keen on the terrine as it was quite gelatinous, but really, everything was beautiful, and we had more than enough! I had such a wonderful evening, I’m now planning which other classes I want to attend. I think bread making and pastry making are next on my to-do list, so there goes my healthy eating plan!
Check out what’s on at Jenius Social here, and let me know if you’d ever try offal!
Disclaimer: I was invited by Jenius Social to attend the class but was not paid to write a review. All (very positive!) opinions are my own and all photography is by myself or Ashleigh-Jayne O’Connell.