How do you turn a kitchen novice into a fantastic cook?

We can’t claim to be able to turn you into Michelin star chefs. Sorry.

Illustration: www.walternewton.Often, we meet neighbours, friends and Loaf customers who’d love to shake up their culinary skills and become better home cooks. Most people’s concern is how to work with ingredients to turn them from bland, same-old set dishes, to an endless repertoire of flavoursome meals that they would be proud to serve. Basically, what’s the magic?

And it’s my concern too. I may be married to Tom, but I don’t share the same culinary experiences, and therefore skill or knowledge (even though most people think we share the same brain!). I’m good at Marketing – but I also love eating good food from around the world, and watching the joy it gives others. So i’m slowly starting to learn too. I’ve done the Bread: Back to Basics course and i’m booked on the Dosa and Handmade Pasta courses.

My culinary wish list is as follows:

  • Understanding flavours – I have a great sense of taste, and grow my own fresh herbs, but I’d love to grasp making fantastic flavour combinations, to transform a dish with a few simple touches.
  • Building Blocks – How do I make the classic stocks and sauces from around the world extra special? (béchamel to improve my Italian cooking; tasty vinaigrettes to lift my salad, tomato-based sauce to die for;  a good solid home-made mayonnaise, and classic French and Asian stocks).
  • Preparing ingredients and utensils – Sometimes my timing goes awry or i’m slowed down by not knowing which utensil to select, or how to use it well for the job intended.
  • International Cuisines – I grew up eating classic British meat and veg dinners, which I love. But i’m also blown away discovering international cuisines from Asia, Europe and Africa, and I simply how I can make them too.

So,  i’m upping my game and booking on some Kitchen Essentials courses , to tick my culinary wish list boxes. Stocks and Sauces, Beans, Pulses and Grains and Knife Skills to start. Fingers crossed.

Kitchen Essentials: a series of evening cookery courses

Led by Loaf Baker and trained chef Dom Clarke, this series of short workshops are designed to help create more adventurous, faster, efficient home cooks. They cover a wide range of skills, and work well as single courses or as a whole set. Each once does what it says on the tin, teaches you a new and essential kitchen skills. Once you’ve learn the magic they’ll be no turning back. All with an evening meal included, cooked by you! Coming up:

Kitchen Essentials: Illustration: www.walternewton.comKitchen Essentials
Knife Skills: Tuesday 18th March
Stocks and Sauces: Tuesday 18th February
Cooking Vegetables: Tuesday 25th February
Herbs & Spices:  Tuesday 11th March
Beans, Pulses & Grains: Tuesday 1st April
Cooking Meat: Tuesday 8th April

To find out more about each workshop visit: Kitchen Essentials. £30 per person per workshop (except Cooking Meat – £40).

Jane Baker


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *