Monday, September 27, 2010

Playing Chef for the day- Behind the scenes with Culinary Edge

Despite all my foodie intentions, I can honestly say that I kind of suck in the kitchen. Its not that I can't cook to save my life, my food is decent and hasn't killed anyone yet- Its just that I sometimes feel awkward and a little confused.

It frustrates me because I love love love eating and in my mind I am an absolute kitchen whizz - meanwhile in reality I still have trouble poaching an egg.

I recently got some expert coaching from my friends at Culinary Edge when I spent some time in the kitchen with them.

On the menu during my masterclass/sticky beaking session was:  

Tomato Tart tatin with Persian Feta & Micro Cress Salad

Spice Crusted Seared Ocean Trout, With Fennel & Apple Slaw,Feta Virgin Olive Oil & Currants

Three Mini desserts: Mini Passion Fruit & Vanilla Mascarpone Vacherin, Mini Chocolate Torte and Classic Crème Brulee

Watching professional chefs at work was so much fun (and maybe a tad intimidating). Chef Rach kept laughing at me because I was constantly oooohhhhinnng and aaaaahhhhing and asking inane questions like: "Did you really make that pastry?" and "How did you get the tomatoes to taste, so I don't know, tomato-ish?"

Considering I spend the majority of my time eating out, it really surprised me that I had never really noticed the detail in which dishes are presented. I Watched as each plate was fussed over meticulously, each sprig of micro cress perfectly placed in the exact same position as the dish before- so impressive. 

"Ames it's super easy you know, you could do this no problem," Rach says as she sprinkles fish roe in a perfect circle around the plate.

"As if" I scoff. Little does Rach know- perfect circles of fish roe is as foreign to me as a white Christmas, I  can't really do Donna Hay food styling, its a win if my food isn't sploshed all over the side of the plate.

I had to stop myself from drooling when the Ocean Trout came out the oven, the smell was incredible, it was the fennel crust (which was so crispy) that was wafting through the air and I immediately wanted some.

No time to salivate, next up after the Ocean Trout was plated and promptly served we were on to desserts. Everything was so fast as well, cooked, plated, "fancied up a bit" served. No rest between courses, phew! I was tired watching.

Desserts looked amazing, three mini ones on one plate, very indulgent. Because they were mini versions, the presentation was so precise and just too cute.

To everybody's amusement, I was given a quick blow torch workshop. I found this ridiculously thrilling. I don't have one at home, but I may just have to get one and start blow torching all sorts of things (no pun intended here)

After an hour we were done and I experienced my first post kitchen high come down. After the desserts went out I wanted to know what next? What else could I blow torch?

"We're all done! You're up for dishwasher duties!" I felt a bit let down, sad even. The wait staff looked baffled at my sheer disappointment that my kitchen fun was over.

"Fun!" They jeered me. "This is tough work love," sensing that I was possibly a tad on the dramatic side, a mini creme brulee was slid my way in attempts to pay me off with food- it worked.

On our way out, Chef Rach promised me that I could cook everything that I had seen in the kitchen and gave me the recipe for the Ocean Trout. "I expect to be invited over for dinner soon, I might even bring the blow torch."

Culinary Edge
PH: 61 2 9251 7229

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