Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cooking Class...

My friend Ruth received a wonderful gift for Christmas from her daughter...
a cooking class for 2 at The London Chef.
When she opened it she knew immediately who she wanted to invite to go with her to class.
I am so grateful that she chose to take me along...
(thank you Laura and Ruth)

Participants were encouraged to take notes as we observed each step
no recipes were handed out.
The chef cooked without measuring and used terms like "a dollop" of this or a "handful" of that!

The kitchen space is open with a U shaped configuration
with a long harvest table and chairs off to the side.

The chef cooked from this island which was at the front of the room.
All the food has been prepped ahead..
all the measuring, if there was any, was done before we arrived
 making it quick and easy to put the dishes together.

I took note of his set up...
the towel under the chopping board, 
the various prep bowls and containers
the food in a basket off to one side
the utensils sat atop a towel to the right of the pots

The theme was Moroccan and the food was prepared in front of about 20 people who were given step by step instructions on how to make Tagine Chicken, Hummus, Rice Salad, and Baba Ganoush.

The large pot became the "tagine" 
according to the chef, tagines are frighfully expensive and not necessary to get the full flavour of Moroccon dishes.

After sauteing the ingredients he put a round piece of parchment paper on top of the food, cut a small X in the top
 then covered the pot with foil to allow all the flavours to mingle together and cook over low heat.

The chef Dan, was English as one might expect from the school's name...The London Chef.
He was a handsome young fellow with a booming voice and an energy not unlike that of Jamie Oliver.
The session was held at lunchtime and after all the dishes were finished we were all served the meal...
the flavours were amazing!
The dishes were so rich in dimension ~ nuts, dried fruits, spices and herbs together working a little bit of magic.

You could close your eyes and imagine dining in an exotic Moroccan location...

One can buy soups, condiments, chocolates, coffee, tea and spices 

I looked for saffron because it is not easy to find...but they did not have any in stock.

They are open for lunch and the chef also caters events.

Locally made pickles and mustard's...


Spices, oils, vinegars, chocolates and tea.

Our delicious lunch!

It was so much fun...and I love to cook and try new recipes so
I'm hoping to take some other classes at The London Chef.

I have signed up for a cooking class when I am in Paris.

I'm relieved and thankful that the cats are up to their "usual tricks" in The Humble Bungalow.

Chester is enjoying playing with Pepper now that Pepper has recovered from her recent illness.

I am very happy to have our "furry family" well again.

Thank you too for all your kind words.



  1. What a lovely adventure, I love attending cooking demonstrations they are so much fun and the one in France will be wonderful.

    Beautiful pictures of your feline family it is nice to hear that all is well again.

  2. Oh My Gosh! That last photo of Pepper and Chester could be a postcard! It's picture perfection! The London Chef looks fantastic. Is it right downtown?

    1. It's on Fort Street close to Cook Street which is not right smack dab in the middle of town.
      It's conveniently located within walking distance from our Antique Row.

  3. Totally coincidentally I wrote today that I have never cooked anything Moroccan! Perhaps the universe is telling me something:). I love that photo of the spices and stuff on the shelf. Beautiful.

    1. I just read your blog and noticed that coincidence!
      I'd love to try making bone soup too...

  4. I bought a tagine quite a few years ago -- it's by Emile Henri and expensive enough, but not, I thought, terribly. We were inspired by having eaten wonderful Moroccan food in Paris and then not being able to find it around here and a young Moroccan student of mine became a friend and was homesick for Moroccan food . . . True enough that the flavours will meld well enough without that particular cooking dish, but we love ours. Did your recipe, btw, include preserved lemons? And do tell, how/where did you book your cooking lesson in Paris? What fun!

    1. YES! Preserved lemons made locally by a chef!
      La cuisine offers various classes and I signed up for the Maubert market tour where we shop local and then return to their kitchen at Hotel De Ville to prep and cook..I think Jamie Cat Callan will be taking the same class too as we will both be in Paris several days before the tour starts.

  5. I'm glad Pepper is back to normal! Did Chester mind that she had been at the vet's? Our cats would always hiss at whoever came home from the vet. We always thought it was because they smelled like the vet's, not themselves.
    Your cooking class looked delicious. My daughter gave me a recipe for tagine, and we really enjoy it.
    Mary Lou

    1. No hissing just a lot of sniffing of the cat carrier and he knew something was not right with Pepper as she was heavily sedated and really quiet and sleepy.

  6. I also own an Emile Henri tagine and I have bought ras el hanout and Mustapha's Moroccan spices. Even without the tagine, you can get the flavour. When you are in Paris, be sure to have a Lebanese meal. You can get takeaway from Maubert or Port-Royal market or there are several restaurants in the Latin Quarter. (rue St. Jacques comes to mind). It looks like things are well with the kitties now. Bon week-end!

  7. I noticed that there were some Lebanese restaurants near the Sorbonne...will definitley give them a try. Emile Henri make such nice things...I must look for their tagines...I know they come in beautiful vibrant colours. The chef did suggest that we look for those spices.

  8. Oh, how fun! I often walk by the London Chef and wonder about it - that would be a fun thing to do for my mom for her birthday! So happy to hear that dear Pepper is better. Look at those lovely kitties!

  9. What a fun outing! I've wondered about the London Chef - this is a great recommendation. Glad your kitty is better. Have a wonderful week.

  10. I miss Ruth and all the laughs we use to have ;) Glad to hear that Pepper is better and Chester has his playmate back...such cute and fun pictures of your fur babies!!

  11. So glad Pepper is recovered. The cooking class sounds wonderful! Always enjoyable to see someone have command over a kitchen. Organized prep work is a pleasure as well. You see how much smoother everything runs when all the ingredients are prepped and ready. I regret it terribly when I get lazy with my prep the day before.

  12. Happy to see Chester back to normal.
    The London Chef sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day. Funny I was just thinking about preserving all the Meyer Lemons I have growing on my tree down here in 'tropical' Marco Island. lol.

  13. I'm so happy that Pepper is feeling better! And I love the first photo of them both with (I think) Chester being cheeky and Pepper with her 'party hat ears' (that's what I think they look like when they swivel them backwards).