‘Food’ Magazine writer Laura Tucker is spends a week sharpening her cooking skills at Ashburton Cookery School on the Intermediate Cookery Week.
The Last Supper
Our final day was fish day. I anticipated not enjoying gutting a fish very much, and it turns out I was right. I did it though (wearing blue catering gloves…) and managed to fairly successfully fillet a plaice and a mackerel without too much trouble. I’m glad I learnt how to do it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be leaving the gutting to the husband in the future. It’s just not my thing.
After our filleting session we put together two beautifully simple and fresh dishes. The first was plaice fillets stuffed with red peppers served with a vibrant saffron sauce and plump scallops. This is my kind of food and it was just lovely. Another of my favourites, fried mackerel was next, with a cannelloni and tomato stew, crispy belly pork and salsa verde with a light, crispy shard of perfect crackling sitting on the top. Just delicious, and other than the belly pork and tomato sauce which had been slow cooked the day before, this dish took a matter of minutes to put together. A massive winner.
Our final pudding of the week was one of my all time favourites. A zingy, creamy, perfectly smooth lemon tart. I can actually feel a drool coming on as I write about it. There’s nothing better than a good lemon tart, as far as I’m concerned. And this was a really good one.
My week has been absolutely fantastic. I have learnt an incredible amount, my confidence has grown and together our group cooked some wonderful food. And so the remainder of this blog has to be some thankyous – to our tutors Phil and Ross. Knowledgeable, patient, great fun and above all passionate about what they do, couldn’t have asked for better people to guide us through the week.
AJ, Mark and Ellen who worked tirelessly cleaning up after us, making sure there was always coffee and tea on hand and that we had everything we needed – always with smiles on their faces.
Jane, Tom and Lindsey in the office who helped me with IT problems and various other bits and pieces throughout the week, and for whom nothing was too much trouble.
Those of us staying at Ashburton were given delicious breakfast every morning by John and Sarah. We got a bit cocky after our poached egg masterclass on day three, but John’s eggs were perfection so our judgement was short lived!
To Darrin and Anicca for opening the doors to us – hopefully this blog has given our readers an insight into your wonderful school!
And finally, to my wonderful course buddies Anne, Bobbie, Carl, Nick and Sue. Such characters, such lovely people and we shared some hilarious moments during the course of the week and learnt lots from each other along the way – I hope you all achieve your foodie dreams and that your time at Ashburton helps you on your journeys.