Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quarter Twenty One Cookery School (CLOSED)

Lucky me scored an invited to the first Google Places Power User event for Sydney - a hands on cooking class at Quarter Twenty One Cookery School. The icing on the cake was revealed when Anna, our lovely Sydney Google Places community manager, told me that, Chef Justin North would be our teacher! Wow, can I say that again? WOW!

Put a bunch of foodies and a great chef in one room and you are bound to have a great night. Actually, my exact words (or tweet) on the night was the word 'awesome' pales in comparison with tonite's cooking class with Justin...

Armed with some delicious appetizers (tapioca crisp, melon with duck prosciutto, crab cucumber chamomile, Bécasse artisan bread and butter) we settled around our work benches, eager to learn from one of the best in the business on how to create a classic French dish, the Provençal seafood stew or Bouillabaisse.

It was mesmerising watching the master at work; we even had to be reminded to eat our appetizers, and several times at that.

Part of the hands on task was to prepare our own fish for the stew, I have never filleted a fish till that night, but the way Justin handled the knife made it look so easy, that is until we got to the hands on part.

For someone who has never handled a whole fish before, looking at the snapper was a bit daunting; but under step-by-step guidance, I managed to fillet my very first whole snapper. Removing the bones were a little bit more tricky, the fact I didn't find any bones in the stew meant I did something right.

Provençal seafood stew
While we enjoyed our own fruit of labour, the Provençal seafood stew, which was delicious if I may say so myself, Justin demonstrated the hows of making a quince tart tatin, cumin caramel and Armagnac Chantilly. I think that's what a foodie heaven would look like if there was one, being served dessert by one of the best chefs around! 

You won't find a group of people more passionate about food than Chef Justin North, Cookery School director Libby Travers and the team of talented chefs behind some of the best restaurants around town. They will not only teach you how to cook but also how to think like a cook, so give it a go and learn to cook for the soul.

If the food at the cookery school we got to sample is anything to go by, I can only imagine how amazing the dishes at Quarter Twenty One and Bécasse would be. Can't wait for the chance to head over there for a meal or two! 

Quarter Twenty One:  Level 5, Westfield Sydney, cnr Pitt St Mall and Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000  Quarter Twenty One on Urbanspoon

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