Thursday, November 3, 2011

MASTERCLASS WITH A MASTER



This year I recieved one of the best and most thoughtful birthday gifts ever from my boys - I have to admit that I might not be the easiest person in the world to buy for!  But this year they excelled themselves - they bought me four masterclasses in Bon Appetit Restaurant with the talented Michelin starred chef Oliver Dunne.   The first of these was titled "Dinner Party Dazzlers", and it was a fantastic evening - full of doable tips and ideas, Oliver's main aim was to teach us that entertaining at home need not be stressful - just about everything can be prepared in advance, he didn't want us slaving away in the kitchen while our guests were enjoying drinks without us!!!

Probably the best part of the evening were the tips and the foodie gossip - I don't think he could be described as his ex-boss Gordon Ramsey's biggest fan!!!!! 

A few of the pointers:

For really excellent balsamic vinegar without the huge price - buy a cheap bottle, reduce it by 3/4 in a large saucepan, and you have deep, sweet, delicious stuff, which makes a perfect dressing combined with olive oil, dijon mustard and salt.  The reduced balsamic vinegar is great for presentation, a few dots on a plate really dresses it up.

Always cut chicken to check if it is done - pressing it will never give a difinitive answer and you are far better off having a little nick in the bird than having poisoned guests!!

Always have your pan good and hot before you add butter/oil.

When melting butter, chop it into small cubes - otherwise the outside will have burned before the center is melted.

Speaking of butter - use about four times more than you usually do to have proper restaurant tasting food!

Use icing sugar when making chantilli cream - much better texture.

Oliver seasons with salt at every step - he said that he rarely uses pepper.



Roasted Quail with Chorizo, Red Onion and Balsamic Dressing



Warm Goats Cheese and Caramelised Shallot Tart



Breast of Chicken, Tart Fine of Onions and Creamed Wild Mushrooms




Smoked Haddock, New Potato, Soft Poached Egg & Mustard Beurre Blanc





Apple Tart Fine with Chantilly Cream & Butterscotch

Hot Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Cream




The kitchen prepared samples of most of the dishes Oliver showed us and they tasted just as good as they look!!  I'm really looking forward to the next lesson.

20 comments:

Janice said...

Wow, really great looking food there. Your course sounds fabulous and the gossip would certainly add to the fun.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

You are so right!! What a great present. It's so nice to know that they know what will send you over the moon.Good kids!! The food looks to die for. I have never had quail, but would love to try one of these days.

MissCakeBaker said...

Brilliant present. I love the tips. The butter quantity was as I feared!!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Must confess I've not heard of him but the food looks superb!

Karen S Booth said...

What a FABULOUS birthday gift, and how thoughtful too. LOVELY LOVELY photos of professional and delicious food! FAB!
Karen

At Anna's kitchen table said...

What a lovely pressie for you! Interesting tips too!

Nessa Robins said...

I absolutely love hearing foodie tips! Thanks so much for sharing. That's certainly a fantastic pressie :)

laurie said...

Wow! What an awesome gift....so much fun. Thanks for sharing!

Gloria said...

look really delicious dear!! what nice and fun! gloria

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Happy Sweet Birthday BVG! Aren't your boys the best kids! I'll bet you nearly fell over! I know I would have! What a fantastic gift!

Ahh, those meals look fantastic! Since we just had dinner, I'm ready for dessert, would you mind sending the one from up above!

Thank you for your kind words about our nasty storm. As I write, my 87 year old neighbors just got their power back. We also heard that our other neighbors nearly died because they didn't have their generator properly ventilated! Hopefully we won't have any more snow!!!! LOL!!!

anne said...
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anne said...

Awesome gift ! That food really looks delicious :D We want full gossip er report of your next session ;D & thanks for the foodie tips ;)

Jacqui said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Sounds amazing.

JavelinWarrior said...

I really want the chocolate fondant with ice cream! Or the roasted quail egg with chorizo. Or maybe just all of them :) Sounds like a priceless gift and I'm completely jealous...

Chele said...

What a lovely gift - those desserts look like they are to die for!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

wow great tips and your boys did great

The Caked Crusader said...

The apple tart looks amazing. Love the balsamic vinegar tip too - thanks!

Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Wow - that looks super amazing!!!! I especially love the quail with chorizo. Did you make anything or do you just watch and listen?

Working london mummy said...

What a lovely birthday present, the food looks superb well done!!

Cakes and Teacups said...

Wow, Master Chef indeed! What a very nice and thoughtful gift. Thank you for the support and I look forward in trying your recipes. I'm now a follower as well. Oh, and sin cream, that is too funny : )