Sometimes you just go somewhere, a new place, and feel instantly at home. Somewhere you feel like you’ve never left, even though you’ve never been before.
That feeling happened to me this week, when I found myself picking up my new knives for the first time, surrounded by the fifteen other enthusiastic foodies in my class, as we nervously chopped carrots into perfect batons. This is it, I realise with a burst of excited relief. This is what I have always wanted to do.
Its the same relief I felt when I officially declined my place at a university that I worked so hard to get into,to take up a place at a cooking school I needed no qualifications, other than a love and passion for food, to get into.
But here I am and I love it already! Theres nothing quite like seeing a room full of people get quite so excited over a perfectly cooked omelette to reassure you that you’ll fit in quite well here.
Every morning we have shuffled around our kitchen, preparing our food; every lunchtime we have walked to the park or had a coffee together, and talked about food; and every afternoon we sit in the demo room for 3 hours and learn theory about food whilst watching food being prepared, and then trying the food! Its basically heaven for someone like me!
This weeks first task was a simple exercise in knife skills. New knives. Very, VERY sharp new knives as we all soon found out, adorning our hands and fingers with numerous blue plasters. However, its amazing how a seemingly simple task like dicing an onion can become one that sends you into a mild panic that maybe your onion bits are just that little bit too big, when under the scrutiny of one of the very well respected, and talented teachers at Leiths.
Needless to say, after hours of slicing, washing up, furious scribbling of more than any normal person would ever know (or want to know) about eggs and mayonnaise and shortcrust pastry- Today we managed our very first proper dish! A BLT salad, homemade croutons, boiled eggs and all.
Our fruit salad later on was an exercise in presentation – something I’m keen to get right and learn new, contemporary techniques. I’ve always loved getting food on a plate to look beautiful but I’m acutely aware that sometimes I can be a bit obsessive about it. So when I found myself standing over my plate of fruit earlier, berating myself for not leaving any room for more coulis, it was no surprise that my teacher told me to stop scrutinising it and get on with the washing up Olivia thank you very much.
Tomorrow is pastry day, and in the evening I will be travelling back to Bucks for the weekend to test out my treacle tart on some people I know will do the washing up for me if I let them eat at least half of it!
Hope you have a fab weekend foodies, and make the most of some gorgeous seasonal produce! I for one will be making these absolutely divine looking Pumpkin Pancakes with salted pecan butterscotch for Sunday brunch!
You can find the recipe in BBC Good Food Magazine this month, or subscribe here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/magazines/bbc-good-food-magazine
Love and mango coulis