Yes! I’m happy to say that I have done it! I’ve attended a short cooking course at the prestigious Silwood School of Cookery. For many years the Silwood institution has been somewhat in my mind. I’m not 100% sure why. Maybe it’s because they started Butlers Pizza, maybe because it’s near my old high school, maybe because it’s an expensive college, maybe because it’s South Africa’s best cooking school? But I’ve always thought about it!
When the opportunity arose to visit the school and do a short cooking course, I was thrilled. As you know, I’m no chef! But I do enjoying cooking as I amount it to art which I’ve always participated in over the years (I did art and music for matric and studied acting).
These days I use dinner time to practise some form of art on a daily basis. Trying to perfect my techniques and learn what I’ve done wrong instead of guessing what I’ve done right, cooking has become a new interest to me (although I’ll admit I’m not very good!).
Two weeks ago I did an Asian cooking course at Silwood. It was exciting to visit the hidden school and use a real chef’s knife! Although it was really blunt (I know why – the school doesn’t need trouble with newbies cutting themselves) it was still a pleasure to pretend I knew what I was doing!
For starters we made an Asian chicken soup, Tom Yam Gai. It allowed me to use lemon grass for the first time as well as a fish paste as Asian cuisine uses sauces over salt and pepper it seems.
Then we made sushi. I hate sushi. I hate fishes. BUT! I really enjoyed making it just because I learnt about do the sushi rice without burning it. How to deal with the seaweed layers. How to cut the vegetables realy nicely and how to roll them to make nori rolls. It was super fun even though I had to give mine away.
Finally we made banana spring rolls with a butterscotch sauce. Whenever I go to Sake House in Claremont, I only eat the banana spring rolls whilst everyone “ooohs” and “aaaahs” over the sushi I wait for the banana spring rolls. There really aren’t any better in Cape Town but at least know I know how to make them – remotely well! Pecan nuts for crush, chocolate for taste and bananas for a theme, they are delicious!
I also loved sharing the class with one of my best friends Mrs Kitten D. It was SO much fun being “back in school” with a new friend who I wasn’t in school with previously. Of course one is allowed to have a glass of wine or whatever you bring along. Jan, our head chef, was very helpful. She had quite a strict tone but a great sense of humour. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t ask for help. It really was a fantastic “night out”. If you’re looking to do something fun with a friend or a partner, I’d highly recommend attending a cooking class at Silwood.