I’ve got nothing on Nigella Lawson… but that’s not to say I don’t love slicing and dicing my way around the kitchen! Although I’m equipped with a selection of trusty recipes that can be thrown together on demand, I’ve decided that 2013 is the year I step my game up by expanding my culinary repertoire and mastering new meals.
Naturally, when I heard Sassy fave Secret Ingredient was to start rolling out cooking classes, I pounced on the opportunity to be part of one. Held in their Sheung Wan kitchen – a sweet corner shop location on Tai Ping Shan Street surrounded by street art, quirky boutiques and a few cool cafés – the class of six was run under the skilled and watchful eye of Chef Russell.
Held bang-on lunchtime, it was a Mexican fiesta with spicy tuna tacos, fresh guacamole and chilli corn-on-the-cob on the menu – although we deviated from the Mexican theme slightly by also making Thai green curry mussels and tasting SI’s new roasted tomato and basil soup too!
Fun, relaxed and informative, the Secret Ingredient cooking class wasn’t a regimented lesson, which I particularly liked. Chef Russell led the charge by demonstrating how to make each dish, touching on tips and tricks as he cooked. We then had the opportunity to re-create what he had shown us, with the opportunity to adapt each recipe to suit our own taste buds.
From how to chop an onion properly, to how to scoop the stone out of an avocado (without destroying the avo in the process!), Chef Russell covered everything my fellow cooks and I wanted to know. I especially loved learning where the Secret Ingredient team sources their fruits and veggies (mostly from nearby wet markets) and how to get the best out of local produce – for example, the fact that locally grown tomatoes need to be roasted first to accentuate their sweetness.
My only gripe (don’t worry, it’s just a little one that can easily be fixed) was that the recipe card outlining what we’d cooked during the class didn’t include quantities (because everything is pre-measured if you order a Secret Ingredient meal). If that sort of detail could be added to the cooking class cards moving forward, foodies will leave with all the info they need to dominate the kitchen!
Given the class size was small and the setting so pleasant, I think these cooking classes will become very popular – and they do fill up quickly, so make sure you book your space well in advance! As well as running scheduled classes, Secret Ingredient can also host private events and parties. Perfect as a birthday, hen’s do or baby shower activity (or just an excuse to make delicious food with a bunch of friends!), I’m almost positive I’ll be back in the Secret Ingredient kitchen again at some stage soon.
Secret Ingredient G/F, 32-34 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan