The Adelaide Food Central team were kindly invited along to a cooking class held by Rilka Warbanoff, owner and sole director at Rilka’s Real Food Cooking School in Hahndorf. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
The furnishings and whole set up of the kitchen and dining space are modern and minimalistic with a sense of charm and homeliness. Plenty of natural light streaming from the outside through the windows. There clearly has been much time and effort put into renovating the space which previously was an old barn.
Today’s cooking class specifically focused on Spanish cuisine with a four course which included an entree, appetiser, main and dessert. The Gazpacho was refreshing, light and tasty. The flavours from all the vegetables complimented each other well. I imagine this would be the perfect chilled dish that would be a welcome relief on a hot Summer’s day. It was a very quick and easy dish to make as it was basically chopping up vegetables, placing it into a blender and chilling it in the refrigerator.
These Prawn Fritters were also a cinch to make, requiring very little technique or time. Yet they were extremely tasty little crunchy, golden pockets of flavour.
Although there were quite a few steps and ingredients with the Catalan Fish Stew it was quite straight forward as long as one carefully follows the method. A very hearty and filling dish with a stew base that has a beautiful vibrant red colour.
The Tarta De Queso Spanish Cheesecake was a much lighter and healthier alternative to a traditional version. Xylithol is used which is a natural substitute for sugar. It is low-GI and low in calories. Only the half the amount should be used when replacing sugar.
While all these dishes appeared complicated to make, Rilka was able to take us by the hand and demonstrate how incredibly easy it is to create healthy meals that are full-bodied with plenty of different layers of flavour. It is a very unique school as it is one of the very few cooking schools in Australia that actually caters to specific dietary needs such as those who are gluten intolerant or diabetic. We truly had a smashing time learning a few new cooking tips here and there, and being able to turn raw, fresh ingredients into something very tasty and inviting to all the senses.
Rilka’s Real Food Cooking School is a very unique business in Adelaide and we highly recommend these classes from beginners, intermediate and anyone in between. Thank you Rilka for your kind hospitality and for helping us broaden our knowledge of Spanish cuisine, as well as polishing up our cooking skills.
Words and Photos by Linh Nguyen
WHERE: 91 Mount Barker Rd, Hahndorf