This is an Adelaide Food Central article like no other. The food that we ate and the photos below are of food that we cooked with our own hands! Adelaide Food Central was invited to Scoffed Cooking School on for a French cooking class on Bastille day.
On the menu was an entrée of Savoury Dill Crepe with a barramundi farci, main was Coq au Vin with haricots verts and perfect puree de pomme de terre (I’ll translate this for you later) and our triumphant dessert was a round of choux pastry filled with a praline crème patisserie called Paris-Brest. I’m sure you will agree this is an impressive, albeit imposing menu, so we rolled up our sleeves, donned our aprons and awaited instruction from our friendly and knowledgeable instructor, Chef Lachlan Mackinnon.
We were guided through our first course as we prepared a crepe batter, whisked a béchamel and caramelised plump scallops. The stunning result was divine crepe parcels, stuffed with a barramundi béchamel and finished with scallops and a Burre Blanc sauce. We sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labour with a glass of matched pino gris or rose. I think it’s fair to say we were all wowed by what we had created. The dill studded crepe complemented the subtle barramundi flavours in the creamy filling, the scallops (I must add that mine were perfectly cooked) brought an element of luxury and the Burre Blanc brought everything together with its velvety texture and lemony notes.
Filled with confidence from our first stint in the kitchen, we returned to the hot plate to start our Coq au Vin – chicken in red wine. We browned our chicken and then set about making a magnificent sauce of mushrooms, shallots, fresh herbs, cognac and pinot noir. We braised our green beans with chopped garlic and tossed through some fresh parsley. While all this was going on we watched as just tender boiled potatoes were passed through a sieve and combined with butter to make smooth, creamy mash. Plating up brought its own challenges; a perfect quinelle of pomme puree was mastered by the class.
While our chicken was bubbling away in crockpots we commenced our dessert. About 8 years ago (inspired by Masterchef) I attempted to make a Coquembouche. Having armed myself with several cook books, magazine articles and youtube videos I was confident that I had what it took to master choux pastry. Long story short, my other half entered the kitchen and exclaimed “you’ve made biscuits”. Alas, there was no puff in my profiteroles! So here I was at cooking school, whisk in hand, more than a little daunted at the need to face what I now considered, a demon pastry. With the expert guidance of Chef Lachlan Mackinnon we proudly crafted a dessert that was golden and puffed.
Again we dined together at the table, toasting ourselves as the chefs with matched red wines as we tucked into tasty chicken that fell off the bone, al dente baby carrots and sweet, tender shallots. The crème patisserie inside our choux pastry tasted even better given the sweat we worked up emulsifying the thick custard with a wooden spoon.
I’ve done a few cooking classes in my time, what makes this one stand out is the fun, bonding atmosphere. We laughed and bonded through the various tasks in each course and gained great comradery as we patted ourselves on the back for a job well done. A great time was had by everyone, regardless of their cooking experience and confidence in the kitchen. The pace was slow enough for beginners to keep up but not to the point that experienced cooks were bored.
There is truth to the saying that food tastes better when you cook it yourself. We prepared and enjoyed a restaurant quality meal and the best bit – someone else did all the dishes!
For further details or to find out about classes, events, parties or corporate events visit www.scoffedcookingschool.com.au
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 441 Magill Rd, St Morris