After seeing Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy, one of Bristol’s most prestigious cookery schools, on living social I snapped up the deal as soon as I could – Barbora’s resume of experience is certainly impressive and one which at a discounted price of £30 each for a 3 hour cooking lesson I simply couldn’t refuse.
We arrived to the academy for 7pm on Thursday – a beautiful house in the heart of Clifton and met the other 2 couples we were going to be cooking with. Things may have been a little awkward at first – but then they always are when thrust into a room full of people you don’t know. Barbora soon got us stuck in though – before we knew it we were up to our elbows in flour making soda bread.
The full menu we ate is below – I was amazed at just how much we managed to cook in 2 hours of cooking. Whilst every dish was simple and fairly easy to replicate (I didn’t come away with any groundbreaking new skills to add to my repertoire) Barbora really encouraged you to make each dish your own and pretty much everything tasted wholesome and good at the end of it. (I think we all agreed that the artichokes which were part of the main course were undercooked) but everything else – delicious.
- Beetroot and dill soup with home made soda bread
- Potato rosti witt roasted seasonal vegetables
- Warm cinnamon apples, vanilla cream and rum and raisin ice-cream
We each made our own version of the beetroot soup to start and Barbora really encouraged us to use her kitchen as our own and to divert from the recipe to make it more or less spicy if we wanted – with that in mind I got slightly cumin happy but it all tasted good so no worries.
For the main course, each couple cooked a different part of the meal. Sam and I were on parsnip puree duty for the main. We cooked the parsnips until they started to brown and fried with some spices – we chose a pinch of smoked paprika and a generous helping of black pepper. Then we simmered with some vegetable stock and blended until smooth. The other couples were in charge of artichokes, the potato rosti (yum!!) honeyed carrots with pine kernals – definitely one I’m trying at home, and roasted beetroots – really full of flavour and incredibly juicy.
The homemade rum and raisin ice cream was incredible – really soft and creamy, I think that this may have been helped by the ice-cream maker but still – mmmm!
Overall I think I was surprised that the level of cooking we did was fairly basic – but astounded at the amount of knowledge I came away with. Barbora is warm and friendly and filled our minds with little hints tips and foodie facts throughout the experience. Did you know that all you need to make buttermilk is a spot of vinegar in milk? Or that the easiest way to scoop some egg shell out of cracked eggs is with a piece of the remaining shell? Or that the reason you add olive oil to butter is to stop the butter burning?
I think that the evening would have been perfect had we been with a group of friends where everyone was relaxed and knew each other – not that our fellow chefs and diners weren’t all pleasant – but nonetheless 6 strangers can only ever cover so much common ground – perhaps an ice breaker at the beginning would have helped?
Verdict: An all round enjoyable evening cooking new foods following new recipes, learning new facts and meeting new people.