As the event approached, I started to be told more and more about the other bloggers in attendance, and it dawned on me that most were food bloggers, and very good food bloggers at that, and I started to get a little nervous. I love to cook, but I'd definitely class myself as a cook rather than a chef or a foodie - I love to make tasty food, use fresh ingredients, try new things and different recipes, but there's very little chiffonading, julienneing or flambéing going on in my kitchen (the latter making both Matthew and our home insurers a lot happier!). I considered chickening out - first food pun of the post! - but decided to go for it and see how I fared.
And I am so glad I did, because it was truly a super evening. We all arrived at the Underground Cookery School, near Old Street and were greeted with juices, bubbles, and electric blue aprons. There was quite a gaggle of bloggers already there when I arrived, so it was fun to mingle, meet some new people and compare cameras, blogs, and try to guess what the event might hold!
After about fifteen minutes of blogging chatter, we were called to order, and Carlos, one of the chefs in charge, explained that we would be cooking two courses together - a chicken curry, and a pear soufflé. We were quickly sorted into teams and my group headed off to tackle the soufflé first. Our chef instructor Anthony was so patient with our questions and a total pro about all the lenses being pointed in his direction! He really demystified how to make a soufflé, and while I didn't particularly enjoy the finished product on the night I'll certainly be adapting the recipe at home to see what it's supposed to taste like.
Soufflés prepped, we headed over to Martin's station to make our curries. This was such fun, and much more in my comfort zone as I make meals like this often! Martin was brilliant and very much joined in with all the punning, hashtagging and general hilarity, while still getting us to complete our curries in good time to send off to the oven to cook through to really develop a depth of flavour.
Carlos then called us all over to show how to make caipirahnas and pina coladas. The blender he used was an amazing Kenwoods one which could whizz up ice, smoothies, cocktails so speedily and looked stylish and funky too. I had a little bit of a kitchenware geek moment! After sampling sips of cocktail, we retired to a lovely long table, poured the wine, and got ready for dinner.
The conversation was lovely, encompassing blogging, travel, work, weddings, and a whole host of other topics. The chicken curry arrived which was really yummy - it was a tomato based, almost jalfrezi style dish with a real freshness. The pudding was lovely to look at but a little eggy to my taste....this is a dish I'm looking forward to working on and trying to perfect. After dinner some prizes were given for best tweet, best picture, best pun etc.....and imagine my joy when I won one of the prizes. The self-same blender I had drooled over earlier in the evening! I was thrilled.
All in all it was a really super evening, and a wonderful chance to learn a few new things and meet some lovely new bloggers. Some of them are really great writers and cooks and will be added to my blog list very soon, so please do check them out! A big thank you to Currys for arranging the night and for inviting me, you can read their take on things (along with some more pics) here: http://techtalk.currys.co.uk/cooking-home-appliances/currysinthekitchen-currys-first-food-blogger-event/
And now, some pictures from a fun night:
|Ashley was not the biggest fan of the soufflé!|
|I had to snap this shot of the photographer in action! There were so many shots being taken by so many people all evening. No one had to apologise even once for taking a picture of their food before digging in!|
|Carlos explaining the plan.|
|Separating eggs for the soufflé.|
|Mmmmm, pina coladas!|
|I will always break out a teacher look for a good (or not so good!) joke.|
|Ready to cook!|
|I was so delighted and thoroughly surprised to win, I felt the need to lift my new blender aloft like a football trophy. So silly!|