Goodness, my little blog has suffered a bit of neglect recently but all in aid of a good cause. As you well know, I do like to illustrate my food and recent food related commissions have kept this blogger ‘drawing and colouring-in’ as they say in kindergarten. All very exciting and soon to be revealed to the outside world. Suffice to say, all the colouring-in has kept some of my culinary escapades curtailed but last Thursday I managed to sneak off to the first of Niamh Shields‘, she of Eat Like a Girl, 2012 cooking classes. And as befits the ‘Queen of Bacon’, her first class was a Bacon Class. And what crackling fun it turned to be (sorry, sorry, couldn’t resist that).
Her classes are based at the spacious, well-appointed kitchens of Central St Cookery School near Old St, EC1V 8AJ. Lots of great natural light and plenty of sinks to pile your pans into as you cook! There were 6 of us in the class and as the evening wore on the chat and laughter made that seem double. After a brief introduction we all pulled on our aprons and took to our stations. We tackled 4 bacon recipes using the delicious Denhay bacon provided and each ended up with a stash to take home of bacon jam, bacon vodka (made with Grey Goose vodka), candied bacon fudge (later I discovered that that partners well with whiskey – phowar!) and maple syrup and tamarind candied bacon. Not bad, not bad at all.
So how were the classes?
Well, apart from great fun and very friendly, Niamh’s teaching is very hands on. It turns out that she not only likes to show what needs to be done but also explain why. We all got a chance to make all of the dishes and it was really helpful to be able to show how your dish was progressing while it happened and get instant feedback as opposed to a critique at the end. The pace was lively but not rushed, there was opportunity to discuss others progress and compare and the ample space meant that we could easily work without bumping into each other. Sharp knives too (I do like a sharp knife). All in all, a really satisfying experience. I’m definitely going to sign on for a future day class. But hey, don’t just take my word for it have a glance at the slideshow and see for yourselves. The next class is on 26th May, details here.
To find out about any of Niamh’s cooking classes see here.