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Cooking schools


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Here in the States, we have a number of cooking schools. I'm not talking about Cordon Bleu courses: rather, schools that have evening and weekend classes of about 2 1/2 hours on wide varieties of subjects, taught by cookbook authors or local restaurant chefs. Students get to either observe and sample, or do hands-on with the chef-instructor. Prices range between $30 and $60 US dollars per class.

Do you have anything like this ?

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There's quite a few around; The AGL cooking school in chatswood, the Sydney Seafood School in Pyrmont, Snowball & pemberton and many others.. Are you interested in a type of cuisine or a certain location? Quite a few restaurants do their own occasional classes aswell; the courses at Aria are particularily good.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Here's a list of the Sydney schools;

Citysearch

and

The NRMA

There is a bit of duplication between the lists

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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And more in Melbourne...

http://www.prahranmarket.com.au

Click on "Events" and go to the cooking school to download the schedule. This school has some big-recognition names including David Thompson (Thai food) and Rose Levy Birnbaum.

The William Angliss Institute also has many excellent classes available, both for professional training and for the enthusiastic amateur.

In Adelaide there are quite a few cooking schools large and small, like Rosa Matto's (small) to the International Centre for Hospitality and Food Studies at TAFE Regency Park (Cheong Liew taught there for some years).

Prices run about the same as in the USA.

Have fun in Aussieland. Don't miss the Adelaide Central Market.

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  • 3 months later...

On the occasion of my husband's 30th birthday a couple of weekends ago, we took part in a Thai seafood cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School (at the Fish Markets). The class started off at one of the big Thai shops near Central (can't remember the street name, but it's parallel to Hay, where the Capitol Theatre is). I'd walked up that street for the first time about a week previously and had a great mooch around. Anyway, we had a slightly windswept introduction to the basic ingredients as we stood around on the street and were left to wander around and take a look for ourselves before meeting back up at the Fish Markets about an hour later. The introduction covered the various herbs, chillies, sauces, vegetables etc, as well as some basics like noodles, rice etc.

Back at the Seafood School, the class host gave about a 1 1/2 hour cooking demo of squid salad, thai fishcakes, red curry paste (which was used to make a curry with blue-eyed cod and pineapple), and tom yum gai. It was excellent to see everything made from scratch as it gave a pretty good idea of how long things took (although all dirty dishes were passed through a hatch at the back of the demo area which I wish I had in my kitchen!). Also, while I've read about how to clean squid etc in the past, seeing someone do it right in front of you I think gives you more confidence to do it yourself.

Anyway, after the class, we went into the preparation area and split into groups of five to try things for ourselves. Our impression at this stage was that a bit more organisation would have been useful, as there was a bit of milling around that reminded me of PE classes at school! Also, while the general idea that we would make everything up ie. curry without the fish, tom yum gai without the prawns and then finish it all just before taking it through to the dining room and eating it, was relatively straightforward, a bit more guidance and assistance would have been useful. The class host was assisted by 2 helpers who did drop in with the odd bit of advice here and there.

My task was making up the red curry paste which really was pretty easy, I can't remember exact proportions but the ingredients were lots of dried mild red chillies, soaked and drained, coriander root, lemongrass, cane sugar, garlic, galangal, thai onions/shallots, oil, shrimp paste - there may have been other things but I can't remember them off the top of my head. One technique that I thought was interesting was frying off the paste for the curry in the thick 'coconut -cream' that you get at the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk.

After our group had completed everything we sat down and ate the fruits of our labour - which were all great. However, other members of our group were slightly timid when it came to chilli so I don't think that we used enough of the paste in our curry - this was confirmed when I used some of the leftover paste at home last week in more generous proportions (the best Thai curry I've ever had!). The tom yum gai soup was great and I couldn't believe how much heat just 2 bruised 'scud' chillies (small green ones) imparted. I'm so making it the next time I have even the hint of a cold.

Overall, we really enjoyed the whole thing, which lasted from 10am to about 3pm, and I think cost in the region of $AUS70 each. Negatives were that we felt that the class host and helpers could have been a bit warmer and that the whole dining room etc could be much more pleasant (you had to set the tables with very ordinary utensils and then 'slop-out' in the manner of a school lunch when leaving...)

They do tons of other classes including barbecuing, one-off dishes like Singapore Chilli Crab, and they also have a lot of chefs from top Sydney restaurants like ARIA who come and do guest nights.

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callalla, thanks for posting this. Though I live in Melbourne I would love to sometime do one of the courses at the fish market in Sydney. Great report!

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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  • 4 months later...
Ok, I need some opinions of culinery / patisserie school that is considered quite reputable in Melbourne.... or should i be better off going overseas to Le Cordon Blue instead?

All suggestions welcomed!!

What exactly do you wish to learn?

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What level of profficiency are you at?

I have a friend doing patisserie at WAIoT at the moment and he's enjoying it. He also did his Chef's certification there too. It's an impressive school by all accounts and you're probably at the right place to start of with, but I agree with TCO. What do you want to learn and why?

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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What ever you want to learn - you should also consider Kirsten Tibball's Savour Patisserie School in Brunswick - www.savourschool.com.au. Kirsten is a member of the Australian Pastry Olympics Team and recently won Gold at the World Championships

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

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I want to learn to make pastry and deserts....the visual appeal and the science of creating a tasteful delight. I am still considering whether i want this to be a career path for me because at the moment i am completing my bachelors degree in fashion design and merchandising.

I might sound really fickle... but i think im still a little naive and want to open up my options.

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