No matter how good you think you are there is always room to improve your skills. So it is that DonQui finds himself in Ireland attending the one day Cheat’s Guide to Gourmet Cooking course at the Dublin Cookery School.
Feeling a bit like a contestant on Master Chef, Don Qui fastens his apron and sets about trying to reproduce six gourmet dishes: three starters, two mains, and a desert.
Each dish is first demonstrated, the tilted mirror above the demonstration counter allowing DonQui to see what is going on in the dishes and pans from above as well as from in front. Then armed with notes and a printed recipe he joins the others to take his station before a stove top where the various utensils, and pre-measured ingredients have been laid out.
Short-cutting the prep time along with the fact that others did the cleaning up suited DonQui very much. He found himself wondering if there could be some way of reproducing this at home.
The point of the course is not just to cook the dishes but to learn the tips, tricks and techniques used by chefs. Some of these — such as blanching vegetables in advance and finishing them off in a pan at the last moment — DonQui already knew. Others, such as how to produce the perfect poached egg, are new to him. Indeed DonQui has never poached an egg before and he approaches the exercise with some trepidation. The same could be said of the hot salad dressing.
DonQui feels very pleased with himself when each of the dishes turn out as they should. He is particularly proud of his asparagus salad with lardons, black pudding and poached egg.
Over the next few weeks DonQui will try the recipes and techniques at home to see how they turn out whens he tries them without adult supervision. On the assumption they work out he will publish them on his blog, revealing some of the tips he has learned.