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"The Basic Techniques and Methods of Cookery"
Liam’s classes will acquaint participants with the basics of cooking and food presentation – regardless of their kitchen skills. You’ll discover that there is something quite satisfying about conquering techniques that may have previously frustrated you. The reward is that knowledge of the basic principles will allow you to assert your creativity positively in the kitchen, giving you the courage to tackle all kinds of recipes because you’ll understand the chemistry of food and what makes ingredients work together the way that they do.
The natural extension of Liam’s enthusiasm for fine cuisine and for sharing his knowledge with anyone wanting to learn how to cook well, this 20-class cookery course offers a set curriculum that covers every aspect of cooking - from making the perfect “stock”, the basis of many good dishes - to selecting and presenting a “cheese board”. Liam’s four-hour classes will take place every alternate Wednesday morning commencing 10th November 2010 and participants must enrol for the entire course.
Classes are intimate, consisting of a maximum of 20 participants who will have the opportunity to interact on a one-on-one basis with Liam during his 4 hour demonstrations that will begin promptly at 10:00am. In these classes, participants will meet like-minded enthusiasts who are equally interested in widening their knowledge of food, cooking and wine-pairing.
Participants will each receive comprehensive course notes and recipes and be served three of the dishes demonstrated, which will be paired with matching wines.
The benefit of this course to participants – whether they are cooks wanting to improve their knowledge, or enthusiastic foodies wanting to improve their cooking ability to impress family and friends, will be to gain the confidence to implement their newly acquired knowledge and skills with flair and dexterity.
|CLASS 1||Stocks||10th November 2010|
|CLASS 2||Soups & Consommés||24th November 2010|
|CLASS 3||Savoury Sauces & Compound Butters||08th December 2010|
|CLASS 4||Dressings & Cold Sauces||12th January 2011|
|CLASS 5||Salads||26th January 2011|
|CLASS 6||Shellfish||09th February 2011|
|CLASS 7||Fish||23rd February 2011|
|CLASS 8||Meat||09th March 2011|
|CLASS 9||Game||23rd March 2011|
|CLASS 10||Poultry||06th April 2011|
|CLASS 11||Offal & Charcuterie||20th April 2011|
|CLASS 12||Eggs||04th May 2011|
|CLASS 13||Vegetables & Vegetarian||18th May 2011|
|CLASS 14||Pasta, Grains & Rice||1st June 2011|
|CLASS 15||Potatoes||15th June 2011|
|CLASS 16||Pastry, Batter & Baking||29th June 2011|
|CLASS 17||Ice Cream, Sorbet, Coulis & Sauces||13th July 2011|
|CLASS 18||Chocolate||27th July 2011|
|CLASS 19||Plated Desserts||10th August 2011|
|CLASS 20||Cheese||24th August 2011|
This class will cover the fundamentals of French cooking-stocks, an essential and important step in learning to cook. Liam will demonstrate how to make a selection of stocks derived from vegetables, fish, poultry, meat and game and how they form an integral part of many dishes such as soups, sauces, ragouts and braises – all of which will be covered in the next 19 classes. During this class, Liam will take you step-by-step through the making of 9 different stocks and share tips on how to store and freeze stock so that you will always have them on hand, ready to use.
SOUPS & CONSOMMÉS
Soups offer limitless opportunities to create flavour and texture with a combination of everyday vegetables, grains, pulses, fish, meat and stock or water. The simplest and most sophisticated soups all require the same approach to achieve the desired consistency and flavour; less is definitely more when it comes to creating a balanced and flavoured soup. In this class, Liam will demonstrate a selection of both hot and cold soups, broths and consommés.
SAVOURY SAUCES & COMPOUND BUTTERS
In this class Liam will lead you step-by-step through the different stages and techniques of making a selection of sauces and compound butters. The French Culinary Repertory (Le Repertoire de la Cuisine) currently lists over 200 recipes for sauces hot and cold (excluding variations) with many different methods of preparation that are quite different from each other - not only in taste and appearance - but in the way they are made. Savoury sauces can be divided into different categories (sweet sauces will be covered in a future course): cold sauces, cold emulsions, flavoured oils and vinaigrettes (to which Class 4 is dedicated), savoury creams, white sauces, brown sauces, jus, vegetable and herb sauces and hot emulsions, which will be demonstrated during Class 3.
DRESSINGS & COLD SAUCES
As early as the 15th Century, salads were mixed with a dressing of oil and sharp vinegar seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. The basic concept remains the same today and the classic French vinaigrette dressings are still made with oil, acid (vinegar, verjuice and/or lemon juice), seasonings, herbs and spices such as mustard. The most obvious cold sauces are vinaigrettes, dressings and mayonnaises that are used for cold dishes. But the range also extends to dipping sauces, condiments, flavoured and infused oils and creams. During this course Liam will demonstrate an array of his favourite vinaigrettes, dressings and cold sauces and show you how, unlike hot sauces, cold sauces can usually be made up in a few minutes and can be used for all kinds of dishes, both hot and cold.
No matter what you call a salad – salade in French or Dutch, insalata in Italian, ensalada in Spanish, salat in German, Danish and Russian or sallad in Swedish – it all derives from the Latin root, sal, which means “salt”. The earliest salads were just that - a radish or a fresh green leaf dressed with salt. With the arrival of Nouvelle cuisine, a movement in cookery that started in the early 1970’s that encouraged a simpler and more natural presentation of food, the salad took on a new role on menus. Chefs began to question the over-rich, complicated and heavy dishes and the rigid formulae in which they had been trained. These dishes were no longer suitable for a new generation conscious of the health hazards of overeating - especially of fatty foods. During this course Liam will demonstrate that there are wonderful combinations and endless ways to serve a salad.
Crustacea (crustaceans) live in both fresh and salt water and include shrimp, prawns, crab, crayfish and lobster. They have a hard external skeleton (shell) to protect the delicate flesh inside and are identified by their body being divided into three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. Most molluscs are ocean-dwelling and are enclosed in a pair of shells. Scallops, mussels, oysters and even snails, octopus and squid fall into this category. In this class Liam will guide you through selecting and storing crustacea and molluscs and will demonstrate how to prepare and cook them in several different ways. He will make one of his favourite dishes: Freshly Shucked Oysters with Vietnamese Dressing...
Everybody loves fish but often they are not sure what to do with it or, most importantly not sure what to look for when buying it. I believe this is the reason that there is such a small selection of fish retailers available to us in South Africa despite being surrounded by prime fishing grounds. So, although it is often hard to obtain fresh fish, the first lesson about fish is to find a fishmonger or outlet that sells fresh, whole fish. Support and encourage them and hopefully one day there will be a bigger variety and better quality fish that are more widely available here in South Africa rather than having our best fish exported to overseas markets. Ask most chefs what their favourite ingredient is to work with - or favourite section to work in - and most will say fish. It is one of the most versatile products and ultimate in diversity, with each species being so individual in texture and flavour. Liam will demonstrate how to identify fresh fish plus scaling, filleting, trimming and portioning it and will show you a variety of simple ways to prepare, cook and serve this wonderful source of food.
In the next four classes Liam will cover a wide range of meats that are divided into four categories with each deserving a class in their own right. Liam will demonstrate butchery and carving techniques as well as the different cooking methods including curing, marinating, confit, terrines, poaching, shallow frying, grilling, roasting, braising, glazing, pot roasting and stewing. He will also advise and give tips on choosing and buying different qualities of meat and the storing of meat, game and poultry. This class will cover red and white meats: beef, lamb, pork and veal while the “Game” class will cover both feathered and furred Game. This will be followed by the “Poultry” class in which the generic farmyard birds, notably chicken, duck, quail, turkey and guinea fowl will be presented. The class on “Offal” will cover all you need to know about the edible internal organs and extremities of all of the above.
GAME FEATHERED & FURRED
Game can be divided into two categories: “Ground and winged” or “feathered and furred.” Game meat can be either wild or farmed; but is now farmed in ever-increasing numbers and reared all the year round specifically for consumption. The popularity of game is on the rise as it is regarded as a healthy red meat, low in fat, calories, and cholesterol and a good source of protein and iron. Liam will explain the difference between “wild” and “farmed” game and compare the difference in their diets, the fat content and quality of their meat, their habitat and ageing process. He will also demonstrate just how perfectly the rich meat from game can be paired with big-flavoured sauces such as aged balsamic, peppered sauce, chocolate or big wine reductions such as a Shiraz or a Cabernet Sauvignon. He will use the tougher, cheaper cuts and demonstrate how they benefit from slow braising in a flavoured stock or cooked as confit. During this class Liam will use a selection of game to demonstrate butchery techniques as well as cooking and presenting the game in a variety of different ways.
The term “poultry” applies to all types of domesticated fowl, whether they are bred for the table or for its eggs. There are over 12,000 species of edible birds however; this class will cover only the generic farmyard birds notably chicken, duck, quail and guinea fowl. Turkey & goose will be covered in a separate “Christmas Menu” class later in the year. During this class Liam will show you just how versatile poultry is and that there is so much more that one can do with these birds than simply serving it up as a roast. He will demonstrate how to utilise every piece of the bird; from rendering the excess fat of the bird to use for confit; the different stages in the making of duck confit; tunnel boning and stuffing the legs, to how to perfect the making of a savoury mousse.
OFFAL & CHARCUTERIE
These two ingredients go hand-in-hand but in truth, really deserve a whole class dedicated to each one. Offal, otherwise known as “variety meats” or “organ meats”, covers the edible internal parts, and some extremities of an animal, removed before the carcass is cut up. Some of the most flavoursome and tastiest cuts of the animal come from the head, snout, tail, tongue, ears, liver, stomach (tripe), kidneys, trotters, bone marrow, sweetbreads (pancreas and thymus glands) brains and giblets (the offal from poultry). Charcuterie means “cooked meat” and also describes a shop where such products are produced and sold. Charcuterie is predominantly made from pork but poultry, feathered and furred game and offal are also used to make a variety of products using various types of preparations such as salt curing, air drying, and smoking and also include dishes such as pates, terrines, sausages, rillette, hams, crepinettes, blood sausage and boudin blanc. Liam will demonstrate various methods of preparation and different dishes and introduce you to the delights of using these cheaper and often underutilized meats.
Eggs are one of the most basic and versatile foods available and are used in every cuisine and diet in the world. In earlier classes Liam included the use of eggs in dressings and emulsions and in future classes he will demonstrate how to use them in making pasta, pastry, sweet sauces and ice creams. In this class, Liam will cover savoury dishes using eggs and will also showcase eggs as a dish in their own right, whether scrambled, boiled, poached, fried or baked. He will demonstrate how to turn the egg into a meal-in-minutes and will also use the most famous eggs of them all – caviar – to make his favourite canapé, “Eggs on Eggs”.
VEGETABLES & VEGETARIAN
Vegetables and vegetarian dishes have always played an important part in Liam’s menus, with a separate ten-course vegetarian degustation menu prepared and served in a variety of ways. Too many chefs and restaurateurs regard vegetarians as an afterthought or, as an inconvenience during a busy service and think that a bowl of steamed vegetables is sufficient to warrant a main course price. We have also become all too used to accepting and eating tasteless out-of-season vegetables that have travelled half way around the world. Vegetables grow in various ways and in many of them, different parts of the same plant can be eaten. Some vegetables are leaves; some are root and some are stems. Stem vegetables don’t consist of stems only; often they include other parts of the plant. For instance, courgettes or zucchini are part stem and part flower; globe artichoke is stem, leaf and heart; asparagus is both stem and bud while English spinach and celery consist of stem and leaf. Because different plant parts differ in structure, it is important to prepare and cook each part separately. During this class, Liam will demonstrate various ways of preparing and cooking a selection of seasonal vegetables using alternative cooking methods.
PASTA, GRAINS & RICE
Pasta, grains and rice feature on every menu worldwide in one form or another. Pasta is normally associated with Italian cuisine but has been made and eaten centuries before it was introduced to Italy in China and the Middle East. Translated, pasta means “paste” or “dough” and is unleavened paste or dough made with flour and salt, with either eggs, olive oil or water. It can be flavoured and coloured in endless ways with the addition of saffron, squid ink, vegetable purees, herbs and even chocolate. Rice is the sustenance of half of the world’s population; the fundamental ingredient of countless cuisines around the world and is grown in a variety of grains, each displaying a unique flavour and requiring a different cooking method. During this class Liam will demonstrate how to make, colour, flavour and shape a selection of pasta. He will also cook various grains of rice and make one of his favourite desserts, a risotto of tropical fruit with coconut ice cream, where the traditional savoury stock is replaced with apple juice to create a deliciously creamy dessert.
Peruvian purple, Jersey Royals, Russian Banana, Chuno, Binje, Purple Congo and Spunta are all varieties of potatoes. Hundreds of different varieties are cultivated all over the world in a vast range of shapes, sizes, colours and textures from “mealy” and “floury” to “waxy”. There are three categories of potatoes – waxy (low starch), starchy (high starch content) and all purpose – floury (between waxy and starchy). The potato has endless versatility, which can be evidenced by browsing over any menu in any country and noticing how frequently potatoes are a major feature of a dish - from French fries, Swiss potato roesti, Italian potato gnocchi, Irish colcannon, Spanish omelette to Indian bhajias. During this class Liam will select different varieties of potatoes of different textures and will demonstrate an array of simple dishes from silky, mashed potato, oyster vichyssoise, potato and truffle salad, potato gratin and twice-cooked potatoes with braised lamb shanks.
PASTRY, BATTER & BAKING
Baking and pastry recipes require more exacting adherence to quantities than savoury recipes. The pastry kitchen is more scientific than the hot kitchen and needs attention and precision when weighing and measuring ingredients and this is why you will often see more women than men running the pastry kitchen. During this class Liam will demonstrate, how to create different dough structures that result in crumbly, flaky and crisp pastries with just slight variations of flour, fat, quantity of liquid and mixing methods. He will also make one of the earliest, and to this day most popular, breads – pancakes - and will demonstrate sweet and savoury dishes using both leavened and unleavened batters.
ICE CREAM, SORBET, COULIS & SAUCES
Ice creams originated in China and were introduced into Europe by the Italians in the 17th century. The Chinese made iced drinks and desserts by freezing flavoured mixtures in snow while the Peruvians made syrups chilled with snow, called “sharbets”, which were also served in powder form - hence “sherbet” and “sorbet”. In 1650 a French cook to Charles I of England discovered and served ices made from milk, cream and eggs. Towards the end of the 18th century ice creams became more delicate in flavour and were moulded into different shapes and a multitude of different flavours were added through infusions with herbs and spices or with the addition of nuts, fruit purees, melted chocolate and liqueurs. During this class Liam will demonstrate how to make a “base ice cream” that can be infused and flavoured to create a multitude of taste sensations. He will also make a selection of sorbet and granita and some simple sweet sauces and fruit coulis to serve with these frozen desserts.
Chocolate desserts are always the most popular on any restaurant menu, and with good reason. Chocolate comes in a variety of flavours, colours and qualities and can be turned into an endless array of delicious desserts - either hot or cold - from baked chocolate tart, truffles, petit fours, ice creams & sorbets, mousse, parfait and cookies to rich sauces. It is also used in the savoury kitchen to thicken and add a slight “indefinable” bitterness to game sauces or, in countries such as Mexico where it is used in dishes such as “mole.” It is widely available in many grades and price varies dramatically depending on the quality of the beans and how they are handled. The amount of cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and many other ingredients that can be added to chocolate will determine the quality of the final product. For best results pastry chefs use chocolate with a 60%, or higher, cocoa butter content. During this class Liam will explain the advantages of using a premium chocolate and will demonstrate how to introduce an affinity of flavours to chocolate such as nuts, citrus fruit, liquors, herbs, fruit and coffee, and how to incorporate flavoured chocolate into different desserts and petit fours.
For many, this is the most important and anticipated course of a meal. In ancient times meals ended with fresh or dried fruit, depending on the season, and cheese or milk-based dishes. In the 17th century dessert was a very elaborate event with tables of desserts laid out in magnificent style and intricate centre pieces created out of sugar or pastry. In the 20th century, cheese and fruit was served before the dessert course which was served from a trolley that would be laden with tarts, cakes, fruit salads and mousses. Today, individual desserts is the preferred way to serve the dessert course in restaurants and many chefs will send a complimentary pre–dessert to “tickle” guests taste buds before the main event. During this class Liam will make a selection of desserts, puddings and jellies and will demonstrate and give tips on plating styles and techniques. He will also make the pre-dessert he served in his restaurant, Banc, for six years - as guests objected strongly if he tried changing it; it consisted of three layers of apple flavours and textures: jelly, Granny Smith sorbet and a Calvados sabayon.
Cheese is a preserved form of milk, one of the oldest manufactured foods. Making cheese is based on the natural principles of fermentation which is used to remove the liquid (whey) from the milk leaving the solids (curd). The dairy cow provides the bulk of the world’s milk and cheese but a significant amount of goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses are made throughout Europe and the Middle East. In addition cheese is made in lesser quantities from the milk of reindeer, yak, zebu, buffalo and camel. Cheese is seasonal and the quality of it depends heavily on the skills of the farmer, the traditions of the craft and the cheese-maker and the complex influences of local seasons, soils, breed, feed and geography. Slight alterations in basic cheese making steps create the thousands of cheeses available to us from around the world. During this class Liam will explain how to identify and select the perfect selection of cheese for a cheese board and advice on the best accompaniments with which to serve it. Liam will also make a selection of savoury dishes and a dessert using different cheeses from around the world.