Indulge your inner chef at these enlightening and inspiring classes at the Golden Pig Food and Wine School, which can be found in the back streets of Newstead.
Offering a wide range of food, wine and beer classes, the School has something for everyone. These fun and educational classes are designed for all skill levels from beginners, to home cooks, wannabe chefs and those just looking to expand their knowledge and repertoire.
Husband and wife team Katrina and Mark Ryan own and run the school and their combined hospitality experience is impressive, to say the least. Mark has worked his building design magic on the Golden Pig and Wine School's home - a red brick warehouse on the outside, a funky cafe and open industrial style cooking space on the inside.
Katrina's past experience as a cooking tutor at the Spirit House in Yandina and Adelaide's Sticky Rice Cooking School is evident as she puts a class of sixteen through their paces with an air of ease and complete control.
Stopping to explain and demonstrate techniques, answer questions and offer advice, she is truly inspiring and clearly passionate about creating delicious food. The classes are hands on, giving everyone an opportunity to try their hand at new skills and techniques under the watchful eye of a true professional. The minimalist kitchen is well designed, providing class members with a professional kitchen experience, without the stress and angst!
Each class runs for around four hours and in the blink of an eye delicious food is prepared and ready to be enjoyed. Class members then have the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour - accompanied by a cool drink of their choice. Lush vertical gardens and hanging pots combined with brightly coloured chairs create a chilled out ambience, perfect for savouring those taste sensations and enjoying casual conversation with fellow classmates.
Classes here include: Kitchen Essentials; A Taste of Vietnam; Wine Masterclass; Beer, Birds, Beef and Barbeque; Butchery and Knife Skills; and French Bistro - just to name a few. Guest chefs and tutors run some of these sessions, sharing their knowledge of their particular areas of expertise. Check out the website for a full list of classes on offer - the opportunities seem endless.
Those attending the Kitchen Essentials class will learn techniques like creating the perfect mayonnaise, béarnaise sauce, crème anglaise and jus. Katrina will also teach the skills of boning and skinning fish, preparing beef fillet and how to tie kitchen twine. Think boiling vegetables is old school? Be prepared to rethink that notion and enjoy boiled veg as never before.
At the end of this session, budding chefs will enjoy items such as: panfried fish with lemon and dill mayonnaise, braised peas and lettuce; beef fillet with béarnaise sauce; roast chicken with fig, bacon and hazelnut stuffing with jus; ratatouille with seasonal green vegetables and for dessert, apple and frangipane tart with crème anglaise. What a fitting end to a busy four hours in the kitchen.
Katrina's accomplishments are enviable: as an executive chef, restaurateur, cooking school tutor, and Mum to three she has enjoyed many highlights. She trained under Neil Perry at the Blue Water Grill (where Mark also trained and where the pair met) and later worked at his Rockpool restaurant as head chef. Katrina was also personal chef to Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise when they'd visit Australia in the 90's. Mark also has a wealth of hospitality experience, working as executive chef in top restaurants both nationally and internationally. He has since retrained in building design and has earned a reputation as an award winning building designer.
Whilst slipping on the Golden Pig apron and picking up a chef's knife won't make class members instant chefs, these classes are fun and lively and will inspire everyone to go home and show off their new found skills and create a little kitchen magic of their own.
The Golden Pig Food and Wine School can be booked for corporate and private functions - give them a call or visit the website for more info.
By Sandy Ludinski
The Golden Pig Food and Wine School is a valued sponsor of Must Do Brisbane.com