This was my second visit to Belfast Cookery School and I was very excited to learn more top tips from chef, Ian Hunter, who runs the school.
If you haven’t been yet, you really should check it out. it’s a great set up with a huge variety of cooking themes to choose from. Ian demonstrates the optimum way to prepare and cook the food and then participants get to have a bash at it themselves, with varying levels of success!
I attended the taste of the States class with family members, Diane, Patrick, Kirsten and Michael and we had absolutely no idea what we were going to make! The format of the sessions is very casual, which immediately put us at our ease and we settled into our high stools at the table in anticipation of what was in store for us.
First off (after drinks all round), Ian greeted the group and talked us through what we would be making. Buttermilk fried chicken with Napa Slaw and and honey mustard dip followed by a fabulous cheeseburger with fries and creamed corn. Ian started us with the chicken, talking us through each stage of the dish, making the dressing, the slaw and the cruchy coating for the chicken. Once he had cooked and plated up his finished dish it was over to us to get our aprons on, choose a work station and get to work.
When everyone had finished preparing and cooking their chicken & slaw (closely supervised by Ian’s team) we brought our dishes back to the table ready to tuck in and enjoy. I’m not generally a fan of fried chicken but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was.
Next up, Ian talked us through the quality of his meat for the burgers, Himalayan salt aged chuck steak and rib eye from Hannans Meats, cooked with another local favourite, Broighter Oils rapeseed oil. Our burger would be shaped, fried, baked in the oven and served in a brioche bun with shallots, lettuce tomato and topped with smoked applewood cheese, a lifetime favourite of mine! Creamed corn and chips would be served on the side. I will admit that our effort didn’t look anywhere as good as Ian’s perfect serve but boy did it taste good. The servings are extremely generous so if you do go take note- there are takeaway containers available at the end to take home anything you don’t eat!
Our final course was a chocolate and peanut butter brownie served with vanilla ice-cream. We didn’t get to make this (there really wouldn’t be time) and we really didn’t have room to eat it so we packed up our portions to take home and enjoy the next day. We also got all the recipes to take home and try ourselves.
I must say that this is a really fun event and everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as us. If you want to find out more or book a class- click here.
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