London's 5 best: Cooking demonstrations
We all know what a cheese and wine evening looks like, and thankfully cooking demonstrations have come a long way from the ‘to spit or not to spit’ dilemma of the 1970s. These days, catching a quick food demo in the capital can be as formal or as loosey-goosey as you’d like. From an evening chin-wagging with Gizzi Erskine and Yotam Ottolenghi to trips to local Vietnamese supermarkets, London offers the full gamut of edible learning. So whatever takes your fancy, it’ll be a long way from Blue Nun pairings, that’s for sure. Here are London’s top 5 cooking demos:
Established in 1975, it’s difficult to talk about the food industry in Britain without mentioning Leiths School of Food and Wine, its influence now spanning forty years and countless food trends and changes in how we fill our plates. Founder Prue Leith will be joined by Yotam Ottolenghi, Rick Stein and Leiths alum Gizzi Erskine on 24th September to celebrate 40 years of the institution and discuss the evolution of food since the cookery school first opened its doors. After the discussion, guests will be able to try some of the classic dishes that have been on offer at Leiths over the years as part of its curriculum. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to prepare créme brúlée the Leiths way, this one’s for you.
Date: 24th September
Location: Leiths, 16-20 Wendell Road, London, W12 9RT
2. Learn how to forage for your supper in St Albans
There’s nothing like the first blustery winds of autumn to get you in the mood for a good forage. While Hyde Park might not have much to offer in the way of mushrooms and edible flowers, a quick twenty minute train ride to St Albans for a Saturday spent in the woods is the perfect excuse to leave the confines of zone 2. The Foragers run trips every other weekend, heading out to one of their favourite spots to gather and talk through the ingredients needed for a wild supper, before taking the group back to the Verulam Arms pub in St Albans to cook up a foraged feast for their guests. All you need to bring are wellies and an appetite.
Date: 26th September
Location: It’s kept secret so you’ll be contacted in the days before hand with directions...
Uyen Luu is a cook, food stylist and writer intent on sharing the flavours, knowledge and traditions of Vietnamese cooking. If you already follow Uyen on Instagram, you’ll know she’s got a knack for making even the humblest fry-up look like an all-too-tempting feast, but it’s her Vietnamese classes that are gaining a reputation for food lovers. Follow Uyen around her favourite Vietnamese supermarkets in Hackney and then watch as she concocts summer rolls, roasted sea bass and banana fritters. The perfect gift idea for someone who has it all.
Date: 27th September
The trend for small, shareable plates of food seems to have spread from the counter cafes of Soho into our homes, and the more the merrier! At Divertimenti this November you can learn how to create dishes all your friends can dig into, whether they’re vegan, vegetarian or the ‘I’ll eat anything’ types. Charlotte and David Bailey, authors of The Fresh Vegan Kitchen, will be demonstrating how to create dim sum for everyone on 11th November. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch Charlotte and David serving their ever-vibrant buddha bowls out of their Wholefood Heaven truck, this night will be a great way to pick up some tricks of the trade.
Date: 11th November
Location: Divertimenti, 227-229 Brompton Road, SW3 2EP
5. Get in a pickle at Borough Market
If you’ve always wanted to get to grips on pickling and fermenting at home, Borough Market will be tackling the lot this Friday with their Master Pickles demonstration class as part of their Urban Food Fortnight. Borough Market regular and food writer Jenny Chandler will be accompanied by Nick Vadasz of Vadasz Deli, as they cook their way through lactic acid fermentation, sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles. That kimchi cheese toastie had us at hello...
Date: 25th September
Location: Borough Market demo kitchen from 12:30 to 14:00.
City Pantry hosted its own sushi class on 17th September for office managers, led by local nori aficionados Sushi Rolls. If you're an office manager and keen to attend our events drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.