Last month I had the pleasure of attending a Vegetarian BBQ cookery class at the esteemed James St located on James St South. This is by far one of my favourite things to do, a Cookery Class is tons of fun, you learn some new skills and you leave well fed and if lucky, a little tipsy!
I have done quite a few Cookery Classes in and around Belfast and each one throws up something new, a new taste, an alternative approach even a new ingredient the odd time, but what doesn’t change is just how much fun they are. What a perfect date idea, Christmas gift or, as most you do some classes as a couple, a perfect wedding present!
What makes a Cookery Class so good? For me there’s a few things that you need to consider.
Some Cookery Classes take place in a home kitchen or in the actual restaurant kitchen which can be quite small or restricted. Where James St excels and stands out is that they have a designated area for this experience, in fact it’s an entire floor , which has been fitted out as a professional working kitchen. Here you’ll find all the gadgets those chefs on TV use and you’ll have your own station to prep and cook at, with your own oven and equipment below. You can really immerse yourself in the experience…it would remind me a little of the Ready Steady Cook setup, only on a bigger scale, I think classes can facilitate up to twelve! (actually it would be an awesome Hen or Stag do alternative)
Coming from a teaching background I know the importance of being able to motivate and engage your class – our teacher on the night was the James St sous chef, a lady called Keri who was excellent, she was patient, was able to answer all questions and she didn’t take over too much which I enjoyed. Keri demonstrated a few things and gave us instructions but a lot of the time she let us work away and follow our recipe cards, I liked this approach , it also meant that I could have a wee competition with Lauren to see who could create the best dish (I’ll not say who won……..I won)
This is a big decision, there are so many to choose from. At James St you can book onto a wide variety of classes including; Curry & Beer, Summer Entertaining, One Pot Wonders and many many more, here’s a link with them all with prices and availability – All Classes
*Please note that classes are subject to change due to seasonal changes
The class I attended was a vegetarian BBQ class focusing on Lentils, Pulses and Herbs. I was surprised at just how many things we created, from our main course to side dishes to sauces and we made the best sauce I have ever tasted, a Romesco sauce which was divine, I have told everyone about this sauce!
Have a look at the pics below to see just how much food we made! Bonus – you get to take home anything you don’t eat – I had lunches for a week sorted! Although I must admit, I just spoon ate the whole tub of Romesco Sauce. Other dishes we made on the night; Veg Kebab, Salsa Verde, Guacamole, Aubergine Caviar and a scrumptious cous-cous.
Another nice part of attending a cookery class is the group dynamics, our class was quite small with only 6 amateur chefs (professional wine drinkers tho) and it was great to run into my old teacher Mrs McKeogh…and yes I called her Miss the entire night, I even poured her a wee glass of white to say thanks for putting up with me.
So there you have a brief insight into what to expect at a Cookery Class at James St. I hope you enjoyed this blog and consider booking onto a class. If you do please get in touch and let me know how you get on!
21 James Street South
Belfast, BT2 7GA