Thursday, 12 April 2012

Thai Workshop at Leiths School of Food and Wine

If you live in London and want to buy someone the best present ever, give them a Leiths School of Food and Wine gift voucher! I was lucky enough to be given one as a Christmas gift from my work mates (whom I had strategically gifted with home-made relish a week earlier).

Leiths are known as one of the best (if not the best) cooking school in London, and it certainly lives up to it's reputation. Situated in a leafy residential suburb of West London it's a haven of all things culinary. The range of courses is astounding - from making the perfect macaroon to knife skills, they have it covered. However, perfection doesn't come cheap and a one-day workshop will set you back around £140 upwards!

It took a lot of soul-searching to finally settle on the one-day Thai Workshop. Thai food is probably my favourite food in the world, but I have never been able to master it at home - the few attempts I made have been disastrous and made me lose confidence in my abilities to reproduce this delicious food from my own kitchen. I needed some professional help!

The first thing we learnt about Thai cooking was the enormous range of flavours and ingredients, which when combined together in exactly the right way produce the subtle blend of fresh flavours so special to Thai cuisine. We were then given a demonstration which included Sticky Pork Salad with Green Pawpaw and Chilli Lime Dressing, Phad Thai and Beef Massaman Curry.

We then got to don our aprons and cook up a feast: Chicken Panaeng Curry, Summer rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, Duck Salad with Citrus and Star Anise Dressing and a Green Curry Paste were all on the menu. The best part of the day (apart from lunch) was leaving with a heavy bag full of delicious food and curry pastes.

The strange and wonderful ingredients in Thai cooking 
L: Sticky Pork Salad with Green Pawpaw and Chilli Lime Dressing
R: The classic Phad Thai
Getting hot in the kitchen: cooking up some Chicken Panaeng Curry 
To take home: Summer Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Duck Salad with Citrus and Star Anise Dressing and Deep Fried Noodles

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