To Do in London: A Cooking Class for a Baker

While living in London, we are trying to enjoy some of it’s food. We’ve had our share of underwhelming but there have been some great spots, one of them bring Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks. Union jacks makes great pizza’s (the Chile Freak is both painful and delicious at the same time), a superb smoked trout with lemon zest and ‘baby yorkies’ and has a good local pale ale by Chapel Down. Now that I’ve sold you on Union Jacks, I will tell you that Jamie Oliver sold me on his cooking classes.

Recipease is Jamie Oliver’s store which also provides cooking lessons. I am a big fan of the way Jamie cooks – his simple, local, seasonal ingredients make up some of my all time favorite at home recipes. So when we found out about the cooking classes, we looked into them immediately. However, almost all of London does the same and many classes were sold out a month in advance so we waited for a month with anticipation for our choice – South Indian Prawn Curry.

While I am a trained baker and a great home cook (at least Joel says so), I have never mastered one of my favorite foods – Indian. All of the fragrant spices of Indian cooking make it heavenly to eat, but tricky to cook. The Brits are actually known for having some of the best curry outside of India – it is even rumored to be their country dish – so I believed that Jamie would do us right with this recipe… and that he did.

He can cook!

We arrived at the Clampham Jct. location (Notting Hill soon to arrive!) and picked our stove. The instructor was very good – clear, concise, peppy and just happy to be cooking! We began by creating curry paste from scratch. After smashing toasted spices, garlic, ginger and chillies together we cooked the curry paste and the room filled with an unbelievable fragrance that made me drool. More chillies, tomatoes, some tamarind paste, shrimps and coconut milk later – we had fresh curry! Sided with some  bhaji’s we had also made, naan bread, fragrant coriander rice and a crisp Rosé , we delved into to the perfection we had just created. It was heavenly.

Joel and I throughly enjoyed ourselves at Recipease and would certainly go back for another lesson. Do keep in mind you must book in advance! Coming from an impatient New Yorker, the wait is worth it.


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