Cheese and chef skills
I was so lucky to be invited to a hands-on cooking workshop at Le Cordon Bleu a while ago. Yes I admit, it made me do an excited squeal at the thought of cooking in the hallowed kitchens of the world’s most famous cookery school! The invite came from Parmigiano Reggiano so it was even more perfect because cooking + cheese = my idea of heaven!
We started talking about Parmesan; the farmers who make it, the aging, the markings on the rinds of those rounds (if you look at my Facebook you will see I am obsessed with hollow cheese rounds with food in them!), the protected status etc. Of course we tried it- aged to 18 months (young and cheeky- good for cooking), 24 months (flavourful, a bit of crystallisation) and 36 months (love at first bite – bold, mature, a real mouthfeel). I am sad I don’t see it on cheeseboards more – people are keen to use in food but it really is delicious in its own right as well.
Parmigiano Reggiano is such a versatile cheese. Whether it is on a cheeseboard, as a seasoning or as the star of a dish it really is a kitchen trouper.
Le Cordon Bleu kitchens – my happy place!
Then Head of Cusine, Eric Bediat, led us down to the kitchens where I had one of the happiest classes ever. Seriously, I could live there! Each station has a massive oven with induction hobs, fabulous knives and all our kit and ingredients laid out.
Eric talked us through making two courses of delicious seasonal courses which both had Parmesan at their heart: the main included Parmesan glazed polenta, parma crisps and parma foam.
Dessert had sous vide apples and vanilla, with Parmesan ice cream. Eric’s plate was a work of art, where as I was more interested in ensuring I got everything on there so I could scoff it!
Plated up, chef style
I walked away with a Le Cordon Bleu certificate (thus making me a chef, right?), apron, some great recipes and an obsession with 30 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. I may have also had a chunk or two of cheese in my handbag!
SHE LOVES: world class cheese and world class chefs, under one roof! Getting my cooking mojo back in style.
Find out everything you need to know about Parmesan here.
Check out Le Cordon Bleu’s website for details of short courses and diplomas.
*Thank you to Parmigiano Reggiano and Brand Dialogue for an unforgettable evening.