My husband is not much of a cook. Sure, he knows his way around a tin of tuna and can scare up a good looking salad sandwich but on the whole, it’s more forage that foie gras. He often says he should learn to cook and knows that practice is the best way to improve but between my enjoyment of cooking and his enjoyment in letting me cook, nothing has really changed. Until, last Wednesday.
On Wednesday evening we joined ten other willing students at Spring, on Felix St for one of their cooking classes. Spring is a bit of a catch all for the food enthusiast with a deli, ‘market table’ for breakfasts, bistro and of course, a cooking school. I had seen a tweet by Lizzie Loel talking about one hour Express Classes for the lunch time crowd but also spied an early evening Express Class on their website.
The class was ‘Butter Chicken’ and before you go rolling your eyes about how unauthentic Butter Chicken is, let me point out that this was the whole point of the class. To show people what a real Butter Chicken should look and taste like and more importantly, how to make it.
Express Classes are demonstration style rather than hands on so much to Anthony’s relief, he was able to enjoy a glass of sparkling whilst Lizzie took us through the preparation of the spices, chicken and sauce. There was a slightly nervous air at the start as this was the first public class and Spring was out the impress but things quickly relaxed as we watched preparation. All steps were done right in front of us with tips and tricks thrown in along the way. Why is that I have told my husband, children and anyone else who would listen many times that you always, always use a pinch of salt and sugar whenever you cook tomatoes (thanks Mum) but when Lizzie says it, suddenly he’s writing it down as a piece of secret wisdom? No matter. Now I know that then he tackles tomatoes, they’ll be done correctly.
The hour flew by and before we knew it, we were tucking in to a bowl of Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, which had been done in the steam oven. The idea of cooking rice with no mess, no fuss, could convert me to a steam oven alone. Lizzie is not only the General Manager of Spring but also runs many of the classes. There are other guest chefs and cooks running longer specialist sessions such as Minh Le from Medusa in Bardon, doing Tastes of Vietnam. For $55, we received tuition, a glass of wine and small meal of what was prepared as well as a recipe to take home. I received a bonus. A one hour Express Class at Spring has given Anthony the boost to make Butter Chicken. With the exception of chicken and cream, all the other ingredients are always in my fridge and cupboard. He was so inspired by Lizzie’s no fuss teaching style and the ease of how the dish was made that he re-created the meal on Sunday evening for me and for friends. I am hoping that this confidence will extend over time to other dishes but in the mean time, I am more than happy to have Butter Chicken on a regular basis.
|Lizzie in action|
|Tony P in action|
Spring Cooking School
26 Felix St
Brisbane Qld 4000