So it was with great excitement (and some trepidation) that I attended one of his London Cooking Club evenings, in the gorgeous home he shares with his partner, "Dr G".
The premise of the London Cooking Club is simple: a small group of friends and readers of Luiz' blog meet to "eat, drink and talk". Each month, Luiz selects a cookery book from which each guest will make a dish for a themed dinner party. Everyone brings their ingredients, pre-prepped as much as possible, and finishes the cooking and assembly in Luiz kitchen, serving their dish to fellow guests.
So far Luiz has hosted club evenings based on recipes from New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij, Kano's Syrian Foodie in London blog, Pauline and Luke Nguyen's books Secrets of the Red Lantern and The Songs of Sapa and Yotam Ottolenghi's orginal book and more recent Plenty.
Having attending a class at Reiko Hashimoto-Lambert's Hashi cookery school, organised by Luiz, I loved the idea of a night based on Reiko's Japanese recipes.
I asked Luiz to assign me Reiko's gorgeous beef tataki dish (the recipe for which you can find at the bottom of my review of the course I attended). But I was nervous about cooking it, not only in front of Luiz, who has attended several of Reiko's courses and mastered many of her dishes but also in front of Reiko herself, who Luiz invited as guest of honour for the evening.
I should possibly have been more worried about how on earth I was possibly going to do justice to all the dishes presented that evening – I was full to bursting point only half way through!
All the dishes preceding mine were fantastic and excellently executed.
Suddenly it was my turn.
Although I'd watched Reiko make the beef tataki from scratch, I realised I had absolutely no memory of how long the beef needed to cook. So I was extremely grateful to Reiko for so kindly helping me cook my beef and also checking the taste of my creamy sesame sauce. Thank you to Rachel and Luiz for their help finishing my plates.
Whilst mine wasn't as elegantly plated as Reiko's original it tasted great and went down really well. Phew!
Not only did I enjoy an evening of eating, drinking and chatting – just as Luiz had intended – but also made more foodie friends, adding to my ever expanding network of people with whom I can enjoy great food in London!
Luiz, thank you (and Dr G) for such a lovely evening!