Friday, 8 October 2010

The London Cooking Club: Hashi Cooking Night

I've written before about how uplifting it is to meet fellow food bloggers. Forging friendships with those who share your passions is fun! Luiz, The London Foodie, is one such blogger with whom I felt a connection straight away and I have quickly come to cherish our friendship.

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.

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The night's menu

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!

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Spicy Miso Soup with Prawn and Chicken Quenelle

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Salmon Chirashi

All the dishes preceding mine were fantastic and excellently executed.

Suddenly it was my turn.

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My Beef Tataki with Creamy Sesame Sauce

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!

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Sea bream and rice (though I think Debs may have used a different dish in the end)

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Buta Kakuni - Slow Cooked Pork Belly Stew

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!

5 comments:

The London Foodie said...

I am so touched by your post - making friendships like the one we share today was the main reason why I started the London Cooking Club.

You captured the evening's atmosphere perfectly and it was so great to have you there, eat, drink and talk with you! Your dish was one of the best of the evening, and your pictures make justice to everyone's efforts!

Thank you for your post.

Luiz @ The London Foodie

Kavey said...

It really was a wonderful evening and such a fantastic idea. Looking forward to attending more of these great events!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

How lovely to have an evening go like this and to meet such wonderful people! It's such a great idea :)

Greedy Diva said...

What a fabulous evening! I loved Reiko's cooking class this year, and of course I would expect nothing less than a fantastic evening at one of Luiz's cooking clubs.

Gourmet Chick said...

I have made Reiko's dish to great acclaim at dinner parties since our class. I think the trick is really in resting the meat for so long - makes such a difference - and expensive meat as well! Sounds like another succesful cooking club from Luiz.