With my daughter’s 14th birthday on the horizon, we started brain-storming party ideas to celebrate the occasion with 15 of her friends. After some research and phone calls, she settled on a hands-on cooking class at Foodish Cooking School.
Located behind the iconic Mushroom Playground in Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Foodish operates from a purpose built kitchen, fit out with Smeg appliances and a long dining table as the centrepiece where guests can sit down and enjoy the meal they just prepared together.
Owner Alaine Chanter said “I started Foodish almost 5 years ago now after completing my chef apprenticeship at a great corporate catering business Kitchen Witchery. I had been an academic at a university for many years, teaching in politics and international relations, but had this not-too-secret side-passion for cooking. Not secret to my friends, that is. I mostly loved my academic career, but when an opportunity came to take a redundancy I did so enthusiastically and started studying cheffing at CIT with the young apprentices. My vision was always to share my love of cooking with others, hence Foodish!”
The philosophy of the cooking school is simple, Foodish celebrates bringing people together over a love of food. Alaine, saying “Cooking is such a creative and nurturing experience. Working with beautiful produce nurtures my soul and the prospect of feeding delicious food to other people gives me great joy. I find that this kind of positivity binds people who cook together. If you want to learn the best of other people, cook with them.”
Foodish runs all manner of everything from birthday parties to corporate team building. Once you book an event, Alaine works with you to build a menu to suit capabilities, tastes and dietary requirements of the group, saying “For classes, I love teaching peasant food—everyday dishes that people love and that are imbued with that sense of giving. So, French provincial and Italian food is a favourite, but so is Thai food. Thai food teaches you that there is no such thing as adding too much of any one ingredient. The flavour harmonies of Thai food are achieved by balancing flavours, so if you add too much fish sauce, just add more lime and palm sugar. You work on flavours till you achieve harmony. Imagine having a job where the goal is harmony! I feel very lucky.”
For our event, the birthday girl settled on some classic rustic dishes to cook: fresh pasta served with a choice of Italian sausage ragu or spring vegetable sugo with a raspberry filled chocolate roulade to finish.
The result at the end of the class was a very happy and grateful birthday girl to have shared a fun, hands-on experience with her friends in a warm, relaxed environment. There was music playing in the background throughout the night, laughter and a few tears (of the cutting onion variety).
I was grateful to Alaine and her team for providing just the right amount of instruction and guidance, whilst still allowing the girls to experiment a little with the flavours and enjoy the experience and each others company (and for doing all the washing up!).
I am hatching plans for holding my own event at Foodish, but, of course, mine would include wine!
For further details on cooking classes visit: http://www.cookingclassescanberra.com.au/
Original Article published on the RiotACT.