Eat out, drink up
Lessons in lunch
Why limit yourself to eating out in swanky restaurants when you can perfect your own culinary skills with some expert help? Words: Barry Shelby
hen Nick Nairn closed his (ilasgow Nairns Restaurant last w spring and rather cavalierly declared that dining out was
dead. he put his resources into his slick cooking school on the Lake of Monteith near Aberfoyle. But Nairn is not the only one who offers culinary courses and others may well benefit from the celebrity chef's promotion of this ‘staying in is the new going out' attitude.
Quite a hit more convenient. if less picturesque. is the (‘ookery School above l’eckhams in (ilasgow. Managed by Brian Hannan (the brains behind the Scottish (‘hefs Association and awards). it has a full programme of one-day. morning and evening courses taught by guest chefs and the school‘s own John Quinn (ex-Corinthian). (‘ompared with Nairn‘s operation and its state of the art kit. the Cookery School
is certainly more modest. (ias-lired camp-style stoves are nothing if
not utilitarian but they suffice and reinforce the practicality of the instruction offered. Quinn. like any confident chef. has his pet peeves garlic presses). philosophies (there are no rules) and indispensable items (Maldon sea salt).
(‘ertainly basic techniques. such as handling a knife. and best practice (especially good hygiene) are emphasised. But don‘t go expecting to be taught a list of rights and wrongs. He wants to break down barriers that intimidate amateur cooks and demystify the process of cooking. This can be refreshing. But the ‘no rules' approach can also be occasionally annoying; for example. using Jamaican jerk spices on a chicken dish in one of his 'Modern Italian (‘ooking‘ classes.
Largely speaking. however. the approach is correct for the majority of us who cook at home. Think of recipes as a guide and not a list of commandments and relax as you become comfortable with cooking. Use quality produce and buy ingredients that look fresh rather than following a strict shopping list.
The Cookery School is situated above Peckhams, 65 Glassford Street, Glasgow, 0141 552 5239.
1 12 THE LIST 2—16 Oct 2003
ls staying in the new going out?
Upcoming one-day c0urses at the Cookery School specialise in a range of styles. from modern Scottish to tapas. the autumn dinner party to fish. and canapes to simple entertaining. Specific dates include:
I 23 Oct: wedding cake decoration
I 24 Oct: stocks and sauces
I 1 Nov: desserts
I 4 Nov: pasta and rice
I 30 Nov, 7 8i 8 Dec: Christmas cooking Due to popular demand extra dates have been added for tapas (5 Oct and 29 Nov) and Asian (4 Oct). The school also offers a 'guest chei’ series of full-day courses that often include recipes you might expect to ﬁnd at these top cooks’ restaurants. Namely:
I 6 Oct: Jim Kerr of Glasgow‘s Dining Room
I 10 Nov: Alan Craigle of Orkney’s Creel I 17 Nov: Andrew Fairlie of Gleneagles’ Andrew Fairlie
Finally. new courses have just been launched: evening classes every Wed from 6.30-8.30pm. morning classes are scheduled for 8 Oct and 5 Nov from 11am-1pm, and special Christmas cookery evenings for groups (up to 16) will begin from 1 Dec. Costs range from £2510r evening and morning sessions to £80 for the full-day classes. Food. equipment. recipes and aprons are included. (Barry Shelby)
s. I n. I News to nibble on. ..
I GAZELLE BAR 8. EATERY is the name of a new venture run by two iormer Babbity Bowster managers. Thomas Baird and Ryan Cumming. Located in the space where the Cran traded on Arger Street. it's primarily a bar - but one with loitier ambitions when it comes to food. The menu has dishes such as prawns wrapped in filo pastry. served on a bed of rocket with a roasted red pepper and lemon grass c0ulis or venison escalope wrapped around haggis with a whisky and grain mustard sauce. The plan is to serve food right through the day until 8pm. Pre-theatre prices are 26.95 for two courses and £8.95 (or three. Gazelle is at 1038 Argyle Street. Glasgow. 0141 248 6881.
I WILDFIRE HOPES TO light a wee blaze on Rose Street, Edinburgh. Owned by the same folk who run the nearby Miro’s Cantina Mexicana, this new venue (in the former site of Podricious the Bistro) specialises in grilled Scottish Aberdeen Angus steaks. The menu has recently featured prawn cocktail, main course salads and lemon and rosemary chicken. Wildﬁre is at 192 Rose Street, Edinburgh, 0131 225 3636.
I THE BAR AT ROGUE IS open for business to all rather than being solely at the disposal of diners heading to and from the restaurant. Side Dishes has vague memories of invites to quaff cocktails when the venue ﬁrst opened. yet a raft of emails to the recent ‘launch' seem to question such recollections. Rogue (pictured) plans to Open from 5pm—rnidnight and you can ﬁnd it at 67 Morrison Street. Edinburgh. 0131 228 2700.