Sophie Godwin on the highs and lows of advanced term week 3

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Sophie Godwin on the highs and lows of advanced term week 3

Sophie Godwin

By now, the diploma has reached fever pitch and live shellfish, mousselines and sous vide cooking are hot on the menu.

It seems ridiculous that three weeks of the advanced term are already over. Where has all the time gone? Before we know it, the Leiths bubble that has consumed us for the past year, will be over.

We have already had our last ever epic Belinda and Sue demonstration,homage to, in my mind, one of the godliest of foods, pasta. Hand rolled garganelli, rabbit ravioli with broad beans and trompette de mort, and ricotta and lemon tortelli with sage butter sauce were all on the menu, each showcasing the best of seasonal British ingredients and utterly delicious. These progressive demonstrations, where a skill we have already learnt is advanced upon, demonstrates how much we have developed, demonstrations now aimed at filling us with culinary inspiration rather than teaching us the fundamentals.

Phil and Ansobe also paired up this week for the shellfish demonstration which was a testament to their willpower, given that the majority of the shellfish arrived on the morning of the demonstration itself. We were taught how to kill a lobster and crab, a process that ignited mixed feelings amongst the class. Although unpleasant, I am definitely going to kill them in class, one because I believe if you are going to eat animals, you need to realise where your food comes from and not be scared off by the process. Secondly I am way too stubborn not to do it!

The final demonstration of the week was by Alison Price, a bespoke catering company that specialise in high end, predominantly corporate catering. The food that they showcased to us was extraordinary, as much art as food. It was great to see a company pushing the boundaries of mass catering; creating food that is both theatrical and delicious. I loved the way they draw upon everyday life and objects found in Covent Garden flower market as props and ideas for their jobs, having created everything from an Asian village to a dessert station that looks like Bondi Beach. Their dessert, inspired by the infamous sweet ‘painting’ by Alinea restaurant in Chicago, tasted and looked amazing. Food and creativity hand in hand.

Cooking wise there were some ups and downs. The highs included a delicious walnut and raisin wholegrain bread which I used for an antipasti dinner with a friend, and Friday’s sous vide lamb dish. It is fantastic to be using this modern equipment and although our half of the year were divided on whether they prefer sous vide or traditional methods of cooking, I am a massive sous vide fan. The lows of the week can be summarised in one word, mousseline. It may be a classic technique but I cannot get my head around why anyone would want to eat quenelles of pureed salmon and cream in a broth. Hey ho, you win some and you losesome. All I know is that with chocolate and croissants on the agenda next week, I don’t want to leave!

Author: Lizzy Jones


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