Category Archives: Tips

Barbecue Cheat Sheet

A friend of mine recently bought a new barbecue and asked if I’d help him and his wife learn some of the basics for successful cooking. I was happy to help and we shared a very pleasant and enjoyable afternoon playing around with some great produce and cooking up some tasty treats. I showed them how to look after their new purchase and how they can cook anything successfully on their new 3 burner barbecue. Read the rest of this entry


The Power Of Water…

…In the last 7 days I have had 2 pretty impressive experiences, while cooking, with water. Now this may not come as such a shock as water will usually figure in a dish in some way, shape or form, but these 2 examples were pretty impressive. Read the rest of this entry

Day 81 & 82 Crabs, French Bread & A Ravishing Dessert!

Day 81 was the beginning of the end, in so far as it signaled the first of 5 deadlines that once complete would mean my time at Tante Marie was all but over! Day 81 was after the half-term break and in the morning we had our Final Theory exam. I believe it was worth 40% of our overall Theory mark and there was a lot of information we needed to know; from Sauces, Soup & Stocks to Buffets, Aspic & Dairy. The exam itself went very well so the studying and last-minute cramming obviously paid off! Read the rest of this entry

Day 65 – Sea Bass & A Terrine de Bavaroise

We were in the kitchen again this morning and our main challenge was to create a possible exam dish we had seen in dem the other day; Sea Bass with a Warm Tartare Sauce. It is a lovely dish to eat and I’m pleased that I was able to produce the dish and have the flavours be as I remembered them. We also made a Mushroom Herb Pate and a Potato & Leek Strudel. Read the rest of this entry

Day 61 – A Light Meat-Free Lunch

Friday was a good little morning of cooking. This week I have been cooking on my own and I will admit to feeling the pressure of keeping pace with everyone else given they were working in pairs. On the menu we had individual Goats Cheese, Pine Nut & Cherry Tomato Tarts, Herb Crusted Trout with a Lemon Beurre Blanc and a Bean & Red Cabbage Salad. If anything this menu did not really suit the cold January day that was going on outside, it felt more like a light lunch you may have on a warm Spring day, but there you go! Read the rest of this entry

Day 60 Canapes, Seafood, Champagne & Chocolate!

Was it as good as the title suggests? You’ll have to read on to find out but I’ll give you a clue – Yes it was! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Day 47 – Revision and Pasta Demo

A day with no actual cooking 😦 Not such a fan of these days but they only come up now and then so can’t complain. This morning was a class basically to make us realise how much revision there is to do for next weeks Theory exam, if we hadn’t already figured it out. The afternoon was a class I’ve been looking forward too for quite a while; the Pasta Dem! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Day 27 Demo & Decorating

As I typed “Day 27” in the title I had the feeling I was on some seafaring adventure from years gone-by and that I may be logging the days adventures on the off-chance I might never return…Maybe it was the beer I had with dinner but what a strange thought indeed! Maybe I just need to get in a kitchen and actually make something. I mentioned last week that the staff at school are doing a great job of keeping everyone calm during the exam period but I think I just need to get in a kitchen and make something because it feels like there have been a lot of demo’s lately. That said, we are getting to see food in the demos that is definitely moving the bar higher. Read the rest of this entry

Day 20 Things Just Kept Turning Out!

There were only 3 items on the menu this morning but each dish had a number of steps to them. Despite this, we were really happy with the way everything turned out. From the Plaice with a Mushroom and Cheese Sauce, to the Oven Roasted Ratatouille and then the Pavlova’s, which were to die for! 😉 Read the rest of this entry

Day 11 – Trouts, Brulee’s & Flaky Pastry

Today was a great day for new skills and for getting some tasty food on the plate. This morning we got to gut and fillet some fresh Trout and this afternoon we made Flaky Pastry and Basic Bread. We also got to use blow torches to put the finishing touch on our Simple Fruit Brulee’s! Read the rest of this entry