Wednesday, August 25, 2010

William Angliss Shop and Cook Tour - Queen Victoria Market

On Saturday, I went on a Shop and Cook Tour to Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne with William Angliss Institute of TAFE. The tour was led by Lucinda Macdougall, a chef of over 35 years experience. There were 9 people in our group, including two guys - which is very rare for cooking classes in my experience. Our cooking experience ranged from Lucinda, an experienced chef, to one of the guys, who said he had no cooking experience and wanted to learn.

At the market, we didn't buy much that we were going to cook that day, as William Angliss had already bought all the ingredients. The market aspect of the tour was really just to get some tips from Lucinda about what to look for and what to buy (eg buy fresh, buy seasonal). For morning tea, we all had a coffee and bought our own snack (in my case, cherry cheese streudel - yum!).

Back at William Angliss, we cooked up a storm, learning new techniques from Lucinda. The group was divided into two for the purposes of cooking the various dishes on our menu - the squid group and the beef group. I chose the squid group, as I had never cleaned or cooked a squid, and Lucinda showed us how to do it. After cooking for a couple of hours, we got to enjoy the fruits of our labour with a glass or two of wine.

The dishes were:

Grilled spiced squid

Roasted fillet of beef (served with skordalia, a very garlicy mashed potato) on a bed of braised French lentils with gremolata

A delicious mayonnaise - meant for a celeriac remoulade, but there was no celeriac to buy on the day - which tasted devine with the beef and slathered on fresh bread

Shaved fennel with blood orange salad - I can proudly say that my experience with segmenting oranges when making the orange tian for Daring Bakers came into good use here, surprising Lucinda

Beetroot with goats curd and walnuts (we also cooked up the beetroot greens, not shown). A tip for young players - wear gloves when peeling beetroots, or else have plenty of lemon juice at home to get the stain out of your hands! I got lots of curious looks on the train home because of my purple hands.

And the finale - cardamom and saffron marscapone with a blood orange and honey syrup ...

served with shaved apples.

It was all delicious, but my favourites were the beef (which was cooked with anchovies and garlic for extra flavour), the beetroot salad and the dessert.

Straight after the tour finished, I had to run to the polling booth to vote in our federal election (as it is compulsory to vote in Australia).

It was a fun day. I learned some new techniques, and I am now eager to buy my own squid to practice on, and to try garfish, a bright silver, pointy-nosed fish we saw at the market.

Thanks to Lucinda for imparting her wisdom to us, and for designing and helping us to prepare such a delicious menu!


Heavenly Housewife said...

Oooh, sounds good, and I am really feeling that desert! I am a total cardamom fiend.
*kisses* HH

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Looks like a good day! That beetroot salad looks delicious, shame about the beetrooty evidence ;)

Also quite taken with the idea of cooking the beef with anchovies, but I'm a bit of a serial anchovy adder.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a lot of impressive dishes! Cooking classes are so fun.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a fabulous day! The QV markets are amazing, I went on a tour when I was in Melbourne and really enjoyed it! That mayonnaise looks interesting, it looks almost like a mustard! :)

Brenda said...

You guys got to prepare a great range, from seafood to red meat to salad and dessert as well. What a fab tour! Looks like so much fun

Emma @CakeMistress said...

Thanks for the write-up. Have been curious about the classes there, and they look really good!

adele said...

Oh my! Any hopes of getting the recipe for that dessert? :)

Jennifer said...

This sounds like a FABULOUS way to spend a day!!! Such lovely dishes!