Tag Archives: Bordeaux Quay

Back to school

8 Sep

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It’s been eight years since I left school – two since I left university – and I don’t miss it. At all. I still love learning new stuff, though, especially when it comes to food. So obviously I was overjoyed when I got a place on Bordeaux Quay‘s tapas course as a birthday present.

Today was the day. Under the guidance of the lovely Kelly Sealey – who may just be my new favourite person – me and eight others learnt how to make (deep breath): black olive tapenade, tortilla, mussels with shallots and sherry, lamb pinchos, romesco sauce (which we ate with Parma ham) and empanadas filled with chorizo. Oh, and as if we hadn’t eaten enough by that point, Kelly had prepared crème Catalan in advance for pudding.

It was a great environment for a class. We were paired up (I was with a nice gentleman called Nick) and then shared the cookery between the two of us at a station. Kelly showed us how to make a dish, and then we went off and did so. Then we reconvened at the front of the kitchen and ate the results together along with a specially matched wine. It was informal and plenty of fun; the afternoon flew by.

If I had to pick a favourite dish from the list, it would potentially be the tapenade – which is ironic, given that I don’t actually even usually like olives – or the romesco sauce, which I’ll definitely be making again. I’m also chuffed to have finally produced a Spanish omelette – indeed, any omelette at all – that actually looked the part, rather than simply a mess of eggs on a plate.

So, I learnt a whole bunch – including lots that I’ll be using in my own kitchen, and now I can’t wait to have friends over for tapas. What’s more, I did so while eating, drinking, giggling and generally enjoying myself. What could be better? I only wish that actual school had been more like this.

(Apologies for the lack of photos in this post – perhaps understandably, I was a bit too busy learning how to cook tapas at the time.)

Happy foodie birthday

1 Aug

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So, yesterday was my birthday. I’m not keen on adding another year to the tally, nor on the fact that my mid-twenties are looming darkly, but I am keen on birthday cake. And my mum is absurdly good at birthday cake.

Since she got into baking a few years ago, she’s been the one called upon for every family birthday and office celebration. She’s good (not to mention inventive) with icing in ways that I can only dream of. She’s also probably starting to dread what I’ll ask for next year on year, after previously having to fashion pirate flags, pandas and rollerskates – with the constraint that the only icing I actually like is butter icing. This year: bunting. Bunting that spelt my name. And yep, I got it.

Other treats included a tapas-making course at Bordeaux Quay’s Bristol School Of Food And Wine (booked for September), a Paul Hollywood baking book, tasty tapas at El Bocado and a food coma-inducing rack of ribs at Starz. Oh, and all the drinks. I was spoilt bloody rotten.