The Trainee Chef presents Russian Revels

DSC_6975The Trainee Chef is an alternative cookery school for people passionate about cooking different styles of food. This event had a Russian theme and we were given shots of Russian vodka to accompany the starters of beetroot, date and walnut on charcoal biscuits. There was also a spicier option involving chilli, mustard and pork fat. Both were tasty and the vodka went down surprisingly easily.

We were paired up and taken to the tables to start the cooking. We were taught how to make breaded fishcakes, pelmeni (a meat stuffed fine dough) and a pastry dessert. Interestingly, we used a can of Stella to make one DSC_6612of the dough balls, and why not on a Monday night?

The instructors were clear and highlighted the simplicity of this type of cooking. The actual cooking of this food is left to the team behind the event, with the participants preparing everything. I felt it was sensible to limit the damage I could do in the kitchen.

The atmosphere was fun, and everyone joked as they compared their respective efforts. DSC_6972One our table we discovered a man so gifted at chopping onions that he was dubbed “The Onion King”. People happily mingled as they prepared their ingredients. I was complimented on my technique by one of the instructors, but I realised she was talking to someone else unfortunately.

As a non-foodie I found it interesting to experiment with pastries and to learn a little about the background to this type of Russian cooking. I’ll admit that I was flagging slightly towards the end, and perhaps the cooking time could have been a little shorter.

After we’d prepared our trays of pastry desserts and our main of pelmeni we sat around a delightfully DSC_7139flowered table and were served wine. We were told about the wine but if I’m honest, talk of wine goes straight over my head. I wondered if there was any Stella left. The wine was fruity and delicious though. I chatted away to our nice group until we were served the fish cakes and then the pelmeni, which was delicious, especially when dipped in the vinegar.

If you have a passion for cooking, or would like to learn some new methods, why not check out one of the Trainee Chef’s next events? It was a fun atmosphere and was enjoyable to meet a diverse group of people.

Say hello on Twitter: @TheTraineeChefs or look at their website for more info on upcoming events.   

Written by Martin Stocks

Twitter: @Stocks1986