Are you a person who has always cooked for the love of it but has not had the chance to study cooking? Our Amateur Chef School Course could be the catalyst in showing you just how it is done – the correct way.
Or are you a school student excelling in Home Economics; on the brink of leaving school and thinking about your future? Or are you just interested in food and thinking of a future as a possible chef? Our proposed course will arm you with the preparation skills that will enable you to get that ‘foot in the door’. Students, who excel in the course and show promise, may be assisted in finding an apprenticeship.
Alison Taafe has been selected as principle chef of our Amateur Chef School as her enthusiasm and passion will inspire you during your training. Alison's career as a chef took off when she was accepted into the highly prestigious Westminster Hotel School in London. After Alison graduated at the age of 20 she landed her first Head Chef position. Alison then travelled all over the world and cooked for royalty like Queen Elizabeth and political figures like George Bush Snr. Alison came to Australia in 1988 where she was appointed as chef for the VIP lounge of World Expo '88. In 2004, Alison was the first ever chef to win a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship. Then in 2006 she was named 'Outstanding Educator' for the graduate program she wrote, which enabled chefs to further their careers. She recently finished a 14 year stint as a Leading Vocational Teacher of Professional Cookery at Southbank Institute of Technology and now concentrates on teaching amateurs at Learn Cook Dine's Amateur Chef School which has been an overwhelming success. She has written two books - her first cook book 'Fun Fast and Fabulous Food' continues to be very popular and along with her 'Leftover Magic' launched in December 2010. Both books are available at Kitchenware Plus.
We have often been asked where people can do some ‘real cookery training’ without having to be a professional apprentice. Apart from this, we have also felt that there is a need for a ‘real cooking school’ where people actually complete a full course where the basics are taught to students along with some contemporary ideas as well. We feel what we have created with our Amateur Chef School will fill this need and provide a uniqueness which is currently missing in the Brisbane area.
The Amateur Chef School Courses will be held at Learn Cook Dine, Loganholme, one evening per week. Each course will be made up of 5 parts and 8 classes in total. The classes will be 3 hours in duration and be a combination of teacher demonstration and student participation. The courses are open to a maximum of 12 students. In order for the students to complete their Amateur Chef School Course they must complete the full course. Time of class 6:00 – 9:00pm. Age of student - 16 years & over.
Cost & Booking details of course/Incorporated in cost of the course –
$799.95 per person. We require a deposit upon booking of $399.95 (4 classes) with the balance paid on 5th night of the course. Students will be provided with their own 21cm I.O Shen Mastergrade chef’s knife; knife wrap; Amateurchef School apron; and a folder to house their recipes for collection during the course.
Part 1: (2 lessons)
Knife skills and basic preparations
Students will be taught the basic knife skills and knife handling techniques such as: Use of knives, safety of knives, sharpening of knives and utilising knives in the kitchen for a range of products i.e.: basic vegetable cuts like julienne (fine strips), brunoise (very small dice), macedoine (dice), jardinière (batons) and finely chopped/sliced onion, shredded lettuce/cabbage. Also, instruction will be given on some simple preparations i.e.: making croutons, preparing citrus and other fruits, crushing garlic, blanching tomatoes and vegetables, chopping parsley and simple salad preparations. It is also expected that during the 2 lessons of this subject, the students will become more familiar with the kitchen, the equipment and the terminology used in a kitchen and become more confident themselves in a kitchen. Part 1 is a mandatory requirement and all students must complete it before continuing into Part 2.
Part 2: (2 lessons)
Methods of cookery. During these 2 classes, students will cook a range of dishes using the following methods of cookery; steaming, blanching, boiling, braising, stewing, poaching, roasting, baking, and shallow and deep frying. Additionally, students will be shown how to use the ‘crock pot’ or ‘slow cooker’ to make some wonderful dishes while they are at work or school! Students will also perfect some Asian dishes utilising the stir frying method of cookery.
Part 3: (1 lesson)
Restaurant dishes and plating/garnishing techniques. In this lesson students will learn the fundamentals of food presentation. Students will learn some easy but effective professional chef’s plating up techniques and learn to use garnishes to complement rather than overtake the dish. Garnishing and plating will include both contemporary and classic ideas.
Part 4: (2 lessons)
Desserts and Pastry items. Over the next 2 classes students will learn how to make sweet pastry tart shells and finish them off with the perfect fillings. They will learn how to perfect choux pastry and turn the mix into amazing creations. Also in this last class, students will learn some basic restaurant desserts and will be shown some basic presentation techniques for these desserts.
Part 5: (1 lesson)
In the last class, the students will be asked to cook up their signature dishes. Alison will then give advice on how the use of garnishes and different crockery enhances the dish and gives it the 'wow' factor. Students will graduate in this lesson and receive their 'Amateur Chef Certificate of Merit'
For course dates please Click Here.
$799.95 per person. We require a deposit upon booking of $399.95 (4 classes) with the balance paid on 5th night of the course.
Poultry preparation: Learn to bone out a chicken like a professional chef and then, how to pocket a chicken breast; tunnel bone a whole leg of chicken and prep them for smoking. Also master the art of a brown chicken and brown beef stock (Estouffade).
Stuffed chicken breast with camembert and chive stuffing
Smoked ballotines of chicken stuffed with bacon, semi dried tomatoes and pine nuts
Asian chicken wings
Brown chicken and brown beef stock
Game preparation: Back in "vogue" - Confit of Duck. In this class you will learn how to slow poach a duck leg in duck fat. Also learn how to cook crispy skin duck breast and serve with dark cherry sauce and how to butterfly a quail for char grilling. Alison will also demonstrate how to cook venison with bitter chocolate sauce and kangaroo rump..
Confit of duck legs with orange and fennel salad
Crispy skin duck breast with black cherry sauce
Quail preparation: Learn how to butterfly quail for char grilling
Kangaroo rumps (demonstration)
Venison in chocolate sauce
Meat - Butchery: If you have ever wondered how to French a rack of lamb and clean lamb shanks for presentation, not to mention bone a leg of lamb and prepare a fillet of beef the correct way, this class will show you how. We will even show you how to prepare pork belly for next week's class.
Roasted rack of lamb with duck roasted potatoes, old fashioned gravy and glazed jardinière of vegetables
Meat - Cookery: In your last class you learnt how to prepare meat. This class will show you how to cook it!
Lamb shank Tajine
Mongolian Stir fried beef fillet with fried rice
Pork belly with crackling and caramelised apple sauce
Demonstration: Boned leg of lamb, Greek style, on the barbie!
Fish preparation: Learn how to fillet and skin a fish (round and flat) then learn the correct way to cook it. You will pan fry fish and serve with brown butter sauce. You will also learn how to make fish mousse, bake a whole trout and cut goujons of fish for deep frying.
Fish meuniere with beurre noisette
Baked whole rainbow trout with almond butter sauce
Deep fried goujons of fish with lime and coriander mayonnaise
Fish mousse with beurre blanc sauce
Seafood preparation: In this class you will be preparing seafood along with making the classic Moules Marinière. You will deep fry crispy soft shell crab and master the popular salt and pepper calamari. You will also learn how to shuck an oyster and make a Thai marinade which is sensational. And, finally, you will finish off by cooking a beautiful dish of prawns and spaghetti with lemon and chilli.
Deep fried soft shell crab in spiced flour
Prawns with spaghetti, lemon and chilli
Salt and pepper calamari
Oysters in Thai marinade
Vegetable cookery: Learn loads of things to do with vegetables and potatoes in this class - all to go with classic dishes. You will also ramp up your knife skills again in this class.
Boulangère potatoes, turned barrel shaped fondant potatoes, röesti potatoes, perfect English chips, carrot soufflés, French beans with anchovies and almonds, tempura vegetables, to name just a few.
Desserts/Baking: In this class you will master a sauce anglaise and then turn it into a wonderful ice cream. You will learn to make crème caramel and bake a flourless chocolate cake. Alison will demonstrate the 'how to' of sorbet as well.
Baked flourless chocolate cake
THIS CLASS INCLUDES YOUR GRADUATION NIGHT.