LISA ROCKLIFFE headed over to Bath to take on a half day ‘Fast & Delicious Cooking’ course at Demuths Cookery School.
Demuths is a vegetarian cookery school based in Bath that grew out of Rachel Demuth’s hugely popular eponymous restaurant. The school is based in Terrace Walk and enjoys beautiful views out across to Parade Gardens. A beautiful Georgian building, the ceilings are high and the rooms bright and fully equipped with induction and gas hobs and everything you need for a good day’s cooking.
With interest in vegetarian and vegan cooking as high as ever, the school runs a series of classes to suit all cooking abilities and they have a vast array of options to choose from, including Middle Eastern, Far Eastern, Mexican, South American, Japanese and European cooking. All courses promise to leave you bursting with inspiration and ideas to create fresh, modern food that everyone can enjoy.
The course I chose was a Fast & Delicious half day course that promised to be perfect for busy lives, creating colourful dishes in mere minutes. The workshop was run by Lydia Downey. After introductory coffees and homemade biscuits (yum), there was no time to waste; with five dishes to make over the course of a few hours, there’s a lot to fit in. Thankfully, with time at a premium, the prep is nearly all done for you (there’s no washing up to worry about either!)
Despite there being a lot to go through, at no point did Lydia, a skilled cook and excellent tutor, make us feel rushed. Quite the opposite in fact. There seemed all the time in the world available to talk ingredients and techniques, to ask questions and, above all, to taste. Dishes and their origins were explained, unusual ingredients and their uses were discussed and you learnt some great little tips – like passing natural yoghurt through muslin to create a beautiful cream cheese-like Labna – a Middle Eastern staple that can be flavoured to accompany a sweet or savoury dish.
Over the course of our half day me and my fellow tutees created a ‘Turkish Gözleme with Ezme Salad and Tzatziki’, ‘Puy Lentils with Roasted Summer Vegetables & Salsa Verde’, a ‘Ribbon Salad with Griddled Halloumi’, a ‘Quinoa Primavera’ and, to finish, ‘Strawberries with Mint Syrup and Scented Labna’. All were surprisingly easy to make and all packed a punch. With summer now here all were brilliantly suited to eating outdoors or, for accompanying a barbecue – not even the most ardent carnivore could resist.
I was the only non-vegetarian on the course. But like most that doesn’t mean I don’t cook some vegetarian dishes. In fact, it was all the more reason why I needed the course.
I was the only non-vegetarian on the course. But like most that doesn’t mean I don’t cook some vegetarian dishes. In fact, it was all the more reason why I needed the course. For those of us who rely on meat or fish to be the star of a dish, vegetarian cooking can easily, if lazily, be viewed as a poor relation. Here I was shown exactly how to make sure that doesn’t happen with a selection of tasty dishes that expanded my repertoire and made me feel differently about how I
cook and the ingredients I use. Even better – when you leave they give you a pack complete with the recipes you have made so you can recreate them at home. And I’m pleased to say I’ve done just that; I’ve even tried some of the variations they suggest too. Great result all round!
To find out more about the courses available at Demuths, and to book, see their website or call 01225 427938.