Wednesday, December 1, 2010

.: Cooking @ 19CulinaryStudio :.

A pleasant surprise when I received an email from Angeline from At Nineteen Culinary Studio congratulating me for winning the lucky draw.

In spite having a late night the night before, having to clean up after the mini house blessing & GDL, I was all up by 7.30am, excited to start my day.

I manage to find my way to the place, a very nice lil bungalow amidst all the bungalows in Damansara Heights. It was not that difficult to spot, as the map provided was easy to follow (even for a bearing-less person like myself). Parking space is aplenty for a class of eight students

Was greeted warmly by a few the staff and after signing in, we were asked to help ourselves to some coffee or tea. I, on the other hand, was too busy snapping away with my trusty DSLR. The layout and d├ęcor of the place is absolutely beautiful, my dream kitchen – if I have bigger space for mine. Very well ventilated classroom with just enough push out windows (absolutely practical – especially when we are cooking our Rendang Tok dish as the spicy fume was chocking everyone’s lungs!) and sunlight shining in to light up the place!

We were already allocated our tables and our partners (as we are to work in pairs). My partner, Clarence, was a nice man, and upon introducing himself, mentioned that he has NEVER cooked before. Uh-oh!

The class started with us putting on our apron (with name tags) and a rather good-looking Chef Khai introducing himself to us.

We started to prepare the ingredients for Rendang Tok, which according to Chef Khai, was the most expensive rendang dish to prepare – due the the variety of spices used. Recipe is quite simple to follow, and Chef Khai personally went table by table to help out. However, one must always remember the general rule of cooking : TRUST YOUR INSTINCT. When it was time to put some seasoning into the rendang, I was very skeptical when the recipe says 2 tablespoon (it’s for about 600 grams of beef). But my instinct took a backseat and we proceed to follow the recipe and lo and behold the cringe on my partner’s face when he tasted the rendang. “Too salty” said Clarence “even for someone who likes salty food” he added.

All was not lost as Chef Khai helped us ‘salvage’ our dish by adding more water and balancing out the saltiness with sugar. Another cooking rule : IT’S NOT ALWAYS UNSALVAGABLE, USE YOUR CREATIVITY (and a lil bit of logic) TO MAKE GOOD SOMETHING BAD. It tasted better afterwards, still abit salty to my liking, but at least it was not as salty as earlier.

The next dish we learn was Sweet & Sour Chili Crab. Not a crap-py person (pun intended), but it is interesting to learn this dish, as one has the flexibility of using this sweet and sour sauce for any other dishes – it goes good with fish, fried chicken pieces or fried pork pieces (ko loh yok)! Very simple dish, minimum preparation, maximum tastiness impact. Love it!

The last dish was Umai – which is traditional version of sashimi meets salad. Simple to make, light and refreshing lime sauce, with a tinge of the fragrant (some might beg to differ) prawn paste, fondly known by us locals as belacan. An absolute great alternative to the (already) boring Ceasers’ salad JC & I usually make!

I would love to share the recipe out here, perhaps lateron.

For now, I just will share with you some lovely pictures! Bon-appetite!

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