Cookery Demonstration on Stocks and Sauces

Horse and Trumpet LogoWhat a wonderful way to spend a day, learning something new, making new friends, picking up tips from a professional chef how to cook and prepare food. Sitting down to eat a truly wonderful lunch, from the ingredients and methods used and demonstrated

The well known Award winning Horse and Trumpet Medbourne, (roughly in- between Mkt Harborough and Uppingham) have just completed their second year of successful Cookery Demonstrations, hosted and run by Chef Gary Magnani. The theme on this occasion was mastering the Making of a Quality Stock Pot.

Horse and Trumpet - Gary Magnani

The day starts with freshly brewed coffee and home-made biscuits, and a chance to meet your fellow cookery students. Then everyone moves on to gather in the kitchen, information sheets in hand, while Gary explains and demonstrates how to make the different stocks used in various recipes, using ingredients and methods that furnish your knowledge and giving you the building blocks to create simple but delicious meals.

The atmosphere in the kitchen is one of eager anticipation. All 15 of us are keen to know the reason why we should go to the trouble of making our own stock, when it is so much easier to buy some Well, that question was answered when we all sat down for a simply gorgeous lunch and tasted ‘the reason why’.

Horse and Trumpet - Gary MagnaniSo, back to the kitchen, pots are simmering, trays of wonderful vegetables are roasting, bones are being prepared in the pan, and Gary is explaining what to do, and WHY its done. Gary may look like a chef in his chef’s whites, but don’t be fooled, these guys are also part alchemist. He explains, for example, why one type of fish won’t make good fish stock, and why another type will. It’s all about the structure of the fish, its ability to produce the chemical required to create a wonderful stock, whereas other types of fish will produce an unpleasant taste. The whole experience is fascinating. Boy, did we learn a lot that day. It’s easy to see why Chefs earn their respect and reputation, they are prepared, to put all their experience, expertise and individual flair into creating flavour for each and every mouthful of food that they produce.

So, at the end of it all, we have learnt how a great fish stock is created, how a good meat and chicken stock is made, and how and when we would use these stocks. NOT to push the vegetables through the strainer when straining off the liquid as this not only produces a less refined stock, but also a cloudy one!

We then move out of the kitchen to the restaurant which is set up for another demonstration. This time we learn how to make a wonderful Berry Coulis, Hollondaise sauce, and Buerre Blanc, listening intently we learnt and picked up very useful tips, whilst all our questions were answered. We then tasted the results which were. Fantastic!

Horse and Trumpet - FoodOur starter consisted of a beautiful trio of fish, which was so light , it could have floated off the plate, this was teamed with a delicate sauce, created from the fish stock. Next was fresh spring lamb and new season vegetables. The flavour produced from the meal, with the addition of the hollandaise sauce, was truly mouthwatering

After our learning experience, we drift into the comfortable lounge and enjoy a glass of wine and a chat whilst the room is being re-set for our lunch.

Apparently more men are becoming interested in cooking domestically which is great news for us girls, but if you have the time to spend learning a new skill or enhancing an existing one, for £35, you certainly get your monies worth and I would recommend it to anyone with even just the remotest interest in cooking.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The fun group, the food, wine and ambience. Finally all that we need to know is, when is the next one!