Here are some kind words and observations that participants of The Butter Smith cooking classes have offered about their day at the market, cooking and the evening dinner party.
What did I expect?
I expected a day full of cooking, learning, tasting which was exactly what The Butter Smith delivered, with the additional bonus of great company!
What was best about it?
I really enjoyed seeing how all the dishes came together at the end. For me in particular, seeing the result of the beautiful lemon tart was most rewarding. Pastry was something I was keen to master and I really enjoyed the challenge and seeing how well it turned out under your instruction. Because we all had particular dishes which we concentrated on mastering during the day, it was great to see how everything came together at the end. The final result, a dinner party enjoyed with beautiful wine and friends, showcased our hard work and efforts from the day. I loved the butter tasting and learning about the different qualities each butter presents. It was a fabulous addition to the day.
Was it pitched correctly for you?
Yes the class was pitched correctly for me. Being someone who has a keen interest and enjoys cooking, I had the opportunity to get stuck into some trickier cooking techniques, such as pastry, while also learning some quick and easy ideas such a dips and roasted nuts for us to enjoy during the day. Sometimes it is great to have some quick, easy and tasty nibbles/starters up your sleeve for easy entertaining.
The selection of dishes included a great combination of starters, entrée, main and dessert which enabled us to experience a variety of taste combinations and techniques. I personally loved the choice of predominately French cuisine.
How can we improve it?
Over the day, each participant was tasked with a few elements and dishes to concentrate on. While this was better than 'watching', one way of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to see all the steps in a particular dish may be to provide a quick demonstration of the elements in the particular dish at the beginning. It may result in an additional layer of structure however I do think this could prevent having to rush dishes at the end and make managing time lines easier. I appreciate there is a fine balance between enforcing a regimented structure and having a relaxing flow for the day (which was one of the very enjoyable aspects).
I really enjoyed receiving the TBS Cook Book a few days after and reading through the recipes that I didn't have a great involvement in, and being keen to try (the chocolate mousse springs to mind!)
Did it meet/exceed your expectations?
It absolutely met and exceeded my expectations. I learned a lot, from little things such as the vanilla castor sugar, to how mastering pastry is not terribly difficult (just requires some patience!). It was a relaxed and comfortable environment to learn and master new culinary skills.
I thought it was great for you to touch base by phone beforehand to work out skill level, interests, dietary requirements etc. It was good to have some knowledge of what to expect on the day as well in terms of time lines, and what we will be doing at the market as well.
It was a most enjoyable day cooking, eating, learning and spending time in great company. Coming back for dinner in the evening to see the fruits of our labour was a highlight. I really appreciated how you spoke about having restraint with the portion sizes at a dinner party – one of my terrible habits is over-catering and filling every one up so they cannot eat dessert!
My husband loved coming along as a guest to experience and taste all the efforts throughout out the day. He loved our excitement and enthusiasm and for someone who generally would not pick salmon as a dish of his choice, said it was really delicious!
What did you expect?
A day of good food, good company and most importantly, a day of learning new skills and tips and tricks in the kitchen.
What was best about it?
The casual, relaxed style and the home environment. The small group made it intimate and afforded the right mix of a hands-on approach as well as a ‘watch and learn’ experience.
Was it pitched correctly for you?
Yes. It was pitched as a full day of food and cooking, plus eating. It was all of this!
What could be improved / added?
It was a very long day, which meant I was exhausted by the time I got home between the cooking and the eating! I think it could be improved by sticking a bit more to a timeline (although I definitely recognise the need to be flexible given the dynamic of any particular group of people and their desires to cook more or less etc.)
Did it meet / exceed expectations?
It definitely met my expectations. As above, I really enjoyed the intimacy of the small group, as it allowed each group member to work and cook closely together, and get to know one another. I also enjoyed meeting others’ partners at the dinner element.
Absolutely loved it. I was able to cook and learn recipes I wouldn’t ordinarily cook, as well as meet new people and best of all, enjoy the fruits of my labour!
As a novice cook I found this hands-on, small group experience invaluable.
Starting the day at the Adelaide Central Market with the purchase of fresh ingredients eased us into the menu. The guided discovery of boutique food outlets for a wide variety of vinaigrettes and exotic sugars was an unexpected but very welcome surprise. The surprises continued back at the well-appointed kitchen.
From the beginning, we were encouraged to get involved; from butter tasting, to close reading and precise following of the recipes. The cooking experience is ‘peppered’ with invaluable but seemingly incidental comments related to essential utensils, ‘must haves’ in your pantry, and tips related to beating, pouring, testing and tasting.
The experience is topped-off with a dinner party with wines to compliment the many dishes prepared for the participants and their partners.
This is a cooking experience like no other, a relaxed but intensive learning experience where laughter is an essential ingredient, made this a day to remember.