Monday, April 5, 2010
Spanish Master Class at AFC Studio
I don't often go for cooking classes, but this one caught my eye. The Asia Food Channel invited us to a Spanish master class by Chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez who would share tips and techniques on authentic Basque cuisine. The session held at at the AFC Studio also paired some wines with the food, but my focus was truly on the cooking.
The chic, built-in kitchen at AFC Studio is gorgeous and inviting at the same time. The high ceilings lent an airy grandeur to the place, but the bright colours and contemporary furnishings made it casual and fun.
Chef Joseba (here showing us some langoustines) is originally from the Basque region of Spain. He's trained at Le Cordon Bleu and has even worked for the Spanish Royal House for special events. He now has his own restaurant in Seattle.
I liked Chef Joseba's affable and avuncular manner. He peppered the session with good humour and warm smiles.
Ingredients from Spain, brought in by Solymer Asia which supplies to many hotels and restaurants here. Wines, rice, paprika, chilies, olives, asparagus, and olive oils were used in this session. These are available at the AFC Studio for a limited time period, or until stocks last.
The first dish is the Paella al estilo Navarro - Paella in the style of Navarro. The chef used short-grain rice (best for absorbing flavours) from Valencia and emphasized that paella has to be cooked on low heat.
This was not your sit-and-watch passive cooking demonstration. The audience were roped in for the cooking! It's true - you learn best when you try it yourself.
Chef Joseba did something really thoughtful. While we waited for the paella to cook (which is about 20-30 minutes), they served up some delicious chorizo which they fried right at the start of the class. So so good! We had seconds and thirds.
The second dish was Gambas al txoko de Inmanol - Shrimp sauteed with onion and garlic. The amount of whisky that went into this made Chef Joseba joke that it should be drunken prawns.
The last one proved to be one of the tastiest. Tostada de Mojama - Cured Tuna on Toast. The garlic oil and olive went very well with the tuna. I think this makes a great appetiser.
You can cure the tuna at home. Lots of salt, a day in the fridge, and voila!
Chef Joseba invited everyone to place a slice of lemon on the paella.
Finally the finished product. Everyone got a little bit to try.
So that was the Spanish Master Class at the AFC Studio. I'm hoping to get permission to post the recipes given, so check back here later.
Meanwhile, you can look up other courses listed on their website. This Saturday, famed Singapore chef Wilin Low, owner of Wild Rocket, will be giving tips from his restaurant.
I really liked the bright and cheery atmosphere at the AFC Studio. It also stocks cooking equipment for sale.
There are also cafe-style cakes and beverages you can enjoy at the studio. Feel free to drop in.
Keropokman was with me at the session, so head on over to his blog to see more photos, especially of the Spanish products and wines.
THE AFC STUDIO
181 Orchard Road,
#07-02 Orchard Central,
Tel: +65 6834 4829
Opening Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.