First you learn, then you cook, then you eat at Vanilla Zulu
Cooking has become a great social experience in Australia. Inspired by cooking shows, many people are not only exploring the culinary arts, but are coming together to both cook and eat fabulous food. The Vanilla Zulu cooking school is not only a great way to learn more about cooking, but is also a great social dining experience as you get to eat the fabulous food that you cook.
This wonderful school located down a little alley in Wilston in the north suburbs, provides both professional cooking courses as well as classes for people just looking to improve their culinary skills for use at home. The 6 week professional course attracts people looking to open cafes, run bed & breakfasts or get a professional start in the industry.
Vanilla Zulu also offers corporate team building courses. Coming together to cook and eat is one of the best ways for people get to know each other. While everyone is working on the same task, there is also plenty of opportunity to express your individuality. Cooking classes work well with corporate groups, because even when there are people who don't like cooking, they almost certainly still enjoy eating.
The school's room is well designed. There are tables and chairs for sitting down, taking notes and eating what you have cooked. There are also several stainless steel workbenches for food preparation. There are a several of ovens, and the class is designed so that as one item is coming out, a new item will be going in.
The classes are well designed. They include demonstration of techniques and hands on practice: all supported by a good amount of preparation in advance by the school. Students only have to focus on the most exciting elements of cooking while the easy and mundane has often already been done in advance.
Students putting what they have learned into practice
The class that I attended was for Spanish Tapas. Along with food preparation, a lot of this class focused on adding some bling to dishes. Mel Townsend, the owner, explains that the idea is not just to prepare delicious food, but to delight your guests and maybe even receive a round of applause.
You will learn some basic skills to ensure that your food turns out perfectly, master tricks of the trade and at the same time, be taught about how to make it special. Of course then you master how to present the whole package. Sometimes it is about using hard to find ingredients such as rose and flower petals, and other times it is simply the little tricks to use some basic and seemingly mundane ingredients (a great chef will be able to make anything special).
Pork Belly ready for some decorations to the added
In the end Vanilla Zulu is also a great dining experience. You are going to have the opportunity to enjoy what you cooked. Of course bring your own wine to go with the meal. You are not just learning, but also having fun. It is best to come with friends, but if you come by yourself you will find other students friendly and welcoming. Many people who attend one class come back for more.
A finished and decorated dish. I need a little more practice I think.