Sauce bubbles through young chef's toil and trouble

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WHEN I turned up for class the the Jamie’s Ministry of Food mobile kitchen I assumed I would be a shoe-in for teacher’s pet.

I can cook risotto, and I own a large selection of aprons, that would surely get me over the line with food trainer Ashley Mariani.

How wrong I was.

I always knew I was no Nigella, for a start I’m not endowed with any of her natural gifts.

But I didn’t realise just how much I had to learn in the kitchen.

The first thing I learnt was that a proper cook had to have “knife skills” and mine were non-existent.

Who knew I had been cutting an onion wrong my entire life.What I needed was ‘the claw’ and a cutting implement which I didn’t by at the $2 shop.

It’s amazing what a sharp knife can achieve, I was able to dice my onions so quick I didn’t even have time to tear up.

I wasn’t so lucky when they hit the pan though, while I blubbered Ashley gave me my second take home tip for the day: pure olive oil is for cooking and extra virgin is for dressings.

“Virgin’s need to be dressed,” she said to drive home the message.

I’m not sure if everyone else was aware of this, but to me it was a revelation akin to when I found out Santa wasn’t getting me any good presents because he preferred pale ale to ginger beer, well that’s what my dad said anyway.

But back to the kitchen.

With my sauce bubbling away, it was time for the pasta, salad, and a few more helpful hints.

Apparently the starchy water from your pasta pot is good for thinning sauces, and the best way to make garlic paste is using salt and the side of your knife.

After 90 minutes in the kitchen with Ashley and my helpful group of fellow cooks in training I was practically Masterchef ready.

Bendigo Advertiser journalist Elise Snashall-Woodhams samples some of her work.

Bendigo Advertiser journalist Elise Snashall-Woodhams samples some of her work.

Now all I need is a sleeve tattoo, some statement eyewear and a cravat.


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