The Rookie-Cook Review: Coghlans Indian Cookery Class -
I have recently had the very fortunate experience of attending Coghlans Indian Cookery Class.
Coghlans is a cookery school, situated between Sheffield and Chesterfield, which runs full-day, half-day, and weekly cookery courses. They range from learning to cook Thai food, to Gastro, to French, to Macarons; and classes even stretch all the way to Knife Skills and Butchery. Courses are run by resident chef Simon Lilley, one of only 120 Master Chefs in Great Britain. But you probably knew all of that already.
And what you may not know about your chosen cuisine, Coghlans can teach you. Our class comprised of 8 people at varying levels across the cooking-spectrum (I shame myself to admit that I was one of the lesser talents; I seem to recall being the only one who answered “yes” when Simon asked if anyone needed a tutorial explaining how to dice an onion) and we made up a class of both experienced returning customers and newcomers. The eight of us cooked butter chicken in a tikka sauce with pilau rice, accompanied by a side of naan bread and samosas. Now, one might argue that our menu is what you’d expect from an Indian cookery class. Indeed, it is – but I didn’t expect that I, a girl who considers anything beyond beans-on-toast as adventurous, would produce something better than Indian takeaway.
I kid you not.
The course was brilliant. Simon walked us through every ingredient we used (and its origin, in the case of the bizarre paneer cheese that smelt of nothing) and every method we used in cooking it. We kneaded the naan, battled the tricky task of rolling the samosas and we even got to choose our own chilies. But that’s not what stood out for me. Simon’s method of teaching is wonderfully accessible and surprisingly uncomplicated- excellent for us rookies – whilst being informative and producing delicious food. The way that the kitchen is laid out is also ideal, four (or more) people to a work bench means that there’s a lovely working atmosphere to cook with fellow pupils, who chat and lend a helping hand when you need one whilst you work. Now, I shall not attempt to recreate the smells of the kitchen through the wonders of the English language, but I shall say the aroma of the marinated butter chicken as it hit the pan was to die for. And a gold star to anyone who doesn’t dive in to the tikka mix a second time after giving it an initial ‘quick taste’.
Unsurprisingly, I highly recommend Coghlans Indian course. The food was divine but the experience was fabulous, ideal for a gift or if you just fancy expanding your knowledge of Indian cuisine. I can’t imagine any other of Simon’s courses would fall below this high standard – but may I recommend Indian as a good place to start.
Disclaimer: You may have to share food when you go home, so I deeply suggest you keep your attendance of a Coghlans cookery class a secret.