Cartajima Cooking Class

When holiday architect Steve Murray of Active Travel Boutique rang to ask if I would do a cooking lesson (with wine) for some guests he was sending me, my emotions flipped from terror to thrill. But, having never learned to just say no, I said “Sure!”.

I was at a slight disadvantage as I have never attended a cookery class and certainly never conducted one so I turned to my foodie friends for advice. They were roundly critical of their former experiences which of course was grist to my perfectionist spirit!  I set about planning the perfect cookery class – which was already turning into a Kitchen Party in my imagination. I designed a menu of simply delicious tapas that anybody could prepare and with the minimum of unusual ingredients.

Menu devised, notes written, I led a trial class with four hungry men. They loved the food but the sequencing needed further work. In my anxiety not to bore my guests, I rushed through the chosen dishes, cooking several things at the same time which naturally ended in confusion, mine and my men.

The biggest job was decluttering the kitchen – it is incredible how many gadgets one minimalist foodie in a kitchen can accumulate. Copying what I have seen on the tele, I set out groups of little dishes of prepared ingredients. A quick glance through my notes to see where my starting point was and I welcomed four eager guests into my virgin kitchen where no guest’s foot had trod in the ten years since opening the hotel.

I am thrilled to report that my kitchen rave was a big success. John kept the glasses topped up with a series of appropriate and exquisite sherries and wines. Lunch was served in the patio under the plumbago and my pupils savoured the dishes we had prepared together. Still with their pinnies on!!  What is most satisfying of all is that, since returning home, they have sourced ingredients, successfully experimented with the recipes, and prepared them for their friends. For me there is no better accolade!

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