The knife skills course felt like the sort of stuff they teach to people training to be chefs on their first day. This seemed much more beneficial and useful in day to day life than learning how to make an elaborate recipe that you will pull out occasionally at dinner parties. After a bit more practice with onions at home, I may even be able to shock people entirely by telling them that I am taking an Advanced Knife Skills course.
When you tell people you are doing a knife skills course they look slightly aghast – “living in London can’t be that bad can it?” they ask. Of course, there is no cause for concern, this is knife skills for cooking purposes to save time and tears in the kitchen.
The course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine is ridiculously popular, there are six separate classes of eight on this chilly Saturday morning. Everyone appears equally inept as the mysteries of rocking the knife and the pivot chop are explained to us. We work our way through mountains of onions, leeks, potatoes, carrots, celery, herbs and even learn how to cut the perfect lemon wedge. The course is really like no other I have been on before as you don’t actually learn how to make anything, the only finished meal is the bowl of vegetable soup which the staff prepare for you at the end of the morning out of some of the vegetables you have massacred at an earlier stage. Unfortunately you don’t walk out able to slice and dice like the best of the celebrity chefs on TV either. However, you do learn plenty of tips and techniques that you can practice at home to make your knife skills more professional.
Details: 16-20 Wendell Road, London W129RT (Ph 0208749 6400)