I was recently given a voucher for James Street South as a present and was pleased to see that it could be used against the restaurant’s cookery school.
I wanted to improve my dessert-making skills (something I openly admit I’m not very good at!) and so booked myself into the ‘Sweet Treats’ class. I booked back in January and the next available class wasn’t until April so places are snapped up quickly.
The cookery school is based just above the Bar and Grill and hosts a couple of classes a week- everything from bread classes, Italian classes, curry classes, cocktail classes, BBQ classes and the one I had booked, baking and desserts.
I went on Wednesday evening, quite nervous because I’d come on my own, thinking that it might go disastrously wrong! I was one of ten participants and we had time for a quick tea/coffee and introductions before we met our chef for the evening- David Gilmore, James Street South Head Chef. (And recently named the best chef in Ireland, might I add!)
So, then it was time to make our way over to the kitchen area where we each had our own work station and hob, apron and towel. David talked us through the evening’s plans which consisted of making 4 sweet treats- Raspberry ruffles, honeycomb, Peanut Butter fudge and Pate de fruit. (The type of treats you would find in a petit four dessert.)
We had an recipe book which gave how much of each ingredient we need to make the dessert again ourselves, but for handiness on the night, our ingredients were already weighed out for us – so it was just a matter of following David’s instructions.
We started with the raspberry ruffles, followed by the pate de fruit, then the honeycomb and ended with the peanut butter fudge. I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter so David was happy for me to try my hand at chocolate fudge. I even drizzled some melted chocolate over the honeycomb to make a Crunchie-like treat. (Don’t worry, David said we could- I wasn’t being greedy!)
Normally for the classes which involve making meals, you sit down and eat each course after it’s made, but because we were making the treats to take home, we were treated to a nice snack of breads, prosciutto and cheeses, served with wine, during a break in between baking. Lovely!
After 2.5 hours or so, all was revealed. Our treats had set/cooled down and we sampled our creations! Gorgeous! I have to say I was pretty impressed with myself (and so is my husband who cannot stop eating the chocolate fudge!)
I had a fantastic night and never felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. David stood in the middle of us all and kept us right. He was attentive and helpful and I can honestly say I loved every minute!
The class costs £65 mid-week (which includes your three course meal) and lasts three hours. Groups are never more than 12 people so the chef can really keep a watchful eye on everyone. Can’t wait to try out some of the other classes!