5 of the best masterclasses at Taste of London's Festive Edition
Up your kitchen game at Taste of London's Festive Edition, where the experts will be on hand to help you perfect everything from onion-chopping to tea-brewing
Let's face it: when it comes to cooking, you can make sure you buy all the ingredients, and you can follow an impressive-sounding recipe to the letter, but if your technique isn't not quite right, you won't achieve the results you're after.
It makes sense, then, that a bit of advice from top chefs will give you the edge in the kitchen. This is something we can vouch for – we recently took part in a masterclass with Black Axe Mangal's Lee Tiernan, Tom Kerridge of The Hand & Flowers, and Chantelle Nicholson, chef-patron of Tredwell's.
In one afternoon, we learned how to make a venison chilli (yum), a spicy, Thai-style sardine som tam salad (yuuuum) and a chocolate ganache pudding (yuuuuuum). This entailed learning how to slice an onion correctly (more useful than you'd think), and how to properly cook mince to get the most flavour.
We'll even share a tip with you: when cooking meat, the flavour largely comes from the lovely charred bits – so when you fry mince, cook it until it's dark brown and has a similar consistency to instant coffee. Yep, really. Turns out that's really quite important when it comes to things like bolognese.
If even we managed to learn that, just think what you could do. And where better to take part in workshops and masterclasses than Taste, where all your favourite chefs will be on hand to share their expertise. Here are just a few of the things you can choose from:
AEG Take Taste Further
Head to the AEG Take Taste Further tent and learn to cook gourmet food under the tutelage of the experts. There'll be Steve Brown from Daylesford Cookery School, who'll source the freshest produce to create the ultimate Christmas feast, and Jeremy Pang from School of Wok, who'll be turning up the heat with Asian-inspired dishes. If baking's more your vibe, Kathy Slack from Gluts & Gluttony will be showing her class how to create show-stopping profiteroles and orange madeleines using AEG's latest, cutting-edge steam and induction appliances.
T2's Tea Emporium
Move over coffee: tea is the drink du jour, and experts T2 Tea Mates will show you how to master the art of a perfect brew. It turns out the sky's the limit when it comes to tea, and here's the best place to learn it – starting with T2's chai and matcha blends. You'll also get to grips with T2's 'brew tools'. Yes, that is a thing.
Cocktails with Pirate's Grogg rum and Ragnarokin's Gin
It's not all about the food, y'know: knowing how to rustle up an awesome cocktail recipe is equally important – particularly when using an award-winning rum like Pirate's Grogg. Sample the brand's new Black Ei8ht coffee rum in its Espresso Rumtini masterclass. Elsewhere, the team at Ragnarokin Gin's will teach you how to enhance gin's subtle flavour in your very own cocktail recipe.
Get to grips with other kitchen essentials at Taste's brand-new Skillery, where you can make sure your knife skills are on point, tighten up your sushi rolling or find out how to pickle ANYTHING.
The Entertaining At Home Boutique
Make sure your dinner table is the talk of the town at the Entertaining At Home boutique, where you'll learn how to make your own bespoke seasonal arrangements with Bloomon.
For more information: tasteoflondon.com. Taste of London's Festive Edition will be taking over Tobacco Dock 17-20 November.