Sunday, 16 December 2007

No going back

This week I sent off a rather large cheque to Leiths to pay for my course which starts on January 7th. I was sent order forms for my whites and knives and they have been schnaffled away by a very kind Santa who will be delivering them to the school ready for my first day of training. I think I've now covered most of the techniques that are taught during term one, my breadmaking is becoming more consistent, and I have knocked up a couple of cakes including my first Victoria sponge. Every night, my very own Jeremy Paxman tests me on the difference between chopping brunoise, julienne, paysanne and jardiniere and I hope that by early January I will be at a satisfactory level to hold my own alongside my fellow starters.

On Thursday I was invited by Albion, a lovely advertising agency where I did my final freelance stint, to come in and give a talk about my career change. It was lovely to see them all again because they are genuinely some of the nicest people I've worked with in the advertising industry and they have been really supportive of what I'm planning to do. Instead of a standard talk I decided to host a foodie quiz and we did some cheese tasting and had some fun games of trying to identify spices by their aroma. I brought along some strange fruits and vegetables that I picked up at Borough Market and they had to name cuts of beef from a diagram of a cow. I really enjoyed myself and it was lovely talking to a group about something I'm genuinely passionate about. In return I was presented with a new cookery book, Beyond Nose to Tail, which is the follow-up to Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail Eating. I've only eaten once at St John and it was a bizarre experience. Some of the recipes in the book are off the wall. I'm not sure I'll be rushing to cook braised squirrel anytime soon!

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