Who knew attending a cooking class would be so much fun? I self-taught myself to cook and the only ‘formal’ training I had was when I was 15 and we had the whole year dedicated to cooking and baking for our Home Economics classes.
That was years and years ago! Here in Dubai, SCAFA or the School of Culinary & Finishing Arts is a Dubai based culinary arts institute with programs for professional and enthusiast students. It offers professional courses for aspiring chefs, and anyone looking at a future in culinary media, as an entrepreneur, restaurateur, critic etc. They conduct various cooking classes such as Cooking Classes for Two, Mini Master Chef series, Baking and Desserts and Fundamentals of Cuisine among others.
I attended SCAFA’s cooking class for two with the theme: World Food Day. Here is Rosell, my partner from Kero’s Celebration blog. She’s a very dedicated blogger and I wanted to meet her for the longest time. Don’t you just love it when nice people you ‘meet’ online are also nice in real life?
The dishes that we have to cook were:
Starter: Salmon and Red Snapper Tiradito
Main Course: Veal Saltimbocca with Gnocchi with mushroom sauce
Dessert: Baked Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis
The Cooking for Two is a cooking class is ideal for friends and loved ones in search of an enjoyable evening that brushes up their cooking skills in a fun and educational environment. We were a group of 6 (3 pairs) with different personalities and cooking experiences.
We all look very serious! I am glad my sister came with me – she was the paparazzi for the night! Otherwise, it would be impossible for any of us to document this event with photos without coating our phones/cameras with flour, grease and grimes!
We learned to slice fish into very thin slices for the Tiradito. We made a special dressing for it as well.
Unfortunately, I don’t eat raw fish. Yeah, yeah, yeah…10+ years in Japan and never came to love sashimi (raw fish). Maybe when I grow up. Here is the fish dish anyway, all ‘dressed up’.
One of the highlights of our evening was being able to make a Flambe effect even without adding alcohol to the dish.
Our strawberry cheesecake baking in the oven (ours is the one in the right). Nice and ready! The smell is d-i-v-i-n-e.
Baked strawberry cheesecake. It’s so simple to make, practically mix and bake type of thing. The chef made it so simple, it’s scary – I could make it again and again at home!
Since I don’t have a decent photo of our veal steak with potato gnocchi immersed in the goodness of white cream and sinfulness of brie and parmesan cheese, here’s one of the participants grating parmesan over the gnocchi.
After the class at SCAFA, students can relish their dishes at SCAFA’s in-house French bistro SCAFÉ.
My favorite was the cheesecake of course, followed by the richly flavored potato gnocchi but with all the ingredients in it (approximately a thousand calories per tablespoon!), I have to be a bit cautious! The potato gnocchi was also simple to make and I have made it twice at home, to the delight of my kids!
If you’ve always wanted to join a cooking class but don’t know where to go, check out SCAFA – I think the whole environment is very laid back, the chef makes it so simple for everyone, no matter which level of cooking expertise they have.
This is definitely one of those things you might want to try out in Dubai. Bring a friend! I’m glad I did!
Thanks for reading and do check out my cooking partner’s blog post too about our SCAFA cooking class experience!
School of Culinary and Finishing Arts (Scafa) is tucked under the Gold, Silver and Platinum high-rises in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. You can connect with SCAFA on their Facebook page or Twitter with hashtag #scafaltd.