They say if you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.
But this week the kitchen at Venturi’s Table Cookery School proved to be the place to be to escape the heat of the city.
It wasn’t a bad place to perfect the art of fresh pasta making either.
But for someone who considers piercing the plastic lid on a ready meal and sticking it in the microwave as actual cooking the chefs certainly had their work cut out.
Despite cooks having quite the reputation for being a demanding lot, yes I’m looking at you Gordon Ramsey, the school’s new owners Laura Beaumont and Bella Blackett are quite the opposite.
— Venturi’s Table (@VenturisTable) July 1, 2015
Friendly and chatty, the pair impart their pasta know-how in a really relaxed environment even when my pasta dough, made using super-fine 00 flour and eggs, doesn’t quite turn out right. Seeing that I needed a little more help as I was the kitchen nightmare thorn in between two professional chef roses, Bella stayed close by as a reassuring presence. The first pasta we tackled was tagliatelle. At the risk of sounding like a certain supermarket this wasn’t just any tagliatelle this was vibrant-hued Wimbledon-themed tagliatelle coloured with spinach and beetroot.
Next up was ravioli with a delicious spinach and ricotta filling.
This involved rolling the pasta out into very long thin sheets through a pasta-making machine, placing a dollop of the filling on the pasta and pinching around each shape to ensure there are no air bubbles.
The best bit was, of course, when we all sat down to eat the delicious fruits of our labour.
— Helen Le Caplain (@hlecaplain) July 1, 2015
Top tips to any budding chefs – when seasoning your pasta with oil and pepper transfer the pasta between two hot bowls to ensure that each piece is evenly coated instead of using spoons which may break your delicate ravioli.
I won’t be giving any of the top TV chefs a run for their money just yet, but I feel quite proud of what I managed to achieve in those two hours.
For more information about Venturi, or to book your own pasta masterclass, visit http://www.venturistable.co.uk/