Christmas comes early with Cactus Kitchens

Published: 4 April 2014

With an invite to Michel Roux Jr. and Amanda Ross’s Cactus Kitchens event in hand, and a rumbling tummy beneath our shirts, we knew this evening was going to be one to remember. The Cactus Kitchens cookery school is a new venture from the culinary pair and invites keen cooks to come and learn tricks of the trade beneath the watchful and talented eye of some of the World’s best chefs.

The cooking incubator can be found just a stone’s throw from Clapham Common tube, taking up camp in a beautiful converted chapel in the heart of South London. Inside, the kitchen is sleek and professional, reflective of the level of cooking instruction you are about to receive.

As keen followers of all things food, including the countless number of cookery shows on TV, we were buzzing at the thought of meeting culinary artiste, Michel Roux Jr. A genius in his own right, founder and head chef of Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche, a regular face on Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef: The Professionals, and a cooking magnate as his father. With it in his blood, Roux Jr. is the guy you want, or – depending on your cooking skills – don’t want, to teach you about all things food. Other chefs lending their skills include Monica Galetti, José Pizzaro, Steve Groves and Chris King.

The point of us industry folk being there was to learn how to turn Christmas basics into something spectacular. Groves and King divulged their turkey blanquette recipe, which came served with pilau rice and Brussel sprouts that were panfried until golden and served with a generous sprinkling of festive redcurrants and almonds. Our view on sprouts changed forever.

And the cherry on the Christmas cake? Well that has to be exploring Cactus Studios – the home of Saturday Morning Kitchen which is conjoined to Cactus Kitchens – sitting in the director’s chair, and standing behind the counter impersonating James Martin.

But that’s not the point. If you want to serve your hungry family a stellar Christmas dinner this year, book yourself in to Cactus Kitchens. There really is nothing quite like it.
They have an array of classes to choose from, starting at £149.

To book your place or to find out more visit their website.


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