This blog post has taken me about two months to write. I really must get some confidence, stop procrastinating and just GET SHIT DONE. When it comes down to it though, I just felt like my blog about Demuth’s Vegetarian Diploma must do this heavenly course and the spectacular people who run it, justice. So… Holy moly, me oh my… I finally did it. After wanting to go on a course at Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School since their inception three years ago, I did just that. And I did the Mama of all courses… The brand spanking new Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery Diploma.
I was procrastinating big style over doing the course… (like I do) Whether I could a) afford it financially and b) afford the time off a new freelance career. I also feel a huge pressure to be sensible when it comes to high involvement purchases since my parents went bankrupt and lost literally every penny they had ever worked for (house included), I have been a wee bit scared of taking risks. Until the last year or so that is (giving up my pension and regular income to go freelance = nutter). Then I thought… Bugger it! I decided I had to do it.
I had to do something for me that I’d wanted to do for a very long time. I just had to…
Leading up to the course I was as nervous as I was excited! I had no idea what skills the other students would have and whether I’d be able to keep up or if I’d be any good due to me being a self-taught cook. There was no need for nerves though as I felt at home right from the off. Everyone had different strengths and experience and the course tutors made everyone relaxed and supported every day.
The course was really bloody excellent. It was perfect for me. I’m rather fond of food. I love eating. I love cooking… but I have had no training. So the technical nature of this course was exactly what I was looking for. My grandfather was a chef, so my Mum and Dad are convinced I get it from him. From the seasonal ingredients, to the recipes on offer from around the globe through to the incredible array of culinary instruments they had us using; the course was designed to perfection and I enjoyed every moment! From 9am until 5pm for eight full days; I enjoyed every single minute of cooking and meeting the incredibly passionate gang at the school as well as the lovely students I was learning with.
To begin, we whipped up truly tasty, flavour-laden global feasts (from Japan to India and back via the Middle East and many other totally tropical tasty places). This first chapter was very much in line with the way I cook. I have always found flavours a strength within my own culinary CV and find it easy to eat global cuisine as a vegetarian. That was followed by pasta making (from pumpkin filled cannelloni to delicate Puglian orecchiette), stocks, sauces and dips (I finally made my own successful mayo from scratch!) breads from across the continents, doughs (from Bath buns to cinnamon whirls) and onto baking and deserts. I also ate more than I’ve ever eaten in my life! It would be really very wrong not to try the fruits of your labour though… Agreed?
At lunch each day, as well as intermittently throughout each day, we would bring together the dishes we had created and enjoy them together. Students from far and wide (a well travelled bunch from Wales, Croatia, Holland and England) got to exchange foodie tales whilst learning and I’m sure that everyone loved the course as much as I did!
As for the future, I’m still not certain of where my own foodie journey will take me. I would like to write some cook books. I would like to have my own tele show to share the veggie love. I would like to own a Michelin star veggie restaurant and a street food truck and combine my love of the arts to start an indie arts venue with veggie cafe and a vegetarian shoe/cosmetics/makeup company and create a food aid charity…
I’m not sure if and when these things will happen… But I’m certain that the Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery course has helped me progress my adventure and given me the kick up the arse I needed. For now; from this day forth it’s all about momentum…I WILL write MORE recipe blogs and do supper clubs. I HAVE cooked for 80 people at my friend’s 40th on NYE and I SHALL keep practicing the recipes I learnt at Demuth’s. Since completing the course I have been practising many of the recipes – pitta, roasted carrot falafel, chocolate & coconut vegan mousse, mushroom & smoked tofu pate, roast squash salads (with the skin left on), Pad Thai, Goma Ae (one of my favourite things) with seasonal greens and Moudardara (one of my new favourite things in a delicious rice dish with barberries, pistachios, lentils, saffron, fresh herbs and caramelised onions).
I would highly recommend any of the courses here and I plan on doing more of the shorter courses. I would love to do this course again in fact! Over and over again. Or, if you’re interested in food in any way… Do the diploma course yourself! Two of my fellow course members were meat eaters and they seemed to love the course as much as I did. Rachel, Helen (the course creator) and Vivienne worked tirelessly to make this an incredible experience all round.
So 2014… Let’s make some veggie magic happen (not to self). Demuth’s are certainly creating something special with their cookery school and I feel now is the time for me to up my game. The vegetarian diploma really was one of the most enjoyable two weeks of my life! Oh… And they introduced me to the most wonderful alternative to Parmesan (any proper veggie knows its almost impossible to find an Italian style hard cheese without rennet) and it is called…Old Winchester. Introduce yourself to him. He’s rather tasty.