I’ve previously had the pleasure of attending a cookery demo with chef Rozanne Stevens in the Miele Gallery in Citywest. The venue is a cooks dream filled with every gadget you could possibly want. I spotted a superb offer on The Taste for a half price cookery demo with Rozanne and wanted to share it with you. The details can be found right here. Have a read below all about the great day I spent with this amazing chef.The demo itself took place in the very fancy surrounds which you can see below. It’s a comfortable engaging space where you are encouraged to engage throughout the day.
A Bit About Rozanne
She was born in South Africa and has been in Ireland since 1999. She splits her time between food broadcasting / journalisim and of course cooking. She had a five year slot with Pat Kenny on his RTE Radio 1 show and has contributed to many newspapers and magazines such as the Irish Independent and Food & Wine magazine. Of course we can’t forget her own cookbooks which are full of creative and tasty food and something which I love in a cook book, every recipe has a picture of the finished product. Rozanne has an emphasis on healthy food without compromising on flavour and taste and is able to deliver exciting food.
The Cookery Demo
There was a group of about 12 of us and the day kicked off at 10.30. Everyone was served tea and snacks around the table and the recipes for the day were given out to us.
I have been to a few cookery classes/demos before and while most were enjoyable, some did have a sense of being run quite regimental and not allowing for the fun factor which should naturally accompany food. Rozannes style of delivery is so refreshing. Although she is such an accomplished and successful chef she doesn’t take herself too serious and delivers her classes with full on fun and side helping of highly entertaining personal anecdotes. It was like hanging out with friends and one of them just happened to be a great cook.
First up was a Lentil Cottage Pie. It was chock full of healthy veg and topped with baby potato mash which was nice and crisp on top. I couldn’t really have imagined a cottage pie without mince before, but post tasting I’m sold on the idea and have a new found love of lentils.
Next we were taken into more unchartered territory (for me) with a vegetable curry (Indian). When I think curry, I think chicken curry with a dark brown curry sauce from my local chinese take away. I’m sure it’s a sight that many of us know and actually love. I was a bit skeptical of a curry with no meat but apparently India has the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world. If they can stand up to that claim then I can try a curry with no meat.
It was very tasty and smelled fantastic and I ate all I was given, but for me, I do like a bit of meat in my curry. So when I cook this at home I’ll stick to the recipe but just had some chicken to it.
Next up was another hearty dish (thank god they were not huge portions) in the form of Spicy Sausage with Butternut Squash Bake. One of the easiest dishes I have seen prepared but full of flavour. The great thing about it is you can vary the spice element easily by choosing the type of sausages you want to include in it.
Chicken Dippers in a Nacho Crust with Avacado Dip was next. As an alternative to the usual breadcrumbs this was just genius. Bags of Doritos crushed up and used as a coating. Like with the spicy sausage dish you can vary the taste by choosing the type of Doritos you use. About 15 minutes in the oven and your done. Simple, easy and something you would have no problem replicating at home.
If you like salmon but think it sometimes lacks a bit of flavour then let me introduce you to Smoked Paprika Maple Salmon & Strawberry Basil Salad. The salmon was nice and flaky with, funnily enough, smokey maple flavours. I’ve never had strawberries in a salad before but they add such a blast of juicy sweet flavour and you are left trying to decide if you love it or hate it. I loved it. Everyone at the table loved it, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say thumbs up to strawberries in a salad.
After being suitably stuffed by the above dishes I figured I wouldn’t fit anything else in. Alas, Rozanne was not done with us. Nope, we weren’t leaving until we were rolling out and so ‘under protest’ we were ‘made’ have some desserts
Monicas Meringue Roulade is a visual feast. Monica incidently is Rozannes mother and she is happy to credit her with the recipe for it. It starts out as a rectangle meringue base and transforms into a fruits of the forest masterpiece. The pictures below are all you need to know.
When it was served there was about five minutes of silence save for a few ummmmms, a few aaahhhhs and I think one ‘my god’.
The other dessert went by the name of Saucy Caramel Banana Pudding and was baked in a large flat baking tray. The caramel sauce was to die for and its the kind of pudding where you hold your breath while you eat so you don’t have to stop till it’s gone.
Apart from not being a fan of Vegetable Curry (personal choice) I could not fault the delivery of Rozanne Stevens cooking demo. Everyone was made feel so welcome and so well looked after that as a group we were hesitant to actually leave. Rozanne’s sunny disposition and infectious good humour plus food = a great day out. Also a big thanks to Ruth who made sure our plates and glasses were never empty. I cannot recommend highly enough taking part in one of Rozanne’s forthcoming classes.