Reflections on week two of Cook’s Certificate by Will P.
After the course got off to an amazing start in week one, where we learnt soups and stews, cake making, how to make the perfect roast and how to make amazing salads, I was really excited to be starting week two. I have to say I was very tired after week one and thoroughly needed to catch my breath over the weekend, but now I knew what level of work was expected and I was more used to the pace of learning, I found week two was less tiring and I really started to get into the course.
In this week we learnt so many incredible things; we had a day devoted to bread baking, another day devoted to meat and poultry, an entire day on seafood and shellfish and finally a day on pastry making. On Thursday we had an assessment day where we got to try out some recipes we had covered the previous week and get feedback from our classmates.
I was really surprised when we learnt bread making just how simple the process is and what can be done with a simple white bread dough – you can make buns, a loaf of bread, focaccia, pizza bases and more – all with the same simple recipe. There’s something very satisfying about bread making and the day was not only fun, but has equipped me with an essential skill which I will have for the rest of my life. I think the more you make bread, the easier it gets.
Meat and Poultry was also a great day. I was really pleased to learn one of my favourite recipes which I have always wanted to learn – Duck a L’Orange. We also learnt to debone a chicken which is quite tricky to do, but satisfying once completed.
Seafood day culminated in two amazing meals; the best part of this course is sitting down with everyone at the end of a day’s cooking and eating the food we’ve made throughout the day – but on seafood day we got to do this twice, as fish really needs to be eaten freshly cooked. The calamari stew was a favourite, but it was also great to learn how to make a fish soup. I also won’t forget the scallops in an oriental dressing.
Finally, pastry day was brilliant; we learnt apple pie, fruit tart, savoury pies, cornish pasties and something I have always wanted to learn – choux pastry. With this it is essential the mixture is really beaten thoroughly and my arm was pretty tired after creating the mixture, but it was well worth it.
I am really looking forward to next week now I am settling into the pace of the course.