Cooking in the Concord Institute kitchen recently, creating a lunch for participants of the iEvolve workshop. The menu was a hearty Barley and Autumn Vegetable broth, topped with panfried Mackerel and Mussels, accompanied by freshly made Sourdough bread, and a warm vegetable Salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Once again, events in the kitchen tend to mirror activity in the workshop upstairs – the journey into the unknown, for me, was my first attempt at creating Sourdough, under the guidance of head chef Kasia Bilewska-Greenbank.
Another opportunity is approaching to spend time in the company of Jean Torné, during his upcoming Seasonal Kitchen course, scheduled for Feb 24 – March 2 at the Concord Institute. This is an extraordinary course which is likely to transform your relationship to food and cooking. In Jean’s words:
‘I am going to have a program, on the joy of food. From a practical point of view, the exact season is a transition season and I will have most probably no more than the vegetables on offer currently: root vegetables, pumpkins and sprouted greens of various kinds. The cooking will move around vegetables and grains and will aim at exploring different forms of cooking with herbs and spices, with middle-eastern and Mediterranean influences, including fish at both weekend days. In the classes we will learn of course recipes and ingredients and styles, but we will also again examine why, how and who are cooking.’
If you are interested in taking part, please contact Blandine Bardeau by email, or call the Concord Institute directly on 020 7607 1140 to book your place..
Snapshots of a Foundation Course lunch I created, ‘in progress.’ First, a little experiment. How do Red Onions respond, when cooked (left) with Sea Salt, and (right) without? A visual comparison of the subtle difference in colour, form (and taste).
Second, assembly of colourful ingredients of our ‘Millet surprise.’ Originally intended to be Croquettes, they eventually emerged as fritters: due to an over-mushy batch of cooked Millet which didn’t lend itself to forming into patties. No matter, the combination of Millet, Pressure Cooked Squash and Sweet Potato, Caramelised Onions, Engevita Yeast Flakes, Thyme and Parsley panfried as fritters proved to be a winner.
Day 1 of the Seasonal Kitchen class led by Mutsuko Johnson, at the Concord Institute. Photos by Greg Davies.
‘You can have anything you want, as long as you’re willing to let go of the picture of what you think it should look like.’ One of the pearls passed on by David Norris, facilitator of the annual On Leadership programme which took place this weekend at the Concord Institute. The concept of leadership itself is up for enquiry in this course, with a working definition of it being ‘an invitation to others to participate in the translation of a vision into reality, and then to be responsible for maintaining it in existence.’ The picture above is of one of the meals we prepared to help nourish the conversation. In this case, a South American influenced plate of Black Bean stew, White Rice, Sweetcorn fritters, Avocado and Tomato Salsa, Fresh Lettuce and Cucumber Salad and a Ceviche made with fresh Haddock. This was a truly magical event: illustrated by the appearance of Lucía Eguren, who arrived to assist with her Mother Maria Antonia Fernández in tow, on holiday from Spain. Along with the extra pair of hands, Maria added an enormous amount of heart to our Sunday afternoon kitchen team.
A Foundation Course lunch prepared by Nicky Clinch, bringing a touch of her Asian roots to a delicious wholefood meal. Coconut and Lemongrass Soup followed by a plate of Udon Noddles with Tahini and Sesame dressing; peeled Cucumber, Sugarsnap Pea, Pea and Coriander Salad with Sauteed Onions; Summer Rolls with Fish Tempura, Carrots, Cucumber and Lettuce, and a homemade Hoisin sauce.
A meal prepared by participants of the Foundation Course under the guidance of Francoise Auvray: Bulghur Wheat with Chickpea Stew, Blanched Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Pressed Carrot Salad and Yoghurt and Cucumber dressing. Shown here are the various approaches to meal presentation of the different cooking teams.
Mutsuko Johnson is returning to London once again this Autumn, to lead one of her inspirational Seasonal Kitchen classes. This will be a hugely enjoyable event to take part in, with benefits not just from the nutritional value of the food created but also from the heartspace and sense of family Mutsuko creates in the kitchen. If you would like an introduction to nourishing, essential Japanese Home Cooking, this class is for you. Dates: Sept 16–22, Concord Institute. For more information about the course and what is on offer, visit the Concord website or call Zoe Waller on 07818 231 298.
A simple, satisfying meal prepared with fellow Foundation Course participants under the guidance of Francoise Auvray, of Bulghur Wheat with Onions; Puy Lentils with Onions, Carrots and Fresh Herbs and Chargrilled Zucchini.