Posts Tagged ‘jean torne’

Ready, Steady, Cook

Posted in dinners, mastery of cooking on March 9th, 2016 by Kevin – 1 Comment

When leaving the last Sunday session of the Mastery of Cooking programme, each participant was handed a bag of ingredients, and instructed by Jean Torné to plan and create a meal based on these elements, in an exercise which recalled the popular TV series ‘Ready, Steady, Cook.’

‘A few peas, some watercress, 2 potatoes, 1 avocado or half a zucchini, one leek, some herbs, an orange, a piece of fennel. Create a dish from these ingredients. Cook it. Serve it to your partner or family or to one another and ask them how they received it.’

The invitation was to take part in this process, to observe one’s own participation, to assess (and be assessed) on the results.

And so, I made a ‘Rock pool’ style clear broth soup, inspired by a soup we cooked during an earlier session. The base was a vegetable stock I’d made earlier, which I infused with the Kombu and fresh herbs. (Thyme, Bay Leaf, Rosemary). I cut the Cauliflower into small florets, cubed the Potatoes, and carefully cut the Leek Whites into strips. I blanched all these ingredients separately. I made a Pesto  with Watercress, Basil, Coriander and Pine Nuts (left over from a previous cooking session). I served the soup in a shallow bowl with a few Watercress leaves on top, and some dabs of pesto. I made a pressed fennel salad with Pear and dill, served with an Orange Vinaigrette on a bed of sliced Avocado. This was plated up with some Short Grain Brown Rice, and some Tofu chips marinaded with Sweet white Miso, Rice Vinegar, then pan-fried.

As for the assessment: (I ate the meal alone) I was pleased with the soup. Initially the broth had a strong taste of Rosemary (probably a bit much to use as an infused herb) but the whole dish was balanced out when I added the veg, the pesto, and the watercress leaves. It was a little cold by the time I ate it. I liked the ‘half submerged veg’ presentation but it didn’t make for a particularly large dish – more of a starter. The pesto was a real winner, and helped to balance the flavour of the soup, as well as adding a touch of intrigue to the dish. A suitable ‘Algal’ accompaniment to the Rock Pool.

I was really happy with the pressed Fennel Salad, in combination with the avocado. I added the dill leaves far too early so they became a bit wilted and lost their vibrant colour. In future, I would add these right at the last minute, as a garnish. The marinaded tofu was delicious. Again, this was a small dish, more of a starter. But it worked well in combination with the short grain rice.

readysteady1 readysteady2 readysteady3


Posted in concord institute, courses on December 1st, 2015 by Kevin – 1 Comment




As we enter the season of seasonal, celebrational Thanksgiving and Christmas fayre, this dish created during an evening session of the Mastery of Cooking course came as something of a revelation. A celebratory vegetarian meal conceived by Jean Torné, lacking nothing in richness and indulgence. It combined some classical cooking techniques with good quality but very simple and accessible ingredients. At the heart, a selection of organic root vegetables, individually sauteed in Ghee and Olive Oil; a Swede and Potato Mash infused with herby Olive Oil and topped with a sprig of Dill; and rich Beluga Lentils cooked with Mushrooms and vegetables. And topping it all, the remarkable Sauce which began with a pot-pourri of chopped vegetables, again sauteed in Ghee,  simmered in vegetable stock and a good helping of decent quality wine, seasoned with Shoyu, strained off and reduced,  then liberally spooned across the plate.

Mastery course lunch

Posted in concord institute, courses on November 24th, 2015 by Kevin – 1 Comment

Creamed Barley and Mushroom Soup followed by Red Rice Croquettes, Kale with Red Onions, Anchovies and grated Parmesan, Baked Squash with Herb, Garlic and Olive Oil dressing. All created during a weekend session of the Autumn module of the Mastery of Cooking programme, under the guidance of Jean Torné.





Persimmon, Chicory & Blue Cheese Salad

Posted in concord institute, courses on November 10th, 2015 by Kevin – 2 Comments

A side salad prepared under the guidance of Master Chef Jean Torné this weekend. It formed part of the evening meal for Heartspace, a programme run by the Concord Institute. A delicious fusion of colours, flavours and textures working in perfect harmony. Very much in tune with the intention and spirit of the programme – a touch of the exotic and at once familiar.


Before: Fresh Persimmon cut into slices, in preparation for panfrying in a small amount of Ghee.


After: The pan-seared persimmon slices sitting on a bed of sliced Chicory (drizzled with lemon juice) with a sprinkling of Blue Cheese to finish.

Self Portrait: Fridge

Posted in concord institute, courses, mastery of cooking on October 19th, 2015 by Kevin – 1 Comment


Day 1 of the Mastery of Cooking class with Jean Torné, and we are asked to reveal all… the whole class was asked to provide an impromptu snap-shot of the state of our fridge. All-in-all mine was in a reasonable state, with old goods cleared out and produce reasonably well cared for. Apart, that is, from one serious transgression: the presence of a half onion on the second shelf. Onions attract germs of all descriptions, which make them fantastic when scattered around the house if you are suffering from colds/flus, but not so good sitting in the fridge. The smell can also permeate and affect other foods. Lesson learned, this creature has been discarded.

Mastery of Cooking

Posted in concord institute, courses on October 15th, 2015 by Kevin – 1 Comment


On the cusp of embarking on a year-long journey entitled ‘Mastery of Cooking’ under the tutelage of Master Chef Jean Torné, it felt appropriate to prepare this dish for lunch: a Tunisian Chickpea Stew I enjoyed at the Seasonal Kitchen programme run a few weeks ago by Francoise Auvray. As is often the case, this recipe is one which has passed through a few hands. Though it was provided by Francoise, she credits another cook – and I’m sure its origins stretch back much further still. Recipes all have their roots – and its to the people that are willing to take these gifts and pass them on, that we can be grateful. I look forward to a programme which promises much of this – an opportunity to enjoy the sharing of such gifts, primarily from the extraordinary teacher Jean Torné, but also from being part of a group of participants who will be taking part in this course. I feel immensely humble, grateful, and excited at the prospect of the journey that is about to begin – not knowing where it will lead us.

Seasonal Kitchen with Jean Torné

Posted in concord institute, courses on February 9th, 2013 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

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..


The heart of the matter

Posted in writings on November 5th, 2012 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

“Food is not matter
But the heart of matter
The flesh and blood of
Rock and water, earth and sun

Food is not a commodity
Which price can capture
But enacting effort
Carefully sustained
The life work
Of countless Beings

With this cooking I enter
the heart of matter
I enter the intimate activity
Which makes dreams materialise.”

Edward Epse Brown
Once upon a time Head Chef at Tassajara

with thanks to Blandine Bardeau, and Jean Torné, who passed on the quote.

A taste of PIE

Posted in concord institute, courses, events on April 1st, 2012 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

I spent a couple of days as part of the production team supporting PIE (Power, Intent and Evolution) which was held this weekend at Croydon Hall in Somerset. PIE is one of Concord Institute’s key residential programmes, the intention of which is ‘to cross the threshold of the known, ie the tried and the true, and enter the realm of the unknown in order to explore and map new terrains of awareness.’ As ever, the kitchen plays a significant role in the journey for participants, and all involved. Once again I was blessed to work with Master Chef Jean Torné, who came over from Switzerland to head the kitchen team.

The early morning delivery of produce from Global Organic in Stroud.

The dining hall at Croydon Hall.

Jean Torné at work in the kitchen.

Francoise Auvray preparing Onions and Graffiti Aubergine for the lunch meal.

Lunch on the first day: layered Polenta and Graffiti Aubergine, White Bean Stew and Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

Francoise preparing an Apple, Raisin and Granola Tart.

The evening meal: Potato Mash with Leeks, Celeriac Schnitzel with a Tofu Mayonnaise, Raw Beetroot and Apple Salad with Olive Oil, Green Pepper and Blood Orange dressing.


One Recipe, four meals

Posted in concord institute, courses on February 2nd, 2012 by Kevin – Be the first to comment

Cooking with others reveals how much the food we create is an expression of what we bring of ourselves to the kitchen, and to a meal. Shown here are the results of one meal, prepared by four different groups, using the same set of recipes. The Saturday evening meal of Red Rice and Confit of Fennel, Panfried Gurnard and Vegetable Tagliatelle prepared by students of Jean Torné’s Seasonal Kitchen, which concluded last Saturday.