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Indian summer inspired master class

In keeping with the summer season, Le Cordon Bleu London and Great British Chefs held a BBQ-themed demonstration and workshop lead by Le Cordon Bleu's Master Chef Colin Westal and Chef Alfred Prasad.

Our latest master class in partnership with Great British Chefs may have been the most interesting to date as Cuisine Chef Colin Westal teamed up with Chef Alfred Prasad, expert in Indian cuisine, to give the guests a different take on summer BBQ by using a tandoor oven.

The guests experienced first-hand the unique qualities of cooking with a tandoor, which is a traditional South-Asian oven used for a variety of Indian dishes, and the difficulties that are faced to achieve perfection. Retaining moisture is the challenge with this cooking method but the chefs demonstrated that this can easily be overcome by using a thick marinade on the meat or fish, ensuring that it comes out as succulent as possible.

Le Cordon Bleu's Master Chef Colin, who teaches our cuisine courses and Chef Alfred, the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, were always on hand to help the audience prepare and execute the recipe: Tandoor Grilled Monkfish, Pomegranate Kachumber, Samphire Tempkora and Sea Water Foam.

Everyone seemed to enjoy prepping the ingredients for cooking but it was clear to see that using the tandoor was the part of the evening that everyone was looking forward to the most. Guests were shown how to weave the skewer in and out of the fish, similar to sewing a stitch through material, but nowhere near as simple with the flesh being so thick! Then it was time to place the skewers in the tandoor, and the lovely aromas that filled the kitchen were absolutely heavenly.

To further enhance the guests’ experience Master Sommelier Matthieu Longuère, paired the dish with wine. This may have seemed quite difficult because of all the different flavours in the dish such as ginger, chili, tomato and pomegranate seeds but no pairing is too challenging for our Wine Development Manager as he concluded;

“With so much happening in the palate, the best bet is to resolve to an off dry wine along the line of a Riesling. The sweetness should form a protective, soothing coat that will soften the worst of the heat from the spices. The racy acidity will in turn make the mouth water, refreshing the palate in anticipation of the next tasty bite.”

Matthieu’s wine of choice was Fritz Willi Riesling, Friedrich-Wilhem-Gymnasium, Mosel, Germany 2014 and it really was the perfect accompaniment to the flavoursome dish.

Once the dishes were cooked and devoured, and in keeping with the summer BBQ theme, Chef Colin demonstrated how to make his ingenious dessert: Charcoal Roasted Pineapple, Mango, Almond and Pistachio Kulfi (Kulfi being traditional Indian ice cream). As Chef Colin knows that not everybody has a tandoor lying around in their kitchen, his recipe can easily be prepared using a barbecue.

Chef Colin slow cooked the pineapple for over an hour allowing the flavour of the cloves to infuse into the flesh of the fruit; and the sweet, sticky rum and spice glaze that he brushed over the pineapple really captured the essence of summer. The melt-in-your-mouth kulfi set the whole dessert off nicely with its temperature in direct contrast to the piping hot pineapple. Chef Colin’s ample experience and culinary expertise were definitely displayed in this dish. The enjoyment could be heard in the ‘mms’ and ‘ahhs’ of every single guest as they tasted their samples.

It really was a fun night full of inspiring Indian flavours and new cooking techniques!

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