You never know whom you’ll meet at a Le Cordon Bleu culinary short course. On the weekend, Jessica Rolinson-Purchase and Stella Robertson-Hale attended the Get Saucy Workshop. In 2015, aspiring chefs Jessica and Stella won the popular reality TV show My Kitchen Rules New Zealand (MKR).
Billed as the “ultimate dinner party” show the two bubbly best friends impressed MKR’s judges and viewers with their delicious food.
MKR winners, Jessica Rolinson-Purchase and Stella Robertson-Hale at Le Cordon Bleu Cuisine Kitchen
So what were they doing in Le Cordon Bleu’s kitchen?
“We wanted to expand our cooking knowledge,” explained Jessica. “Sauces are tricky to learn.
“And we always wanted to come here to do a course. We saw the building when it was being built.”
Their desire to perfect their sauces would meet with approval from MKR’s judge Chef Manu Feildel. According to Chef Manu (who incidentally is French), a successful dish “is all about the sauce”.
Under the expert guidance of Chef de Cuisine Vincent Boudet and Chef de Cuisine Thierry Le Baut, Jessica and Stella along with 14 other gourmet enthusiasts learnt the secret to making velvety-smooth sauces. Classes are kept deliberately small to ensure the students have more time with the Chefs.
Get Saucy guests working hard in the cuisine kitchen
Students’ master two foundation stocks & 10 sauces in a day
Starting with the mother sauce Béchamel, the students whisked their way through classic and modern variations of savoury and sweet sauces.
At lunchtime, they ate the fruits of their labour: aromatic duck à l’orange made with Bigarade sauce; cauliflower topped with sauce Mornay - grilled to perfection; followed by ice cream made from sauce Anglaise à la Vanille.
“My favourite was the Mornay sauce,” said Jessica, “and Stella’s was the Crème Anglaise.”
The former goes well with almost any vegetable including cauliflower and broccoli. You can customise the Mornay at home by using your favourite combinations of cheese. With summer on the way, you can make ice cream with the latter and flavour it with your favourite fruit.
State-of-the-art kitchens & friendly Chefs made the day enjoyable
Built in 2012, Le Cordon Bleu’s kitchens are state of the art. “The kitchens here are intimidating at first glance but awesome,” said Stella.
Globally, Le Cordon Bleu is synonymous with culinary excellence.
“Le Cordon Bleu is fancy and you hear lots about it. We thought it would be strict but it’s actually very relaxed and friendly, with lots of help when you need it.”
“The Chefs tell you what you need to do and how to make things,” said Stella.
Jessica and Stella being assisted by Chef Vincent
Their new skills are going to be put to work at home
Jessica and Stella plan to put their new saucy skills to work at home. Their friends knew they were taking the course and are keen to taste the results. “We are going to host a dinner party for friends.”
Interested in attending Le Cordon Bleu short courses?
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