THE CHILTERN CHATTER VERDICT
I enjoy cooking and am always looking for new ideas and recipes, especially ones that taste amazing but don’t take forever to prepare. I was lucky enough to be invited to Claudine’s Kitchen to try out one of her Ottolenghi inspired summer cooking classes.
Claudine is an amazing chef, trained at the Cordon Bleu in London followed by a extensive culinary career. Claudine has worked in France and has opened restaurants in Greece and Old Amersham and most recently helped open the kitchen at the Little Orchard Deli in Chesham. Claudine has set up Claudine’s Kitchen at her beautiful home in Bovingdon (only 10 minutes from Chesham/Berko and Hemel) to share her delicious recipes and culinary expertise with a variety of themed cookery classes to choose from.
The day started at 10am with a warm and friendly greeting from Claudine and her lovely assistant Mary. We had a chance to meet everyone, class sizes are pretty small, only 8-10 people so it’s a really friendly and sociable group. Claudine often runs classes for groups of friends, birthdays etc as well as scheduled courses. On arrival we got to try some freshly made elderflower and pistachio cake with coffee which was a great start to the day and everyone was introduced.
Claudine then briefed us on what she would be cooking and the demonstrations began. Claudine had thoughtfully sent through the recipes the day before so we were able to bring these along to make notes which was really helpful. She welcomed questions throughout the demonstrations and shared tips, which made the atmosphere very relaxed and friendly.
The menu was varied with lots of dishes I couldn’t wait to try, and a few ingredients that I’d never used before but will be on my shopping list from now on.
Elderflower and Pistachio polenta cake
Olive and fig tapenade – Muse Bouche
Deep crusted leek and kale spelt pie
Chicken and courgette sumac kebabs
Blackened BBQ pork fillet
Teriyaki salmon on a bed of crispy kale
Quinoa, beetroot, feta cheese and toasted walnut salad
Rainbow miso salad
Baked nectarines with amaretto and lime Crème Fraiche
I was surprised by how many dishes that Claudine demonstrated for us, but she is very organized and was able to clearly demonstrate each dish and took the time to carefully explain each ingredient.
Claudine prepared and cooked the food in her spacious open plan kitchen, with lovely bi-fold doors opening up onto the garden. Claudine then BBQ’d the pork, chicken kebabs and salmon on the BBQ outside on her patio. The morning seemed to fly by and before I knew it, it was time to sit down at a beautifully laid table for a delicious lunch and taste all the dishes Claudine had prepared that morning. All I can say is WOW! The food was fantastic, I especially enjoyed the chicken sumac kebabs and all the salads. After working up an appetite all morning, the result of Claudine’s labour were greatly appreciated by all. Lunch was informal and fun, with lots of laughter.
Claudine was an excellent host and chef. I had a most enjoyable day and learnt how to prepare some fantastic dishes, which I have since cooked at home for family and friends which they loved. I was amazed what full day I had, I learnt lots, ate a fantastic lunch (its BYO) and at such an affordable price for a cookery class with lunch. On the basis of my experience I would wholeheartedly recommend Claudine’s Kitchen.
Claudine’s Last Ottlenghi Inspired summer class is on the 6th of August and there are spaces available. Classes then start up again in September and kick off with a Sauce Masterclass followed by Autumn Ottolenghi and Persian dishes made easy, Moroccan Feast and Healthy You, Healthy 5:2