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25 November 2013

wok + roll // school of wok // london

a couple of weeks back i received an invite to a press day at the school of wok in covent garden. because of my 9-5 gig i sadly wasn't able to make it, so instead was invited back on an evening of my choice to attend one of the specialty cooking classes. score! i dragged fellow blogger babe amy along, and together, we planned to take the culinary world by storm...

we rushed over from work and met with with our small class just on 6:30, and had time to snap some pics before the class kicked off. the staff - all fully qualified chefs, were all very hospitable and made us feel right at home. while we waited for the few latecomers, we chatted with the rest of the class, and read a few of the newspaper cut outs framed on the the well-stocked shelves...

among the staff was founder and head chef jeremy pang. he was so chatty and friendly, that we had no idea until later that he was the guy in charge! the paper clippings around the walls boasted his achievements both personally and professionally, as well as the success of the school in general. it was easy to see that his desire when building the school in 2009 was to provide informative yet really fun classes for people who were passionate about asian cooking - just like him.

and so it was; under the supervision of teacher stefan lind - the resident 'jack-of-all-trades' chef at the school, we had our work cut out for us that night, and there certainly was some fun to be had!

with some simple knife skills under our belts, and the help and banter from our bench buddies chris and jason, we spent the following two hours cooking up a storm. first on the menu was a thai green curry paste, which sat simmering on the stove while we prepared our second dish; thai spring rolls with pork mince and thai greens. while we snacked on those we stopped and watched as stefan demonstrated our final dish; a fresh pad thai.

what was really interesting was to be able to chat with a real life chef about onion alternatives. the absolute worst thing about being onion intolerant is definitely eating out. chefs in general do not approve of food allergies, and are known to be quite difficult at managing them in their kitchens. to be able to discuss how i can replace them in my own kitchen - and in one of my favourite dishes no less, was an absolute dream.

when all of our dishes were ready to eat, we moved upstairs to the dining room and got involved with the eating of all the food. there was wine, relaxed laughs and lots of delicious, nutritious thai food flowing. there was a feeling of absolute accomplishment across the class as we dined on our perfectly cooked meals.

thank you so much to the folks over at school of wok for the invitation for amy and i to come along and try one of their specialty classes. the taste of thailand class that we took is only one of the many, many classes on offer at the school, and the prices are so reasonable you'll think you're ripping them off. our classmate jason had been along the weekend earlier for the day-long flavours of china class that took them in the morning on a walking tour of china town to show students where to buy the best ingredients, then back to the school in the afternoon to demonstrate how to cook it all. six hours of education - plus meals (!) for under £200.

i highly recommend the school of wok if you're thinking about learning to cook, wanting to know where to buy the best and freshest ingredients, or just want something different to do for your next girls night out. with space enough for all the girls, make this your next party idea!

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