Energy For Life

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Gourmet Food Made Simple At The Avenue Cookery School

Avenue Cookery School (13).JPG

Reason 1001 that I love being a yoga teacher? Because I have time to pursue my other interests such as cooking (I’m a massive foodie!). Earlier this week, I stopped by The Avenue Cookery School in Wandsworth to learn new culinary skills with the super talented  Diana Horsford.

On the menu was Pancetta wrapped Chicken Ballotine, stuffed with Mushrooms, Truffle and Mozzarella with Butternut Squash, Asparagus and a crispy Sage & Butter sauce. Following all of that, dessert was a Pecan Tart with Coffee Ice Cream.

I’ll be honest, when I first saw the menu, I had to Google ‘Ballotine’.  It’s definitely not in my everyday vocabulary but it is something I’ve eaten in the past and something I never thought I’d ever be able to cook myself.  So, I’ll let you into a little secret – it’s easy once you know! Just like a lot of things in life 😉

Diana was excellent; knowledgeable, chatty, funny and personable. Her business is a true family enterprise, her son, Richard, is also a chef and was on hand to help while we cooked, and her daughter, Sophie, works in the office, behind the scenes, making everything happen.

I had so much fun learning how to make the Chicken Ballotine dish – it was surprisingly simple – in short, you:

  1. Make a filling by sautéing onion, garlic, mushrooms & mozzarella
  2. Butterfly a chicken breast – cut it open and flatten it with a rolling pin under some cling film
  3. Lay the butterfly chicken on top of some pancetta strips
  4. Place the filling on top
  5. Roll it up in some cling film
  6. Poach it for 10 minutes
  7. (Some people might quickly pan fry it afterwards for a golden, crispy edge)

We also made some sage butter and roasted vegetables to accompany the chicken.

The Pecan Tart was also relatively simple to make.  We finished the cooking class with a glass of sparkling wine, a scrumptious lunch filled with our culinary creations and some great conversation.

Something that The Avenue Cookery School wants to change is the way people depend so heavily on cookbooks.  They want to educate people to understand food and start treating recipes as inspiration and guidance for further cooking.  They’ve certainly done that with the recipes we were given.  I can’t wait to cook the same dish at home but try a different filling and sauce.

Take a look here at the upcoming classes and events taking place at The Avenue Cookery School.

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