Jenius Social Cookery Class - London
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to take part in one of London’s best cookery classes. Food is one of my true passions but I’m definitely much more of an eater than a cook. My husband is a French trained chef so the kitchen is off limits to me (except when it comes to dishes!) and it’s good that way – it keeps our flat from burning down and we eat very well – it’s a win win! However, I couldn’t turn down the chance to at least TRY my hand at cookery, with the security of being under the professional supervision of the lovely team at Jenius Social.
Their list of drool-worthy cookery class options is a lengthy one; from Indian street food to Sausage making and Classic French desserts to Vegan cookery there is something for every craving. However, the Perfect Patisserie class caught my eye. I was suffering from French patisserie withdrawals after spending two weeks eating in the south of France over the summer – I had to learn how to re-create some of this deliciousness for myself. Profiteroles and Puff pastry come at me!
Taking on the brave role of teaching a total cookery beginner who doesn’t really know the difference between folding and mixing is Jenius Social Head chef, Andrew Clements. You get to know quickly that you are in good hands; Andrew was one of the original Jamie’s Fifteen graduates, working at some of the best restaurants in London and abroad. However, he’s much more than his list of accreditations – he brings an awesome energy to our three person, four hour Sunday morning cookery class. He teaches us useful techniques that we can apply to much more than patisserie, shares stories of his time in the kitchens of Ottolenghi and Rick Stein and has us in fits of giggles most of the time.
Andrew keeps us working and the four hours fly by. There is no ‘classroom’ feel here – it is all hands-on, messy fun and if you have ever made puff pastry from scratch you will know, it is also a bit of a work out! Our golden croissants and pain au raisins are boxed up to take home. Our profiteroles are left to decorate as we wish. Like kids in a candy store we go about dipping the balls of choux pastry into melted chocolate and garnishing with all the different kinds of sprinkles you can imagine!
Jenius Social is located in Islington. You enter into their dining room/meeting room, a gorgeous bright space that they also let out for events. The kitchen is one of dreams, a stainless steel heaven with so much space for me to make a mess of! We are welcomed by Catherine, the Jenius social angel; she keeps us hydrated, encourages us through the endless book-folds of puff pastry making and tells me when I have flour all over my face.
I leave completely buzzing, with two huge boxes of treats that I can’t wait to show-off and gorge myself on for the rest of the day. It’s the perfect gift idea for the foodie in your life and a great thing to do with a group of mates. Needless to say, I am now allowed in the kitchen.... sometimes!