The cookery class was held at The London Cooking Project, an old ice factory in Battersea. I’m not going to lie from the outside it didn’t look like much however the open space and four work kitchen stations together with the open plan layout meant that the inside was perfect and everyone could feel included and involved in the event.
I was the first to arrive, it’s not ideal as it really doesn’t help the chef who is still getting prep work done, however Lerato was lovely, easy going and not phased by this. In my defence I had travelled a fair distance and had to catch a train, tube and grab a cab on a Sunday so I was either going to be late or early!
Lerato and I instantly connected. Her cooking is inspired by rich African traditions and a mixed upbringing, she is heavily influenced by her family which is made up of both Africans and Europeans. This resonates with me as when I cook I am inspired by both my Indian heritage and background together with my very British upbringing.
WeFiFo brought us all together, the full name is We Find Food and the concept is simple they connect home cooks, supper club hosts and food skills event organisers with diners in their local community. Perfect for people like me. I love cooking, entertaining and feeding people, but do not have ambitions to open up a restaurant or cook full meals every evening.
I met some fabulous people, some I knew (not very well) and most I didn’t. It was fun, inclusive and a great way to connect, make friends and learn something new about food and cooking.
In a nutshell the way in which these events work are fairly simple. It will depend on if you have signed up for cooking class or a supper club. In this instance as it was a cooking class, after introductions we got into groups and started cooking. Lerato walked around explaining what we all had to do and what was required for each recipe.
We laughed, chatted, found out more about each other and may have forgotten to keep an eye on our food (I would not call it burnt!). We then all sat down to eat together the food we had all cooked as a group. It was a great experience.
So for anyone into food, cooking it, eating it, just making new friends take a look. WeFiFo can help sort out cooking related team building exercises, hen-do’s, birthday parties, the list is endless. Those of you who just fancy branching out and making new friends, meeting new people and learning new cookery skills take a look.
So now I’m sat wondering whether I have the guts to create an event of my own and invite people to my home to taste traditional and not so traditional Indian food!
Whilst I continue to ponder this I leave you with a recipe for the delicious quinoa recipe we made, seriously delicious and makes for a great side dish to meats, fish and veggies.
- 300g Quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- For the puree (chop if preferred) 5 tomatoes or 1 x 400 ml can of tomatoes
- 1 brown onion
- 1 scotch bonnet (optional, or pierce and place into the puree)
- 5cm or a thumb size of ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 chilli peppers
- Continue with
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground garlic
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 stock cube (optional)
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the puree. (If using chopped ingredients, sautee your onions first). Cook on medium heat for up to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until it reduces.
- Add the dry spices and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rinsed quinoa, stock, salt and just enough water to submerge the quinoa.
- Turn up the heat, and as soon as you bring it to a boil, reduce it to low, cover and steam-cook for up to 20 minutes. The quinoa will start to swell. Check regularly and carefully push the quinoa from the sides to check for water. Add a little water at a time if dry.
- After 20 minutes take it off the heat and leave covered to continue to steam.
- To serve, fluff with a fork.
- Garnish with your favourite herbs, slices of bananas for a hearty option, or lemon and pomegranate jewels for a zesty addition.
- Recipe is courtesy of Lerato Foods, go check out her website for more inspiring recipes.
- Photo for Lerato Foods by Hdyti.com