That’s just how I roll: Sushi making at L’ateliers

I got into sushi when I lived in Edinburgh and my flatmate was such a fan. She used to take me to Sushiya on Dalry Road and we made sure we wore elasticated trousers (not even kidding!)

I recently had 3 weeks between jobs, during which I set up this blog, went on a mini road trip of the UK, and enjoyed being free from responsibility in the big smoke. And what better way to max out my “lady of leisure” title than to go on a cooking course!

I found cooking school L’ateliers des Chefs online. They have a wide range of courses to choose from, including cuisines from all over the world as well as specific skills such pastry making. Prices range from £15 for a 30-minute “Cook, Eat & Run” course up to £144 for a 4-hour masterclass.

You could…

If you work near to either of the L’ateliers shops in St Pauls or Oxford Circus you could pop out for the Cook, Eat & Run in your lunch break – so that would be £15 for tuition and a great lunch! I know I would if I didn’t work in the relative middle of nowhere.

To make the most of the experience, I wanted to choose a type of food that required specific guidance rather than a something I could easily make at home with a recipe. So I chose sushi, as this is certainly a cuisine I had never attempted to make before and wouldn’t know where to start!

Sushi making at L'Ateliers

Team Sushi

The course was 2 hours for £72, and this included all ingredients and tuition. You can purchase drinks while you cook and eat – my course started at 2pm, which, as post-midday, I deemed a acceptable time to have a glass of wine. After the course, you can stay and eat at your leisure with the rest of your group. They send you the recipes from the class via email and you have the opportunity to set up an online personalised recipe book, where you can access many more of the L’atelier recipes.

So, what’s on the menu?

Sushi rice

The chef started by demonstrating how to perfectly cook sushi rice seasoned with rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, as a basis for the sushi.

Maki roll with sea bass and pickled cucumber

A classic maki roll (or makizushi). These are the small ones with seaweed (nori) on the outside.

Temaki hand roll with salmon, shallot and bean sprouts

This is a cone of nori, with the filling spilling out of the wide end (or both ends in my case; I struggled with this one).

California roll of crab and avocado with wasabi and sesame seeds

The California roll is a type of makizishi, and is sometimes called an “inside-out” roll, owing to the fact that the nori is on the inside and the rice is on the outside. These are bigger than the classic maki.

Mountain of sushi, handmade by moi

Mountain of sushi, handmade by moi; yes, I ate it all (thank goodness for the elasticated trousers)

Our chef was Fabricio Cano, a lovely Peruvian man with Michelin star experience, who freelances for L’ateliers and runs Fab Cooking, “bringing Latin style and colour to private and corporate cookery events.” With just 4 other people in the class, I really felt we were making the most of Fabricio’s expertise. He gave very clear instructions and stepped in when needed (i.e. when trying to roll the temaki, see above). The methods/recipes were all simple enough for reproduction in the home, and, need I say it, the sushi results were delicious.

The other members of my group were all a good laugh (George was a professional comedian; he had us laughing until there was nori-turn [soy sorry; on a roll!]), so the class was relaxed, friendly and non-competitive.

Give it a go!

Booking is done online, where you can browse the courses by type, length and location. You can only book the classes 4 weeks in advance, which does make it quite tricky if you want to book a weekend class (these seem to fly off the shelf as soon as they become available). Gift cards are also available – you can purchase with a set amount of money, and the recipient can choose the course and day to suit them, adding more money if needed (tightarse). What a great present!

How to find…

Oxford Circus branch:

19 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1PH 
0207 499 6580

 

St Paul’s branch:

10 Foster Lane, London EC2V 6HR
0207 796 0110

 

www.atelierdeschefs.co.uk

Preparation

Preparing the ingredients with very sharp knifes. Look what you’re doing George.

Pickling the cucumber

Pickling the cucumber for the maki.

Maki rolling

A perfectly formed maki roll.

Ready to Roll

Using silicon mats to roll the maki rather than the traditional bamboo version.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Courses, Japan, tried and tasted

2 Responses to That’s just how I roll: Sushi making at L’ateliers

  1. Elasticated trousers = too hilarious. I tried making sushi a couple of times. It didn’t come out looking as good as yours did but the fish was fresh so it was yummy with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi. My guess is that a Peruvian chef is the next best thing to Japanese. In Japan, a sushi chef goes to school for five years to get certified, nuts!
    EarthDrifter recently posted…A Taste of ThailandMy Profile

  2. BeccaHills

    Haha yes, I ate all my sushi and never even considered I could take it away with me…
    Oooh I really want to go to Japan!!

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