Cooking Class, Lone Pine Hotel, Penang
For a nature lover, the lush green lawn and mysterious casuarina trees is an idyllic backdrop for the cooking class at Lone Pine Hotel. Tables are set up on a shaded verandah and guests enjoy the morning breeze and verdant view as they prepare to learn some of Chef Lim’s culinary secrets.
Chef Lim, Executive Chef of Lone Pine Hotel, has set aside Wednesday mornings to share some of his knowledge of local cooking methods and ingredients with interested guests. With near 30 years in professional kitchens, a Malaysian national and, a sincere passion for food, there might be no better instructor. For RM80++ participants receive a small group cooking class followed by a sit down lunch to enjoy the fruits of their labour and a glass of red or white wine.
|Wine with Lunch|
When I say labour though, I don’t really mean too much work – you are on holiday after all!
This is my dream way of cooking. Everything is washed, peeled, chopped and laid out in individual bowls already measured and ready to go. Chef explains a little about each dish with smiles and humour and then slowly demonstrates how it’s done. Tips for chopping, cleaning and short cuts are all thrown in for free.
Students then take their turn, patiently guided by the chef. Refreshments are delivered (because of all of the hard work J ) and, when the cooking is done, someone magically cleans up. Love it.
Did I mention that in the process a photographer grabs a snap of you in action? At the end of the class you’re presented with a photo certificate (proof that you actually got your hands dirty – a little anyway), a souvenir apron and recipes. You sit down to appreciate the wonderful dishes you just prepared with the sounds of the waves caressing the shore as ambient music and, attentive staff attending to drinks and anything else you might desire.
|Photographer Capturing the Moment|
Our class saw us making two local dishes, Kerabu Squid and Chicken Curry Kapitan. The seafood salad is a light dish made as spicy or not as you like. Fresh pieces of boiled squid are chopped and mixed with slices of red onion, coriander, chili and ginger flower. A dressing of sambal belacan, lime juice, coconut milk, sugar and salt is mixed to personal taste preference and folded through the salad. You can see hubby’s, chef’s and my attempts at this dish below.
|Our Three Squid Salads|
The curry chicken dish was particularly interesting to make as we got to mix the curry paste from scratch. Lots of cooking oil is used to cook turmeric, galangal, shallots, lemon grass, chili and candlenuts in a saucepan for the base. After quite some time simmering, water, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, pandan leaf and coconut milk are added to taste. Finally the chicken pieces are included and cooked until just tender.
|Chicken Curry Kapitan|
It’s fascinating to see how differently each of our dishes turned out. Even though we had the same premeasured ingredients and instructions, each of our plates possessed their own unique flavour and appearance.
|One Dish, Different Turn Outs|
While hubby left the class excited to take the recipes and give them a shot at home, I departed feeling ever so happy that I got to cook without washing, chopping or cleaning. After seeing the work that goes into a seemingly simple curry paste too, I am more than contented to continue paying the experts to satisfy my local food cravings.
Reason to cook: Learn what goes into these mysterious local dishes from an expert for a very reasonable price. No dish washing necessary.
Lone Pine Hotel
97 Batu Ferringhi
+61 04 886 8686
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