Words and Photos by Kristin Cosgrove
|Cooking Studio, Jaya Grocer at the Intermark|
|Absolutely divine homemade raspberry jam - no pectin!|
|Croque Monsieur with delectable smoked chicken and bechamel|
In this hectic world, it's too easy to just grab food that is convenient, rather than taking the time to savor, make our meals healthy and to think about sustainability. The Week of Taste Malaysia aims to remind us to slow down and enjoy, as well as to inspire a deeper understanding of taste, nutrition, and food preparation.
The Week of Taste 2013 has now past, but the finale event is still to come; mark your calendars for the Grand Bazaar at Publika Solaris Dutamas, which takes place 15th-17th November with workshops, wine tastings and much more.
A key facet of the Week of Taste includes “Lessons of Taste”, the chance for food professionals to come out from the kitchen and into the public to share their vast knowledge with the masses. Kicking off its newly-opened Cooking Studio, Jaya Grocer Intermark presented several cooking demonstrations in partnership with Gourmandines Sdn. Berhad (gourmet food and kitchenware distributor) and The French Culinary School in Asia.
|Chef Jean Michel Fraisse and Vicki Kui of Gourmandines|
I was excited to attend one of the demonstration classes, The Great Brunch Experience, led by Toulouse-born Chef Jean Michel Fraisse, owner of French Restaurant La Vie En Rose. I wistfully imagined what a fabulous cook I would become after attending; I would wake up Sunday morning and whip up crepes Suzette and homemade jam and yoghurt with ease, impressing my husband with my new found culinary skills. Well, one can dream…
Regardless of my cooking abilities the class was great fun, educational and inspiring. It was also good value for money at RM200 for a three-hour session, a gourmet hamper and a six-month subscription to Flavours magazine, not to mention a very full stomach after tasting all the demos! We were also given the recipes for each dish to take home and try on our own.
I had walked past the intimate Jaya Grocers Cooking Studio several times while doing my grocery shopping, but had never noticed it tucked right across from the meat counter. It’s a small but pleasant space, and our class of eight people was comfortable enough, and each participant had a decent view of the action.
Chef Jean Michel kept a quick pace throughout the session and his edgy sense of humor and cheeky repartee with his stoic and patient coworker Vicki kept us all laughing. “I love teaching,” he remarked in his thick French accent. “I enjoy the personal interaction and showing people the ‘proper’ way of doing seemingly simple cooking tasks.”
|Even simple dishes require some skill and knowledge. Above, an herb omelette and egg en cocotte.|
Not only did Chef Jean Michele show us how to make seven different brunch items, but he also lectured on the best and most sustainable ingredients to use and recommended quality kitchenware.
- Copper pots are ideal for cooking jam because they distribute heat evenly. They also keep greens greener than other pots, and should always be cleaned using only salt and vinegar.
- Bright Cow and Farm Fresh milk brands are the “green” way to go when buying dairy in Malaysia, as they are local and therefore create a smaller carbon footprint to reach our kitchens.
- Always use a good quality salt for cooking.
- Digital kitchen scales rather than measuring cups are a must for any kitchen.
Conveniently enough, most of the ingredients and much of the kitchenware used in the demonstration was available at Jaya Grocer after the class. Armed with the recipes and knowledge, we headed home, inspired to try our hands at some fabulous brunch dishes. Many thanks to Jaya, Gourmandines and the French Culinary School in Asia for being such gracious hosts!
|Duck sausage to die for.|
Jaya Grocer plans to have cooking demonstrations each Saturday and Sunday beginning soon. Keep your eye on the website for times and details and register at the customer service counter as seats are limited.
Reason to Visit: Learn the intricacies and secrets of preparing seemingly simple dishes perfectly, sample fabulous food and garner a new appreciation for fine, wholesome ingredients.
Jalan Tun Razak
50450 Kuala Lumpur
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