The fashion for the ability to cook directly overwhelmed Muscovites.
Even my very distant girlfriend, who would prefer to have kefir and sausage in the dough, suddenly said: “Guests are going on Saturday, won’t you teach me to bake some cake?” So I decided to find out where to go to study if you have no idea why do you have pans in your house, or, like Keri Bredshow, you keep dresses in the oven.
In Moscow, you can find cooking schools and workshops for every taste and degree of preparedness.
Some of them are designed for a serious approach to business (these are all kinds of academies), the other is, rather, a way to spend a pleasant and tasty evening or, for example, a Sunday morning.
People come to one of the oldest Moscow gastronomic schools to work hard. On the 24th floor of the Institute «Hydroproject» a mystical action is going on: this is where you can exactly learn how to make six dishes in two hours.
Everything is as it should be: the students sit on chairs and listen to the master’s work, recording all the most difficult moments and nuances — the recipes, of course, will be remembered, but often they have very little in common with what is happening at the kitchen table.
The two girls were very upset that they would not be allowed to repeat everything themselves right here and now and would have to postpone the preparation of the minestrone at least until the night, so they were the first to volunteer to help in cutting vegetables.
And most of them don’t trust you: here the cook is for the main thing — he bakes focaccia at the same moment with the juggler’s dexterity, fries shrimps, interferes with the sauce and cooks branded vegetable broth.
Ideas — the mass, and only manage to swing the pen.
Along the way, the cook makes recommendations: how to cut the shrimp so that it can be nicely put on the plate, what to add to the pesto, to make it more piquant, and to what extent you need to whip the Caesar sauce.
Mission: serious and thoughtful approach to the cooking process.
Teachers: cooks school «Gastronom».
Cost of classes: from 2500 rub.
Culinary School We can cook it! at the Sister Grimm restaurant
This year, the culinary school in the restaurant Sisters grimm accepts only women (although if oh-oh-oh-ry to ask — she saw a young man cooking a cake …). Do not think that it is a matter of chauvinism or the name of the establishment — last season the stronger sex reigned in the local kitchen.
I was lucky to get to work on “American Pies” with Katya Agronik, the hostess of Select Cake Studio, a graduate of the confectionery department of Cordon Bleu and a cake master. This is where I made sure that improvisation reigns in the kitchen.
Let’s say we bake a pumpkin pie, where we measure exactly three-quarters of a teaspoon of cinnamon, cardamom, a tablespoon of zest with all thoroughness … Oops, no! Cardamom should not be here.
Well, nothing, add another spoonful of cinnamon and even a little bit of starch, so that the pumpkin souffle quickly froze … Vou-la: the cake turned out to be very beautiful, even though with cardamom.
Mission: to revive the tradition of visiting with homemade pies.
Teachers: Tatiana, the owner of the restaurant.
Culinary stars are sometimes invited.
Cost of classes: from 1500 rub.
The first Italian Academy of High Culinary Art offers not just master classes, but a total immersion in the cooking process — each lesson lasts more than four hours.
The charming Italian is in charge of all this, who in the meantime will tell you why there are no good restaurants in Moscow, Russian-style hangovers and corporate parties in Chinese.
Here everyone does their part of the work. Products are prepared at the same time for all dishes — from snacks to dessert. Keep track of what, how and why it is cut and cleaned, impossible.
The main thing is to have time to write down when the cook concentrates all this around himself and begins to fall asleep in the pan / baking pan / pan / bowl. The most fun is pasta.
A specially trained combine will prepare the dough for you, but you will need to make pasta yourself — with the help of a wonderful machine.
In Italy, of course, every self-respecting mistress has it.
Mission: popularization of high Italian cuisine.
Teachers: titled Italian chefs from Moscow restaurants and consultants.
Cost of classes: 4950 rub.
In the white-stone chambers on Spiridonovka, a small (a person at 7-8) Italian / Moroccan / Asian family gathers at a large cutting table every week: the nationality directly depends on the menu. Here they taste cheeses, drink wine, cook everything — from pizza to sophisticated fantasy dishes (for example, some carpaccio of scallops marinated in smoked paprika with celery and green apple). All classes are ruled by Denis Krupeny’s ball — he is a brand chef, an organizer, and just a big gourmet.
Making your way through the narrow corridors littered with antiques and designer tricks, you come to visit him, where you will pour a glass of something sparkling and playful and, a little later, will certainly feed you to the dump.
Over the frying pans and sorting of thyme there are easy conversations about the mythology of Italian cuisine and traveling to Cannes, to Mauritius and to the grandmother to the village.
This is one of the few training places where you can learn how to cook fairly complex dishes, and carefully figure out why the lamb is cooked in confit before frying, and olive oil is poured into a saucepan with pasta.
Mission: fine dining — on the family table.
Teachers: chefs operating restaurants in Moscow and gastronomic observers.
Cost of classes: 3500 rub.
Behind the frightening name is a cross between a culinary college and an educational program for those who are not in the tooth foot. I got a theoretical lesson. Specially invited chef Dmitry brought all his knives and told him in complex language what he needed.
The second part is practical.
They gave out onions, potatoes and carrots to everyone, and Dmitri taught us to hold the knife so as not to cut oneself: “Hold the knife firmly with the base of the knife with your right hand, and hold the blade with your left hand, as if you already have an apple in your hand . You expose the middle finger forward so that it rests against the knife with a phalanx and prevents it from slipping on the hand … ”- at this moment the blade of his knife treacherously cuts the finger.
So much for your safety.
The rest of the lesson the cook, courageously refusing the patch, poured the products in blood, demonstrating how not to do it.
Well, also quite a lesson.
Mission: nurture curious.
They have classes in cooking, oenology, cheese and theoretical classes.
Teachers: invited chefs of Moscow restaurants, sommeliers and decorators.
Cost of classes: from 1500 rub.
The reasons for coming here are different for everyone — someone is looking for new acquaintances, someone loves the cinema, and some even for knowledge.
For example, one of the students said that he had recently broken up with a girl, and in two weeks he was just tired of eating sandwiches and heated pizza.
And then all at once — and food, and entertainment, and communication.
I’m not sure that you can really learn something here — rather, get ideas and hang out.
In the kitchen, everyone does their part of the job. And if you, say, cook pasta at the stove, then the rest of the action remains a mystery to you. And you can never know how to sort basil or how to cut mozzarella so that it does not stick to the knife.
After all these ordeals, the film is collectively selected and the prepared food is no less collectively absorbed.
Mission: just relax and meet new people.
Teachers: the organizers of the open kitchen, Albina and Christina, sometimes there are stars.
Cost of classes: from 600 rub.
Culinary School of Massimiliano Montiroli in Osteria Montiroli
Here you can not only learn how to cook, for example, sea bass in three variations for half an hour, but also understand how to distinguish fresh fish from its long-dead colleague. Cheerful Italian, cheerfully speaking in broken Russian, shows us a smooth and shiny carcass on ice. “Like?” Everybody knowingly nods. «And here and there: it can be safely sent to the garbage.»
It turns out that to find out the freshness of the fish, you need to carefully look into her eyes (they should be convex and clear), check the color of the blood (the correct one is bright red, not brownish), and the carcass should be elastic and firm. Now you can make it a sauce for pasta, stew with potatoes and rosemary or bake in salt, fry in an envelope of eggplant or grilled.
The atmosphere is homely. In the center — Massimiliano, who alternately runs up to each and controls the process. The students are faced with individual tiles with pans, so there is every chance to cook any dish on their own and eat it right there.
Each lesson is devoted to one topic (desserts, fish, meat), but you can ask about anything — so our educational program for fish and seafood smoothly passed to chicken breast confit and deep fat problems.
Mission: organization of free time with pleasure and benefit for the stomach.
Teachers: Massimiliano himself, chef at Osteria Montiroli, leads all classes.
Cost of classes: a monthly course of four classes — 20 000 rubles.