Charlotte Morley, our Fundraising Support Officer, chats to us about her experience on The Essential Vegan cookery class.
As a new Vegetarian Society staff member, I had the chance to attend one of our cookery school classes. The Essential Vegan really appealed to me, as I was keen to learn how to make vegan dishes completely from scratch, rather than using ready-made ingredients.
Right from our arrival, the class was very hands-on and within no time we were baking, frying, sautéing and discovering tips to enhance our knife skills. The laid-back learning environment made it easy to pick up new cooking techniques – the tutors would demonstrate how to make something and we would follow, cooking along from our own benches. We were taught in a small group, giving us the opportunity to receive one-on-one support and ask any questions.
The class took us through delicious vegan dishes fit for every meal. Starting with breakfast, we whipped up creamy quinoa porridge with mixed berries, zesty smoothies blended with orange and ginger and pancakes baked with gram powder to make them extra fluffy.
Halfway through the day, we took a break for lunch and sat down to eat the mouth-watering crispy falafel, mayonnaise and pesto Buddha bowls which we created from scratch. For our dinner dish we layered roasted vegetables with a creamy cashew sauce to make butternut squash lasagne and finally we finished on a high baking sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
I definitely didn’t go hungry – as well as our lunch, we were nibbling and tasting throughout the day. We were encouraged to try everything that we made and we got to take the leftover food home to enjoy with our families.
I cook regularly myself at home, but I gained a lot of knowledge from the class – from handy cooking “hacks” to the best herbs and spices to enhance a dish. We were emailed our recipe pack with the dishes that we made on the day, and I’ve continued to use a lot of these – particularly the vegan pesto – in my every day cooking.
All in all, I really enjoyed my day at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School and I’ll definitely be encouraging my friends and family to sign up for a class, as I know they would have a great experience.