Taste Budds Cooking Studio, run by Chef Sophie Budd, is a cooking school found in Highgate. Sophie has previously worked for popular British Chefs Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver. Predominantly, the cooking studio offers cooking classes for adults, catering, long table dinners, and during the school holidays Sophie runs her extremely popular cooking classes for children.
Little Chef was invited along for the “hands on” class for eight to twelve year olds. There are also more advanced classes for twelve to sixteen year olds – a great idea to keep teenagers busy! The main focus of these classes, containing about 12 kids, is food preparation skills.
The class is run by Sophie and with help from Chef Brendan. Sophie’s passion for cooking and her bubbly energy is infectious. She’s really great with the kids in the class. Everybody warmed to her instantly and she managed to keep a friendly but authoritative rein on the class.
Normally parents “drop and leave” in the morning, returning about two hours later. I stayed to take the photos! Once everyone has arrived, the class commences with hand washing and selecting an apron. Sophie also explains dangers in the kitchen, hot items, sharp items and slippery floors and a few other house keeping things.
The class gathers around whilst Sophie explains what they will be making and demonstrates what they will need to do. In this class the children are split into two groups around two prep tables.
First up the kids got cracking, peeling the spuds for the potato gnocchi. Little Chef hadn’t had much exposure to knives before this and needed a bit of guidance. The potatoes were then put on the stove to boil.
Next, the kids got to make their fresh bread. Sophie and Brendan showed their groups how to combine and stir ingredients.
Kneading the dough is lots of fun! That was put aside to prove.
The mini chefs then started on the roasted tomato and capsicum sauce, for the gnocchi. Dicing the onion (there were a few tears!), slicing the capsicum and squashing the tomatoes with their hands.
Then it was all combined and sautéed on the stove, with close supervision.
The final dish the kids were cooking was caramel bananas with sticky rice. Some of the kids chopped the bananas, while others made the caramel.
The dough was cut in half so that each child could work on making their own dinner rolls, then glazed it with milk before popping them into the oven.
Whilst the bread was baking the children got the chance to make their own gnocchi! They loved using the mouli, which grates the cooked potato, ensuring it has a fine texture.
Then flour and egg were added and they all got stock in, mixing the ingredients with their hands.
With guidence from Sophie, the dough was then rolled into logs, to cut into the gnocchi shape.
While the food was cooking away, the long wooden table was laid by the kids, ready for lunch time. The parents come back at about 12.15pm and all the kids and parents sit around the long table together to enjoy the feast.
Fresh bread, which smelt divine!
Gnocchi and tomato n capsicum sauce.
Caramel banana with coconut sticky rice.
The tasty creations were placed down the middle of the table and everyone dug in and broke bread together. It’s really lovely. Little Chef enjoyed everything. I was stoked he ate capsicum and onion without complaining!
Little Chef really enjoyed his class at Taste Budds and would love to go again. The well-run classes are lots of fun, so much so that kids don’t even realise that they’re learning lots of important skills about food and how to cook!
The classes run during the school holidays from 10am till about 12.30pm and cost $75. Each holiday there is a different menu, so kids can always learn a new signature dish! Classes for the September/October 2017 school holidays are available to book now, be quick, they’re very popular! Find out more here. Book your child a class today – they will love it!
Thanks to Sophie for having us, we really enjoyed our morning, and now Little Chef has no excuse for getting out of peeling potatoes!
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