5 ways to take your cooking skills up a notch | Gourmand and Gourmet

5 ways to take your cooking skills up a notch

Whether you’re planning to audition for the next season of My Kitchen Rules or you just want a round of applause at your next dinner party, there’s only one thing you need to do to improve your cooking skills, and that’s book in for a session at Vanilla Zulu. A school for interactive cooking classes in Brisbane, Vanilla Zulu is all about putting the bling back into home cooking, and learning some new skills in the process. Because when it comes to cooking, there’s always more to learn – especially when you get to eat the fruits of your labour and tuck into a 3 course meal as the class progresses! At Vanilla Zulu, you won’t just get a one-sided demonstration, you’ll get elbow deep (literally) in the cooking process, with the help of Executive Chef and teacher Mel Townsend. Less like a Brisbane cooking class, more like going out to dinner with your own personal chef, Mel’s contagious enthusiasm for all things food will have you in stitches, especially if you’ve brought along a bottle of wine – the classes are BYO! With classes for everything from healthy eating to rustic Italian, and even team building events that will have you battling it out for the title of Master Chef with your co-workers, you’ll go from wannabe to pro in no time at all.
cooking classes brisbane bling#1. Learn what the professionals know
Hate cooking? Maybe that’s because you don’t know the shortcuts the pros do! Live happily ever after in the kitchen after Vanilla Zulu’s six-week Chef Skills Course, which is all about fundamental cooking techniques like bread and pasta making, preparing sauces, deboning, cooking steak, selecting meat and fish, adding bling to your plate (culinary bling – it’s a technical term, trust us), using knives and much more. Once you’ve got those nailed, you can check out their advanced course. It’s the perfect course for any budding B&B, café or food truck owners – or just anyone thinking about auditioning for MasterChef!
#2. Get hands on in a cooking class
Three hours is all it will take to learn how to whip up a scrumptious 3-4 course feast in one of Vanilla Zulu’s themed cooking classes! Whether you want to learn how to eat yourself sexy, cook your way around the world or make your dishes look as good as they taste (hint: it includes some culinary high heels!), there’s a class for you, with all ingredients, utensils, aprons, recipes and notes provided. All you need to bring is a willingness to get hands on, an appetite and a bottle of wine!
#3. Bring the whole crew for corporate team building
What could be more bonding than creating some healthy competition and fighting out for the title of office MasterChef? Vanilla Zulu’s corporate team building classes are perfect for team building, conferences, schmoozing clients or just letting off some steam, with plenty of space for any sized team. Even if you just opt for a team cooking class over a mystery box challenge, Mel will make sure every one leaves feeling energised and closer together – and well fed, of course, with a 2-5 course meal at the end.
vanilla zulu cooking class brisbane #4. Add some flavour to your next event
Nibbling canapés not your idea of a delicious shindig? Let Vanilla Zulu show you how a dinner party should be done! From baby showers to birthday parties, they can create an event package for it all, for up to 40 guests. And no one will be able to complain about the party food when they cooked it themselves! If it’s a hens party you’re planning, Mel can turn any bride to be into a domestic goddess – they’ll leave knowing how to prepare dinner with one hand and hold a glass of bubbles in the other!
#5. Get your culinary bling on
Before you go home and start using all the delicious skills you just learnt, make sure you stop in to the Vanilla Zulu store for some goodies that will add a serious edge to your home cooking. From rose petals and super sexy black sea salt flakes to edible lavender and a spice mix Mel likes to call her ‘culinary spray tan,’ these jars of goodness will have everyone asking you to cook for them, and are even available online and in gift hampers. Have we got you imagining yourself as the next Julia Child or Jamie Oliver already? Why not spread the love? You can buy friends and family gift vouchers so they can choose a class they’d enjoy – then you can share the cooking! Check out Vanilla Zulu’s website for more information on their Brisbane cooking classes and to book. Words by Ranyhyn Akui and Samantha Chariton Images by Judit Losh