On Saturday 10 August, Andre Conde, ex El Bulli, held his dessert Master Class at Chefs Warehouse
After many months of back and forth emails between us and his wife, Bianca, who took part in some of the courses here, the day finally arrived.
With loads of prep work and much running around for the correct ingredients and equipment, we squeezed 35 eager guests into our demonstration space. Demand for a space was high, and we didn’t want to turn too many people away.
Guests arrived promptly and were served a light breakfast of churros, fresh baguettes with prosciutto, choice of coffee and juice. Once in the class, Andres got straight to work, and started preparing the many dishes he was going to show. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, all the recipes were in Spanish, but Andres translated as he went along. Thank you all the guest for your good humour with this regard.
Some of the dishes he made: Fake Mozzarella, Hazelnut & Vodka Cocktail, Apricot Cheesecake, Volcanic Chocolate Rocks, Sangria Fruit, ACDC, Banana Baloo and Living Forest.
During the first half of the day, he did all the preparation. Claire and Salome were his assistants and after 3 days with Andres, were well versed in all the different aspects of the various dishes.
At lunchtime, we served Lamb Shwarmas. Salome had made the breads early that morning, John and Garth did the lamb, baba ganoush and butternut dip. Lunch was served with a selection of wines from Newton Johnson: Family Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 and Family Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011. We served the L’illa Eilandia Noble Late Harvest 2011 at a break later in the day. Thank you Bevan for the wines, they were/ are awesome!
After the last break, Andres started to put all the different components of each dish together. The Hazelnut and Vodka Cocktail wowed! Served in an ice sphere and sipped though a hollowed out and dried vanilla pod.
The Apricot Cheesecake look NOTHING like cheesecake. The mixture was syringed into balloons, cooked in a sous vide and then frozen till solid. After it was removed from the balloon, it was dipped into the Apricot puree. After it was plated, it looked like a giant apricot!
Most charming was the Living Forest. Starting with Chocolate Biscuit Crumb, Pistachio Cake, Blackberry and Strawberry Meringue, Tempered Chocolate Roots, Fresh Berries and Coconut Ice Cream. Words don’t do justice:
The last dish, a “performance dessert’ if you will, was ACDC. Served in a glass cloche: Coconut Foam, Raspberry Yoghurt, Chocolate Biscuit Crumb, letters spelling out ACDC made from Cake and Chocolate Croquant and smoke from Cherry Tobacco. To get the full picture and experience, take a look: