Oh wow. Ok I apologise for that shocking lack of creativity in the heading. At least we know it’ll only go up from here right??
So usually I just move around the many, many food giving facilities of Melbs and have food cooked for me. However on the weekend, I jumped behind the stove and unleashed my creativity at Trupp Cooking School.
The lovely folk at this fine establishment invited me along to a class of my choice to see what they had on offer. I was keen as a…bean to get in there so I looked for the next available class. Geez this place is popular! But I managed to get a spot at their French Bistro class. Ohhh yeah, bring on the butter. And the sugar. And well everything that’s bad but oh. so. good.
The trupsters are located just off Chapel St, right near Prahran Market, so the lucky ducks have fresh produce galore. I arrived bright and early on Saturday ready to face the frenchyness. Unfortunately the front gate proved to be my first downfall…attempted to open it and my weakling-self decided it was locked. Couple of people arrived, I informed them it was locked….a few minutes later one of the attendees decided to try open it themselves….it opened. So lesson number one – if you go, Pushon the gate and you’ll be in.
Walter Trupp was our head chef for ze day and he has a resume that any chef would be jelly of. Ha jelly…food…get it? Oh dear I think the puns are getting worse. Walter has worked around the world, originally from Austria. His most notable claim to fame was his appointment as the head chef of Marco Pierre White’s ‘empire’. His love for food however led him down the teaching path, and Melbs we are SO lucky to have him. What a chef.
Amah-zing. I want it a lllll (and I want it noww. Thanks Freddie)
So his kitchen is pretty much my mecca. Pots, pans galore. Every possible herb and spice stacked into the shelves. Beautiful produce lay out on the table. Gah. Amah-zing.
Our fantastic group was a random group of 5 people with really nothing in common aside from their love of food. Sounds corny but it’s oh so true.
We were each assigned a dish to start creating and granted free rein in the amazing kitchen. With Walter pausing at various points of each recipe to point something out to the wider group. I loved this format as it let everyone work away with Walter assisting where you needed.
My first dish was Duck Confit with a Radicchio, Endive and Walnut Salad. Duck Confit. Only way to make it more French would have been to have a sexy Frenchman reading out the recipe whilst wearing a beret and holding a baguette.
Finished Product – oh yeh normal people can cook fancy food too!
Confit. Cooked in its own fat pretty much. So you’ve got duck. In duck fat. Stop drooling.
So the salad was prepped and the duck was doing the confit dance and it was on to dish two.
Pastry time! Must admit have never cooked pastry myself. I am very good at bagging bad pastry or eating truck loads of the good stuff. So I figured this would be a good dish to to go with. I was in charge of prepping the dough for quiche Lorraine. Once again, can you get any more French? No, no mademoiselle. Pretty easy dough when it’s for quiche, no kneading required!
Oooh look at that dough…that is some fiiiine dough.
The others in the group were also tackling pan seared duck (crispy skin, oh yeh), blue eye with an amazing bean salad and some very fancy smancy shepherds pies.
I stood staring at this for a while so I had to take a photo to disguise my drooling. Crispyyyy.
When everything was bubbling, stewing, searing away…we were greeted with the first taste test of the day. Liver. Lamb liver to be precise. So I’ve tried it before, not a bad taste at all. But that ‘splat’ noise when it hits the board is all that’s ringing in my ears right about now. Splat. Splat. Splat.
BUT. In saying that, it was damn tasty. Walter seared it in smaller portions and whipped up some mushies…and butter…and more butter with some herbies. For those in the room who hadn’t had breakfast yet, I’m not sure how well it went down for them. For those of us who eat 24 hours a day. It was pretty delectable! Not going to suit everyone, but not many people can make liver look this pretty.
One of the standouts that was being whipped up by another pair was a lobster bisque that smelt a little like heaven wrapped in chocolate with a glass of Veuve next to it. The smell was THAT good.
Crabbies for the Lobster Bisque. Little pieces in the bottom of the bisque – ermagherd.
Throughout the day, Walter was constantly moving around asking questions to find out more about everyone and tell them really anything they wanted to know about food. The man is like an encyclopaedia of food. Incredible.
So whilst the mains were moving along and cooking away, it was time to take on the desserts. Apple Tarte tatin, pistachio soufflé, chocolate tart, and floating meringues (not their name but that’s essentially what they were).
See! Told you.
Omg. The smell in the kitchen when all this was going on was something out of a romantic novel….between a person and a dessert….you get my drift.
Mixing, whizzing melting. I had the oh so horrible task of making the ganache for the chocolate tart. So initially it’s a bowl of some of the best dark chocolate you can find in Melbs. Admittedly I had to refill the bowl a couple of times as SOMEONE kept eating the chocolate. Geez who would do that. Mix it in with cream and eggs and voilà! Ganache. In a sweet short pastry. In the oven. Caboom. Amazingness.
Look at that shine. It deserved a photo.
And FINALLY the time had come to rest the legs, undo the top button on the jeans and indulge. Trupp has a brilliant dining room where all the food was presented in front of us. And it really makes you realise that YOU can cook something pretty freakin’ amazing!
First up was the Lobster Bisque and a quick leek and prawn terrine Walter had whipped up to show us just how ridiculously easy it is!
Lobster Bisque with surprise crabbies in the bottom. mmmm
Just leeks, seasoning and prawns. Really fresh and just, once again, so good.
Standouts for me was definitely the confit duck with salad, ha I’m biased but that fella was delectable. The blue eye was delicious as well. What stood out for me there was, that fish was cooking skin side down for about 10 mins! I would have thought it was be dry as by then, but you guessed it, it was perfection on a plate. Yes I sounds like the Masterchef hosts when I go on and on but it was that good.
Blue Eye Cod with Grainy Mustard Sauce and Grains Salad. Gah SO good.
Standout dessert was definitely the pistachio soufflé. The chocolate tart looked fantastic and glossy but unfortunately, even with 3 buttons undone on my pants, it wasn’t going to fit.
Oh, the chocolate.
Such a brilliant day and Walter was a fantastic chef. Although I am disappointed I didn’t get to yell out ‘Yes Chef!’. I recommend you do that when you head on over there!
Trupp offers a range of classes and don’t worry you don’t have to be good with a knife to go along! You just need to know how to open the front gate.
For me, the next one I’d love to try is the Mexican class. Arrrrribaaaa. So I might see you there!
Check out their website for details –> http://www.truppcookingschool.com