Although the veil of mystery surrounding professional kitchens has largely been lifted by the rise in TV programming on the subject, watching a chef in action is still a quasi magical experience and, from tomorrow, some of the capital’s best will be displaying their culinary alchemy at the Real Food Market in Covent Garden.
Starting tomorrow there will be live demonstrations at 5.30pm and 6.30pm every Thursday, during which chefs from Caprice Holdings (think the Ivy or Scott's) will show you how to make some of their restaurant’s best dishes, share top culinary tips and - most importantly - let you sample the fruits of their labour. Londonist attended a sneak preview last week and found it to be a fascinating insight into the planning that goes into a professional kitchen - we learned, for example, that Urban Caprice never make canapés more than 3.5cm long, so that they can be scoffed without embarrassment - as well as a goldmine of culinary knowledge. (We’ll never slice a lemon in the same way again..) Gary Lee and Iain Graham were, moreover, excellent showmen, and their demonstration left us itching to get home and start cooking.
Needless to say, everything they create - despite the seeming ease with which it's done - is delicious, and it's well worth dragging yourselves away from the rest of the market to view these interesting culinary displays. Best of all, the demonstrations are completely free and you won't have to name-drop just to get a seat..
Demonstrations are at 5.30pm & 6.30pm in the North Hall of the Covent Garden Market building and last for half an hour. The schedule is as follows:
Thursday 30th September - The Ivy, Gary Lee
Thursday, 7 October - J Sheekey & J Sheekey Oyster Bar, Richard Kirkwood
Thursday, 14 October - Urban Caprice, Iain Graham
Thursday, 21 October - Rivington Grill (Shoreditch & Greenwich), Simon Wadham
Thursday, 28 October - Bam-Bou, Steve Gower
Thursday, 4 November - Daphne’s, Michael Brown
Thursday, 11 November - Le Caprice, Lee Bull
Thursday, 18 November - The Mount Street Deli, Mary Lewis
Thursday, 25 November - Scott's, Dave McCarthy
Thursday, 2 December - The Club at The Ivy, Jamie Dobbin
Thursday, 9 December - Group Pastry Chef, Phil Usher
Thursday, 16 December - Dean Street Townhouse, Steve Tonkin