When I graduated University, I was asked to speak before my class about my experiences during my four or so years. I still remember the message I wanted to convey.
I wanted them to know this:
Most of the lessons that we learned at university we would probably forget after a few years but the lessons that gave us a sense of accomplishment we would take with us forever.
Back then, I simply meant that I would probably forget all my lessons in microeconomics and accounting but the fact that I knew I struggled through those courses and still managed to get top marks meant, at least to me, that if I put my mind to something, I would succeed. No matter how hard it seemed at first.
Little did I realize that even today, I take what I said to heart. Which is why I enjoy taking cooking lessons so much. You could say, I am a serial “cooking lesson taker”. I have to admit, I take my lessons seriously. At the end of this month alone I would have attended a total of six different classes covering Italian cuisine, bread making, pastries, verrines, (flying to Melbourne for three days for that!) and a very private lesson with Peter Gilmore of Quay (but more on THAT another day!).
My favourite lessons are inevitably the ones where I can learn something that I:
- would have never thought of trying if not for attending the class
- can take and vary to make it “my own”
- make over and over again
Logan Campbell, Head Chef at Lucio’s in Paddington is one of those teachers that embraces this philosophy. I have attended two of his classes at CIRA and each time have added each of his creations to my armory of “impress your friends” dinner staples. In fact, during the class I jokingly told him that I made his dishes so often that these were now known as “my signature dishes”!
Logan likes to teach dishes that you would be fearful to try yourself but under his guidance you become confident and go home knowing you can do it yourself.
So far I’ve learned to (1) make pasta, (2) debone a spatchcock, (3) debone a duck leg and (4) peel an artichoke. Pretty cool huh? Well, this post was initially meant to show you how I adapted his recipes to make my own. So Logan taught us how to debone a duck leg, and I deboned a chicken leg and varied the stuffing a little bit. I also placed the chicken on a bed of brussel sprouts and speck. Again, another lesson I learned from Logan – how to enjoy brussel sprouts!
In the next day or two I’ll post the recipes for the chicken dish I made as well as the brussel sprout recipe (which is fantastic!) but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the day at CIRA and a question:
When was the last time you learned something new?