On Friday night I tried out a cooking class at Latasha’s Kitchen in Leederville. Many restaurants now run cookery schools as a sideline to their operations. The most popular are usually demonstration classes led by the executive chef (as opposed to ‘hands on’ classes), after which everyone gets to sit down and enjoy the meal.
It’s great if you’re crazy for authentic Asian (or whichever cuisine the restaurant specialises in) but lack the know-how (or are simply too sh*t scared) to fly solo and execute a first class tom yum or vindaloo on your own. I tried a class earlier this year at the Coriander Leaf in Singapore, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! So I was eager to find a place back home to learn more..
I was excited to finally arrive at Latasha’s – I say finally as I’d been booked to do a Malaysian class two weeks earlier. As one of my exams had to be rescheduled I decided to switch to the Thai class (Latasha was lovely when I spoke to her on the phone about it and very accommodating)
Since I was a bit early, I decided to go for a wander around Leederville to pass the time..
|you never know what you'll find in leedy..|
|i even found the colonel|
|the cake display in greens and co...so tempting!|
After a quick tea at Greens and Co I headed back to find a few participants milling around in the gorgeous cafe/shopfront Latasha has setup.
Latasha welcomed us warmly and explained that our class only had 8 people now, so for the evening we’d be stationed in the kitchen at the back (rather than closing the restaurant, which is the norm for classes over 12).
'Thai Table' Menu
Tom yum soup with prawns
Beef and aubergine salad
Spicy fish cakes
Vegetable green curry
Latasha also demonstrated the pastes which are the base of the mains – red paste for the fish cakes, yellow paste for the pandan chicken and green paste for the vegetable curry. She commercially produces and sells her own brand of pastes and bases in-store, which is why meals at LK carry a distinct home-style character. Latasha informed us that most restaurants nowadays use generic bases rather than producing their own, which means their dishes take on a more homogeneous flavour.
Latasha is an amazing lady - a 100% self- taught cook with a genuine dedication to what she does. It was nothing short of spectacular to watch her power through five complex dishes in 3 hours, while explaining the ingredients/processes involved and entertaining us with her stories!
|toastin' seeds...coriander i think?|
|curry paste ready to be blended...|
|yellow curry paste, mixed with chicken|
|my attempt at wrapping chicken in a pandan leaf|
|waiting to be deep-fried|
|flank steak for beef and aubergine salad|
|vegetable green curry|
|latasha carving up steak like a boss|
|tom yum soup|
|thai fish cake with chilli sauce; beef and aubergine salad in the bigger bowl|
|pandan chicken curry|
me and latasha..she is such a sweetheart she didn't even mind my relentless photo-taking :)