Sunday, September 18, 2016

Absolute Beginner Helpers Class - 25 Mushroom Kitchen Review

Last Aug 5 2016, I decided to bite the bullet and finally condition my brain to want to learn how to cook. I have been told multiple times that a person, especially a wife, needs to learn to to feed herself and her family. So I contacted 25 mushrooms, reviewed their curriculum and went on with my bank transfer. The total class costed me P5000.00 for a 4 day 9AM-3 PM class. All ingredients are provided. Its a mixed combination of individual activity, group activity, and demo class. The participants should just bring their own lunch, food containers, apron, and hair net. The school can provide lunch for P65 (rice plus viand). The beauty of this class is its made with the helpers in mind, they promise to turn ordinary maids to knowledgeable cooks or assistants in the kitchen. As for me, the class did not disappoint at all. I actually recommend it people who would like to gain confidence or know how to cook the essentials. 
Group 1
My groupmates busy at work
To contact 25 mushroom, you can visit their FaceBook page or main website. But warning, they sometimes take quite some time to respond. Better drop by if you are near the kitchen. Classes are held at Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse, Valle Verde 5 Village Park, Pasig City.
25 Mushroom
25 Mushroom store front
For Day 1, we were taught regarding personal hygiene and how to keep ourselves proper for the kitchen. Next we were taught how to slice vegetables: 4 different cuts - diced, brunoise, julienne, and plateau. It was my first time to learn how to properly hold a knife and cut different ways. We were also taught how to make fresh homemade stocks. It was amazing to know to do stocks by yourself and how to properly store them for future use. Then after the stocks, we were taught how to make my favorite roasted pumpkin soup, baked lasagna, and fettucine with seared chicken. I had a lot of fun with all the dishes, I really taught the chef knew how to teach beginners like me thoroughly.

For Day 2, we were given an idea regarding food safety and kitchen sanitation via a short lecture. This day was all about asian dishes. We were taught how to make california maki, chicken teriyaki, vietnamese spring rolls, korean chapchae, chinese beef with broccoli, and steamed garupa with ginger. The most fun among all was the making of the california maki, it was really fun understanding how to roll the rice. Apparently its not as simple as rolling it but making sure that your fingers are at the right place.Sushi rice is not just japanese rice, we add some japanese vinegar with it. Also the de-boning of the chicken was pretty much interesting, it takes a lot of hard work. 

For Day 3, we were taught how to set a table. We made some paella valenciana, roast chicken, seafood pesto pasta, beef cheese burgers, and mango panna cotta. Started of with the Paella Valenciana. Apparently the yellow enticing color is due to tumeric powder added to the food. It was quite a stretch to make it since it involves a lot of waiting. Next was roast chicken with gravy, this was interesting that you have to fold the chicken limbs into certain way for it to be cooked properly. Also you have to use foil to ensure that certain parts exposed to the oven's high heat is not too exposed to be burnt. Then we have the seafood pesto pasta, all pasta's look easy to make but the main event in this dish is the difference of making your own pesto and adding it to the pasta. It makes a BIG difference. It is more fragrant. For the beef cheese burgers, it is your typical beef patty. Get ground beef, season it, and shape it. Last but not the least was the mango panna cotta, it was actually very easy to make. The technique is to not let it boil. I love panna cotta and knowing its easy to make is very pleasant. To cap of the day, we were taught how to set a table for formal events and how to serve properly. We were taught how to serve dishes and retrieve dishes, and also how to set the tableware


For Day 4, we made some eggs benedict, chicken tocino without any preservatives, grilled tenderloin steak with potato au gratin, and some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. This day was the shortest and easiest among all days. Eggs, tocino, steak, and cupcake did not really take up much time. On Day 4, everyone was given certificates to prove that they have completed the course.