Dim Sum cookery course at Community kitchen

There are some things that Brighton is just the best at, some things that make Brighton stand out! I think that Brighton Community kitchen is one of those things. I am lucky enough to go along to courses at the kitchen and each time I am so impressed with the experience. From the chefs delivering classes to the amazing volunteers, it is always an evening to enjoy and remember. 

I also want to say that it doesn’t have to be a group or couple thing, a few people have said to me that they would love to go on cooking courses but their partner/child/friends wouldn’t be up for it. The thing I love about the community kitchen is it's so welcoming when you’re on your own. Obviously the initial bit walking in can be awkward, but with the kitchen being set up in pairs and with the ever-welcoming volunteers, you quickly move on from that. When there I always end up forgetting I am on my own and having great conversations (or if you don’t fancy a chat you’re making food for yourself so you can just zone in and zone out!)

What is also a lovely touch for this is the communal eating at the end of each meal. On each course everyone including volunteers, staff and chefs sit together to eat what they have made and speak all things foodie.

Most recently I was invited down to try their Dim Sum class. The Dim Sum class is run by Jethro of Kitchen academy who was also the chef leading the sushi course that I went to last year. He is a trained chef who runs courses so has the great combination of being able to cook but also being able to teach.

We started the course with a short run through of what we were going to make, ingredients that we had and a bit of a background on the kitchen. When we headed to our station the equipment was already laid out ready for us, with ingredients on specific boards and all of the cutlery and utensils that we would need already organised. As a rule it's two people to a hob and for this course we shared the steamer as well.

The first thing that we were made were the chinese pork potsticker dumplings; a similiar shape to a gyoza. To make the filling for these we combined pork mince, vegetables and seasoning alongside soy sauce and seasoning and then spooned onto our pasties.

We were given a demonstration to start by Jethro and then went off in pairs to try to recreate; I found this shape really difficult to master, especially having to use both hands and pinching the circular pastry as you go round. Once made we fried them on a very hot heat to seal the bottom and then placed them into our steamer (make sure to leave enough space between the so that they didnt stick).

Next we made a vegeterian option of Pak Choi & Kale which was called the Fat Cold Fold. 

The filling was a combination of pak choi and kale, spices and crumpled tofu which we again combined in a large bowl with our hands. We used the circular pastries again to put a smaller spoonful in the middle and water around the edge to seal. 

For me this was a much easier fold and I'll definitely be using it again! You had to make a half moon shape by folding the pastry in half, over the filling, and then by grabbing the two points round the back and pinching to seal in the middle. After we made a few we then placed them into our steamer alongside our pot stickers.

With the remaining filling we then got to try some other shapes inluding the triangle fold; again using circlular pastry you hold the pastry in the palm of your hand and pinch into three corners, the unhappy fish fold which had a similiar technique to the pot sticker and the more classic twisted and open dumpling as well. 

We steamed the all together and then served them up to share; alongside a great dipping sauce that Jethro made for the table.

As always in the community kitchen, we sat down to share our meal at the commual table and spent the last part of the course eating our handmade dim sum and talking all things food! 

I am lucky enough to be invited along to these courses, however, I cannot say enough how amazing they are. I love everything about it; from the skills you learn and the food you eat to the people you cook with. Make sure to check out their website for full information on the Brighton and Hove food partnership and to book yourself on one of their courses head to their cookery courses page.. and maybe I'll see you on a course soon!

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