Last week, I was invited along with 13 other food bloggers, to attend a cookery masterclass taught by Florence Knight. It didn’t take me too long to accept, I can tell you. She is head chef at Russell Norman’s POLPETTO (although the restaurant is currently closed and I can’t find any news as to where it is re-opening) at an age when I was just coming to terms with my cheffing life. At around the age of 27, which Florence is, my lowly chef’s tasks involved passing kilos of fish paste through a drum sieve for hours on end and peeling several kilos of tomato skins on a daily basis.
How has she done it? Well she clearly loves what she does and has the ambition and strength of character to succeed. Plus she has had some top training via Leith’s. Throughout the day Florence showed us many of her cookery tips and skills and let us bloggers all get involved with the preparation of the dishes we would be enjoying for our lunch.
Here’s what was on the menu
Burrata with blood oranges & a herb infused olive oil
Pan fried octopus with chilli, herbs and new potatoes
Polpette with a slow cooked tomato sauce
The food was good. Florence is into her flavour/ ingredient pairings and loves to use seasonal produce. The stand out dish for me was the simplicity and taste of the Burrata, perfect with the citrus and herb notes. Lemon zest in the tomato sauce is also a superb idea. Florence replaced the Marsala in the Tiramisu with what seemed like a half pint of Dark Rum. Boozily Scrumptious. A personal critique would be the serving of a dairy heavy starter followed by dairyesque pudding. I still demolished it all though.
Some of Florence’s thoughts about food are quite different to mine…….
She isn’t keen on freezing things, I am. Pastry, biscuit dough, raspberries, sausages, mince, soups, chicken stock, muffins all freeze superbly in my mind. I just make sure they are wrapped very very well and put in ziplock bags.
Her tiramisu technique involves frenetic hand whisking of egg whites, egg yolks and sugar and figure of eight folding in. Maybe I have become too reliant on my beloved Kitchen Aid but I will never be found hand whisking anything anymore, sorry.
The day had been organised by a brand you may be familiar with. FINISH. As in all things dishwasher. I had been sent some packs of their latest product in advance of the day with the idea of being filmed talking about my thoughts on their latest Quantum tablets.
Would you believe me if I told you I was hopeless at conveying my appreciation of their latest product on film? Well I was. So, I would like to correct that now and tell you my thoughts………
SHINE. GLEAM. GLITTER. They are streets ahead of other similar products on this.
POWER GEL. Whatever is on this gel, it has the POWER. Eggs, white sauce, cake batter, casserole gravy, roasting tins. All came out of the washer brand spanking clean.
APPLE & LIME. Having a dishwasher that opens to reveal a fruity burst of fragrance isn’t something that I ever thought my life was in need of but it does make the act of unloading a lot more pleasant. Especially when I am doing this twice, if not three times a day. My three children think it’s the best smell ever. For them, it is just like the smell of sweeties.
NO RESIDUE. This ties in with the shine and I have no idea how they get the tablets to do this but everything is totally dry and streak free. The mind boggles. How does it work?!
See, I told you these Finish Quantum Power Gel tablets are the business. I will be keeping a close eye on the promotional shelves over the coming weeks and buying them by the trolley load. THEY ARE GREAT!
All photography in this post is courtesy of CHARLOTTE TOLHURST.
I was kindly paid a fee for attending the cookery masterclass and was provided with some Finish Quantum Power Gel tablets to road test before the event. I also received a few more in my goodie bag and when they run out I will certainly be buying some more.However, all views expressed in this post are my own.