Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Masterclass With Miguel Meastre At Sydney Seafood School, Pyrmont

The star of the night

I never thought I'd be one to come face to face with any celebrity chef who I've only ever seen on my TV screen in the comforts of my own home, but that was exactly where I found myself being greeted with warmth and kisses on the cheek by the one and only Miguel Meastre! The Sydney Seafood School hosted a masterclass to give us a taste of what to expect at the upcoming Good Food & Wine Show at the end of June.

The peppers used in the paella
Not long after I accepted a glass of red wine upon arrival, I was approached by fellow food blogger Ms Brulee (you have an uncanny ability to spot food bloggers!) Kelly was so friendly and nice and it was great talking and getting to know her before the show and it's always so much fun meeting new people who like food as much as I do :D

Pouring stock after the rice has been cooked with the sofrito
He was introduced to us as a celebrity with a big personality - he definitely had that! Not only did he show us how to cook but he also entertained us with stories. Miguel explains to us that to cool a good paella, one must use the Spanish rice. Why? Well, when cooking Asian fried noodles, you don't go ahead and use fettuccine! Different noodles are used to cook different dishes so why would rice be any different? Because of the hot Spanish sun, the Spanish rice tends to be drier and needs to absorb more stock to be cooked through. To determine portion size, generally one handful of rice is enough for one unless you have a big appetite ;) Another handy tip was a tip I learnt about garlic - normally one bulb per person. But there are people like me who love garlic so you can always add more!

Miguel demonstrating how to break and clean a blue swimmer crab
The food processor had stopped working from an accident earlier in the night where the stock exploded - yep, that happened. Did not even know stock could explode! Turns out, that killed the electricity on the bench but Miguel didn't let his accidents with the appliances deter him the slightest as he laughed it off after one of the lady helpers scolded him about his "touch of death". Instead he broke the news that he is now an official Australian citizen. He passed the exam with flying colours - a top mark of 95%! A huge congratulations are an order I believe :D Looks like we'll definitely be seeing more of him in the food network in Australia!

Look how happy he is in Australia!
After the demonstration sneak peek into what we were cooking for the night, we all just wanted to hot up the kitchens and cook up a storm! The scent of the paella cooking definitely tantalised our tastebuds of what we were to feast on later that night. We were in groups of four to cook that night and I met another lovely food blogger My Hungry Monster all the way from Thailand! Miguel came around during our escapades on the beaches and stovetops to make sure we were alright with everything and to give us tips for how we would cook it in our home kitchens to get a beautiful soccarrada (that crunchy rice crust that I all know we are looking for). The stock must all be evaporated so you don't get gluggy rice, and remember to move the pan around the heat source so you don't get one area that's burnt!

Ingredients for the paella

Cutting limes

Our kingfish ceviche

So proud of our paella!
We couldn't wait to tuck in after our efforts that night, and it was absolutely divine. All the herbs and spices used elevated the dishes and provided a fantastic kick. It was all washed down with some lovely Semillon from First Creek.


I had a wonderful time meeting Miguel who was extremely sociable, warm and friendly. We all left with a goody bag and tickets to the Good Food & Wine Show which I know for sure I will be checking out this year!


Sherrie @ Crystal Noir attended the evening of culinary delights as a guest of Spark Communications and compliments of Citibank.

16 comments:

  1. What a fun night - Miguel always comes across as a really fun & entertaining guy.

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    1. He was incredibly funny and entertaining! I enjoyed all his stories :D

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  2. Hehe the first and only time that I met him he was certainly quite the personality. I think he thought that I worked with Nigella Lawson so he kept saying "bring her over to my restaurant" and no matter how I tried to explain, it ended up being a circular conversation. He was so friendly and outgoing though!

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    1. Outgoing definitely describes him spot on! It must be the Spanish blood ;) Haha I hate misinterpretations! Though looking back on them, they are almost always amusing :D

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  3. Maaaan you have a mad blog!! :) no doubt awesome.

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    1. Why thank you! (I'm assuming you are friends with Bainy of some sorts :P)

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  4. wahh kiss on the cheek! ive always wanted to do a class at sydney seafood school!

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    1. Cooking classes are always so fun! :D

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  5. I should really get into cooking classes, they sound so fun! (I can't cook at all haha)

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    1. They definitely are fun :D Channeling my inner Gustav (Ratatouille), anyone can cook!

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  6. Oh lucky you! Very envious. Definitely looks like you had fun.

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  7. i would love to have attended that cooking class. would like to know how to make a paella. or a smaller version anyway. looks like so much fun!

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    1. Paella is so awesome! If you want, I can email you the recipe :D Let me know!

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