Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cooking with Alastair from Water's Edge

So on Monday I had the privilege of joining one of Alastair's weekly cooking classes. This is new this year and so I was excited to book my spot before I got down here. I'm glad I did because most spots are filling up.

We had seven ladies in our class and Alastair started by taking us to the market to purchase what we were going to need to cook with.  This was one of my favorite parts of the day.  Alastair started by teaching us a bit about the market and where and how to buy things.  It was really neat!  Then we headed back to the Water's Edge kitchen to begin preparing our food.

We learned that we were cooking Asian food today.  We started with the prep work and made chicken stock from scratch which would later be used for the wonton soup. A couple of ladies peeled, deveined and finely chopped shrimp which, along with the ground pork we bought at the market, would also be used for the wontons.  I helped make the "pastry" for the green onion cakes and also sliced the beef terderloin for the Beef Sambal.  We made Szechuan Sauce for the shrimp from scratch plus a number of different dipping sauces of varying heats and flavours.  When the hard work was done we got to have a glass of wine(!) as we continued to put things together. Alastair taught us some plating and presentation tricks and we soon sat down in a private room in Water's Edge to enjoy our lunch.  It was amazing!  We first had the Szechuan Prawns and the Green Onion Cakes.  Both were delicious.  Then we had the Beef Sambal on vermicelli noodles.  The beef was so tasty and tender.  Then we had what I believe was my favorite - the pork and shrimp wonton soup was just delicious.  I loved it and it is easy to make.  And of course we enjoyed more wine!

Another great part of the day was just seeing how a kitchen operates.  I am always so amazed by how small the kitchen seems for such a big restaurant.  I mean - I need a huge kitchen just cooking for four and then no one can come in there at all!  They have four chefs working in a confined space and it's a well oiled machine.  And it's not air conditioned and they stand on their feet for hours.  Tough work.  My hat goes off to chefs!

All in all this was a great day and one I would recommend to anyone who is in Mazatlan.

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