Adam Gray at Great British Chefs Cook School

Adam Gray at Great British Chefs Cook School

by Mecca Ibrahim 28 April 2015

A round up of the second of our new series of hands-on cookery masterclasses. Adam Gray passed on great filleting techniques and realistic recipes that be produced at home.

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Mecca worked as head of social media at Great British Chefs and joined at its launch in July 2011.

Mecca worked as head of social media at Great British Chefs and joined at its launch in July 2011.

On 24th April we hosted the second of our new series of cookery masterclasses. The idea is simple, it’s the chance for one of the many award-winning chefs from our website to give hands-on tuition to a lucky group of food bloggers and keen cooks.

Our second event saw the super talented, Michelin-starred Adam Gray, Head Chef at Skylon, ably assisted by his sous chef Damon Stokes, give practical hands-on tuition to our group on making a delicious three course meal. It's fascinating watching the chefs at work, cooking alongside them and going away with a realisation that you CAN make their restaurant dishes in your own home.

Much of their advice is making sure you have good equipment, the best ingredients to work with and where possible that means cooking with the seasons. The Cornish mackerel that Adam brought along was a perfect example of this.

We watched how he made filleting look simple, stating that mackerel was a great fish to practice on. Many of our group were keen to try filleting themselves later under his watchful eye and guidance.

After the filleting demo, Adam showed us how to make Crispy Cornish Mackerel with Rhubarb Relish and a Pea Shoot & Sea Kale salad. Some of us called it a posh fish finger sandwich as it involved making a bready blanket for the mackerel fillets from very thinly rolled slices of bread. The mackerel was flavoured with a dash of English mustard and then the fish & bread was lightly fried in rapeseed oil (Adam's a big fan of British rapeseed oil) to produce something like a spring roll.

Cutting the mackerel rolls across diagonally and standing on their ends, shows how the plating can make a massive difference to the finished dish. However, it's a simple tip we could all take away to enhance our dishes at home.


From here on in it was hands-on, as our cooks split into small groups to tackle the first of the dishes. Again Adam showed how great ingredients with little work can make show stopper meals.

Heritage tomatoes, Ticklemore Goat's Cheese and lovage were made into some delicious cheese fritters with a peppery salad.

Everyone rolled up their sleeves to make the tasty fritters. There were varying sizes and shapes, but having tried a piece from all of the plates, they all tasted superb. Adding crushed fennel seed to the Panko breadcrumbs they were coated in was a lovely touch.

Finally it was onto dessert and we went onto make one of Adam's most popular recipes from Great British Chefs - a light and fluffy citrus cake, with a strawberry sauce and vanilla infused yoghurt.

As pointed out earlier, Adam's a great ambassador for locally produced affordable ingredients and strongly advised using Tiptree strawberry jam along with British strawberries for the compote which covered the cake.

The cake mixture was whipped up very quickly and the resulting puddings baked gently, while some of our class put Adam's earlier filleting skills into practice. Very bravely, I might add, in front of the whole class.

We’d like to thank Adam and Damon for generously sharing their skills and ably guiding the class through the hands-on class. Once again a big thanks to Rosalind Rathouse and her team at Cookery School for their sterling work behind the scenes, helping to keep everything running smoothly. Last but certainly not least, a big thanks to all of the food bloggers and cooks who came along to make our second Great British Chefs Cook School a night to remember, with lots to take away.

Watch this space for more details of next school. In the meantime you can download a special e-book of Adam Gray's recipes from Great British Chefs Cook School here.