I was enormously excited to receive an email inviting me to a Masterclass with 3 Michelin star chef Marco Pierre White at his Stamford Bridge restaurant Marco, thanks to one of the most versatile ingredients in our kitchen store cupboards . . . . .
After a rather interesting and slightly torturous (overcrowded trains, totally packed underground trains, and several confusing tube line changes) journey, I made it to the venue and had the most AMAZING time! To be truthful a stampede of wild horses closely followed by the All Blacks scrum wouldn't have kept me away.
Celebrity chefs promote loads of products these days and I thought it would be interesting to see if Marco did indeed use Knorr products. Not only does he use them but he's deliciously inventive in the way he incorporates them into recipes.
He shares many of his recipes on the Knorr website and we were lucky enough to be able to watch him cook a few of them.
We all paid close attention to the culinary genius at work in front of us. He was very charming and lovely, politely answering all our questions as we stood there swooning from both the heat in the kitchen and the fact that he was cooking just over a metre away from us.
Here are a couple of recipes from our Masterclass.
You just mix one or two Knorr chicken stock cubes with olive oil and finely chopped rosemary and then massage it into both sides of chicken breasts with the skin on.
Marco put the chicken into a COLD pan - skin side down and let it heat up slowly. The fat starts to cook which ensures a crispy skin but the chicken cooks slower so still stays moist. He then turned the heat up before turning the chicken over. To finish off cooking the chicken he put the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes. Marco was careful to check the chicken was cooked through, if its not then return it to the stove top for a couple of minutes and check again.
Once the chicken was cooked to perfection it was dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. He then served it to us all and there was unanimous agreement that it was superb.
The next recipe that Marco cooked for us was:
A tuna steak smothered in a paste made with a Knorr chicken stock cube and olive oil. Cooked on a griddle pan and accompanied by olives, capers, fresh basil, coriander and cherry tomatoes all dressed in a lovely light dressing.
As a comparison Marco cooked one tuna steak without massaging in the Knorr stock cube paste and one with the paste massaged in. The tuna steak that was cooked with the paste on was much tastier and it really bought out the flavour of the tuna. Needless to say the Tuna Steaks a la Niçoise looked and tasted absolutely stunning!
We also had a lesson on how to cook the perfect steak. Marco again used a Knorr stock cube paste to enhance the flavour of the steak. It was so tender you almost didn't need a knife. Oh my word it was beyond scrumptious! By far the best steak I had ever tasted. He also showed us a special technique for finely chopping an onion and herbs. I learned so much from him, loads of tips and tricks that I will most certainly be using at home in my tiny kitchen.
Our Masterclass was filmed by a camera crew who got more hot and bothered the longer the class went on as the ventilation in the kitchen was turned down so the sound of the fans wouldn't affect the recording. Poor blokes were beetroot red by the end! All for a good cause though.
We had a stunning lunch with a choice of either chicken, tuna or steak for mains and a gorgeous side salad and new potatoes. Dessert was the most scrumptious chocolate truffles which left us weak at the knees, they were so good. Thankfully we were still sitting down!
I can barely articulate how awesome the day was and how lovely, charming and gracious Marco was. I was hugely grateful to have been able to attend. I came away with some great Knorr products to use in my cooking (I usually use Knorr anyway), a signed apron . . . . . .
And a photo of me with the 3 Michelin star chef himself . . . . . .
My sincere thanks to Marco Pierre White, Knorr, the lovely Jen, Alistair and Neil from GolinHarris for an absolutely fantastic and unforgettable day.
Oh and just to tempt you even more, next month on the Knorr website Marco will be cooking Curried Chicken with Watercress. I was given the recipe at the Masterclass and cooked it for both us and our neighbours who asked to try some. It was simple, quick and delicious. Here's a pic of the dish courtesy of Knorr, because we all devoured ours before I remembered to get a photo.