Gourmet Masterclass at The Rivington Grill, Souk Al Bahar

A recap of all the top tips and recipes from Gourmet’s first masterclass
Monday , 08 October 2012

Gourmet launched our reader masterclasses at the Rivington Grill, and what a treat it was for our ten fabulous foodies! The talented chefs gave lessons on ingredient tasting and knife skills and even had our participants in the kitchen getting involved in an epic roast dinner. The delicious day was rounded off with a gorgeous lunch where we dined on mushroom soup with Welsh rarebit croutons, roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings, topped off with moreish gravy. Dubbed “the best dessert in Dubai” by one of our foodies, the sticky toffee pudding rounded off a fantastic day at The Rivington Grill, Souk Al Bahar.

So you don’t feel totally left out, we’ve brought you a run-down of all the juiciest tips and tricks from the masterclass… 

Pro advice on presentation
Start with a vision of how you want the plate to look, but keep it simple and effective.
You need the right tools – a squeeze bottle is your best friend when it comes to presentation.
Consider the consistency of the sauce: loose is better for drizzling and thicker works for smearing across the plate.
Keep your flavours in tune, don’t add a new taste just for the sake of decoration.

Essential knife skills 
Invest in the best quality knife you can afford and buy different knives for specific jobs, like chopping, filleting or boning.
Keep it sharp!
When you’re cutting, position your hand like a claw with your thumb back and your hand angled away so the blade rests against your lower knuckle and the sharp edge is angled away from your fingers.
Don’t run before you can walk – speed comes with practice!

10 Easy Steps To The Perfect Roast Dinner
1. Start with a cut of meat that has a bit of fat as this keeps the roast moist. Opt for rib eye, or sirloin if you want a leaner cut.
2. Make sure the beef is at room temperature before you start to cook it. Putting cold meat on a hot grill will make it contract and toughen.
3. Use thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to season.
4. Chef Scott says cooking time is roughly 21 minutes per kg of meat in a 180C oven. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and remember that the meat continues to cook in its own residual heat after it’s out of the oven.
5. Rest the meat for half of the cooking time.
6. The secret to great gravy is to start with a good stock base. If you can’t make it from scratch, Chef Simon says Bisto is the best substitute.
7. Sweat off some chopped shallots with thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns then add the stock.
8. Take the fat from the meat you’re roasting and mix it with flour to make beurre manié – premixing this rather than adding flour directly to the pan prevents lumpy gravy.
9. Add the beurre manié to the stock and cook until it thickens and there’s no floury taste.
10. If you’ve tied your cut of meat with string, remove it after the roast is cooked and drop it in the gravy for extra flavour.

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