Things are heating up in the kitchen…

We like to start out Autumn on a hot note here at QTHC. The weather is getting colder, we are packing away our swimmers and boardies and trying to remember where on earth we stashed our scarves. Luckily for us and our students’ things really heated up in the Sydney kitchen with our Chili Masterclass! 

The expert Chefs from Victors Food visited our students last Tuesday to demonstrate how to incorporate Chilies into different cooking styles. Chilies are highly versatile and come in a wide array of flavours and intensities. The many different varieties of Chilies each hold unique characteristics and the best way for our students to learn these was through first-hand experience.

During the Chili tasting session our students refined their palates on Poblano, dried ancho, fresh jalapeno, chipotle and cayenne varieties and also explored the flavours that might be a complement. This included pairings of avocado, tomatillo, black bean and mango.

After a heated start to the session the students then had the opportunity to learn how to make, and of course taste a variety of dishes. Each of them utilising different varieties of Chili. The first dish to be demoed made use of the plantain (otherwise known as the cooking banana or green banana). Plantains have a starchy texture making them perfect for cooking with and in this instance the Chefs used them to create delicious fried banana chips. These were complimented with a Chipotle mayo and were a definite hit with the students.

Next on the menu was a traditional Peruvian dish called ceviche, which is essentially a combination of raw fish, marinated in citrus juice along with of course, a generous amount of chili.  This dish proved to be very popular with students particularly as it uses fresh fish and our students will soon be occupying the Sydney Fish Market Kitchens. The Sydney Fish Markets is renowned for its amazing seafood and our students and trainers are very much looking forward to incorporating the stunning local produce into their cooking.

 After many tastings of savory food the students were definitely ready to move on to something sweet and what better way to bring Chili into the realm of desserts than with chocolate chili truffles! Chili chocolate has become something of a mainstream concept in recent times, however it is key to get the balance of heat and sweetness just right. These chocolate Chili truffles demonstrated this delicate balance and have certainly give our students a new perspective on how to approach the idea of dessert.

 With another Masterclass completed and students rearing to go and try out these new techniques in the kitchen, we are excited to see how our students will incorporate Chilies into their next dish!

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