It was really interesting to see these two outstanding chefs come together in the kitchen to create dishes using the same produce and ingredients but infusing their own individual styles and methods. It was a really enjoyable (would be perfect if not for the freezing cold air-conditioning) cooking demo as I learnt lots of new tricks and picked up some inspirations.
For those who are not familiar with Curtis Stone, he is a master chef, author and host of TLC’s hit series Take Home Chef. He began cooking at the Savoy Hotel, in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, at the age of 18. On completing his qualifications as a chef, he set off for Europe to experience life and the cuisines of Italy, France and Spain, before finally arriving in London. In London, he worked for the legendary Marco Pierre White (who's the youngest chef in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars). He also worked with Terence Conran to relaunch the famous Bluebird Club in London’s Chelsea district.
We might not be able to take Curtis home with us, but we took home a signed copy of his cookbook. The recipes are simple to follow and Curtis stays true to his cooking philosophy: keep things simple and use naturally produced ingredients that are in season. "If you get your hands on good ingredients and treat them properly, you don’t need to do much," he says.
Here's what we learnt and ate...
A good hearty dish that can go well with rice, potatoes or pasta. You can also substitute the chicken with fish, lamb, quail, or grilled portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option.
Petite Sale Lentils with Duck Confit - by Curtis Stone
Love the duck confit, but not a fan of lentils in such huge proportion.
Tagliatelle with Lentils and Crispy Fried Coriander - by Samia Ahad
According to Curtis, a slab of butter tossed with the pasta makes the dish perfect. I personally practice this rule.
Shrimp Pilaf with Kesba Spices and Yogurt Cucumber Relish - by Samia Ahad
This is not the actual dish that we had as I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the pilaf. I learnt the difference between bryani and pilaf. Bryani is when 2 components (rice and a meat/seafood) are cooked separately but layered together when eating while pilaf is when the 2 components are cooked together.