Another invitation from Gaggenau to attend a cookery school – but not just any cookery school. This is Swinton Park, the ancestral home of the Earl of Swinton, set in 200 acres of landscaped park, hosted by Chef Director of 20 years’ experience in Michelin restaurants – Stephen Bulmer.
What a great opportunity to watch a true master run Gaggenau’s state-of-the-art appliances through their paces. I was already familiar with our showroom 400Series including the combination steam and the induction cooktop, but today would be something else.
Stephen is also former Chef Director of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School and has run his own school at Brook Hall in Buckinghamshire; his cookery course for our day was Fish and Shellfish, a fish tapas of 6 small dishes.
I wondered if it was really only the most skilled hands and extensive experience that can so perfectly bring out the exquisite flavours, exciting colours and textures of such delicate ingredients, or did Gaggenau help a little along the way? After all, Gaggenau has pioneered home appliances for more than 300 years, and leads technology innovation and design in Germany. I knew it doesn't come better than this.
We prepped the vegetables for Escabeche of fish, which was a selection of ribbons of vegetables marinated for use later.
The emphasis was on ease, which Gaggenau appliances do so well. First we made the Thai green curry paste, tips from the Chef were to keep galangal & fresh ginger in the freezer which can be got out and grated without having to defrost then pop back in freezer for future use. This makes cooking these wonderful dishes so easy. The remaining ingredients, including wild nettles and wild garlic from the grounds, were then blended and made into a paste. This can also be popped into ice cube trays and taken out, one at a time, when needed and added to a number of dishes– perfectly easy cooking.
The accurate, finely controlled, fast cook (low energy ) Gaggenau induction hob made tempura prawns and salmon, cooked in oil, followed by Goan fish patties...well...easy! The fish was cooked in minutes and we made a delicious sweet chilli dipping sauce.
The Escabeche of fish was delicious, pickled vegetables served with trout, beautifully crisp skin again using the induction hob, evenly cooked, held down for five seconds on the pan, skin-side down (to stop it from curling up – top tip from the pro himself) and then left to lightly cook for a further couple of minutes. Mouth-wateringly good.
Time to make bread. After kneading, we split the bread, mixed in the green curry paste and cut it into small bite-sized pieces. Then, into the Gaggenau Series 4 combi steam oven, every desired convenience has been taken into account in the 400 series ovens. Temperatures up to 230o C that can be combined with different humidity levels. What’s more a grill can also be switched on. This oven can now do everything: steaming, baking, roasting, braising, regenerating, grilling and gratinėeing. It took 8 minutes to cook and with the introduction of steam these tiny bread pieces came out beautifully moist but firm on the outside - it was very difficult to stop at one of these beauties.
The second batch we divided into 6 and cooked them in a pan on the induction hob much like oven bottom bread rolls, cooked evenly and thoroughly on the Gaggenau induction hob – absolutely delicious.
The third batch was saved for later.
The day bought home the splendour of using Gaggenau. Not only do they bring a striking presence in a room, but are intuitive, easy and a pleasure to use while providing superb technological precision. Fit for the best.
Watch our website for future events held here at our showroom and coming soon - the long awaited vacuum drawer for sous-vide cooking.