Auckland Seafood School
I think I can’t deny it now that the team I am with in my workplace shares the same passion as I am hence our last team building again was something to do with cooking (like most of our team building). This time it’s not a competition but more of a cooking lesson held at the Auckland Seafood Cooking School.
Initially I thought it was a competition and just realized that it was not when we started to eat our cooked dishes without it getting judged by someone. Anyways let’s start in the beginning when we all arrived and socialized before the tutorials even happened.
We came into the place batch by batch; I guess we were the second batch who came in. Platters of seafood, cold cuts and pickles
as well as cheese, crackers and fruits are the one that greeted us in the lobby.
Alongside the platters there were also a selection of wines by Babich, the choices were Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, Marlborough Pinot Gris, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet and Marlborough Pinot Noir. There was also some beer, soft drinks and fruit juices. I grabbed some juice initially just to quench my thirst but I feel like having some red wine so I gave Pinot Noir a go for my first drink. It’s quite fruity with slight hints of raspberry, cherry and a touch of vanilla.
But for the succeeding glasses I had this the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as we are having seafood, again this is quite fruity with notes of tropical fruits and blackcurrant, it’s quite fresh tasting and perfect with the smoked salmon and mussels on the platter.
30 minutes later the cooking demonstration started and it was presented by Chef Colin Doyle, a for self-taught Australian cook who was as well a PhD degree holder in X-ray Spectroscopy.
The presentation was performed in a small auditorium type room with a full kitchen set that has a hanging mirror on top so everyone can have a view of what the chef is doing. I paid so much attention on the things he was doing because like I said I thought it was a competition.
He made two dishes first one was Jamaican Fish Stew which is made with snapper and salmon then another one was this Coconut Crusted Prawns with Pineapple Salsa. It was a torture while it was cooking specially the pineapple salsa the buttery sweet scent of the melting brown sugar on butter with pineapples was a tease to the senses, the aroma made us so hungry specially when it was presented on dinner time. Most of us can’t wait to do the cooking.
I think the presentation lasted for 30 to 40 minutes then we were handed over the briefing where the recipe of what we will be cooking is printed.
We then head down to our cooking stations on the other room. It was huge and it contains roughly around 10 or 12 stations. Our group was divided into 10 groups of 4 members each. We then have to find our stations where our names are written and wait for the go signal. Each station is equipped with everything you need from stove tops, fridge, wash basin and even all the utensils.
I did not bother wasting time so I took over and assigned tasks for my team, like who chops what or who cooks which part of the dish. My team members were quite good, most of them have cooking backgrounds which helps a lot. One was a foodie and cooks really good home dishes, one owns a Canadian restaurant here in Auckland, another one has experience in cooking chickens at KFC and ours truly a food blogger.
We all did the chopping but for the frying I trusted the KFC guy and for the rest of the cooking it was me. For the taste test and adjustment, I gave the responsibility to the one who owns the restaurant and the foodie.
We did finish ahead of time, we were not the first but the results were more than my expectation.
The fish was cooked perfectly and seasoned really well, the amount of spice was right and it was delicious.
The prawns were also fried to perfection, with a crisp crust and prawns were not over cooked, it blended well with the sweet spicy tangy pineapple salsa. I loved the dishes chosen for this demonstration I will definitely make this at home again.
After the cooking is done we just waited for others to finish so that we can all enjoy the dishes we made at the same time. It was a good night of excellent food, great people and good wine, a perfect way to build the relationship between you and your team members.
Auckland Seafood School
Address: Level 1/22-32 Jellicoe St, Freemans Bay, Auckland, New Zealand 1010
Phone: +649 379 1497