Sunday, January 27, 2013

Total Greek Yoghurt Cookery Master Class with Paul Merrett


Last week in the midst of the snow and a SQL server 2010 training course, I was most pleased to be invited along by Total Greek Yoghurt to their latest cookery master class. The master class was run by Paul Merrett at L'Atelier des Chefs and consisted of chef Paul Merrett, myself and other foodies cooking a three course meal, and savouring a few glasses of vino. It certainly sounded like my perfect night !

Having sorted out last-minute childcare, (thank you Valeria, I owe you one!) along I went in my footwear of choice for the snow, my silver moon boots. I was introduced to the Total Greek yoghurt team, handed a much appreciated glass of champagne and I started chatting with the other people at my table.

I have never cooked in public before, so I guess I was a little apprehensive, particularly in the presence of greatness, in the form of Paul Merrett. Having said that, I am a confident cook and if I haven't experienced preparing a particular ingredient, I have, usually, at least seen the process either in one of  my cook books, or on TV. Incidentally, the TV show called The Best, which starred Paul Merrett was a particular favourite of myself and BB - I truly wish it was still on ! (Oh, and of course, I do have the book from the series.)

On with the food, to start we prepared Squid & Chorizo on a Chickpea Puree with Coriander Yoghurt
Once we had been shown how to do it properly by Paul Merrett, we were divided into teams of four. I was teamed with LizzeB, Heidi  and Karen,  and I started by prepping the squid.

Close up of my hands, trying to 'prep' squid.

Whilst writing this, I was wondering how on earth I would remember all of the ingredients, but fortunately for me, the great folks at Total Greek Yoghurt have the recipes on their site.

Heidi  prepped the chorizo, LizzeB supped wine and, as a drinks rather than food writer, Karen  coodinated the recipe. Finally, we sat down to dine. The food was awesome. I cannot recommend this recipe enough. The photos totally (sorry, couldn't resist..) do it justice. It tasted just as good as it looks.

I am not a huge eater and by this point I was nicely full, but I was very much looking forward to the main of Herb-crusted Lamb with Baba ganouche and sweet potato salad and also to getting back into the kitchen. I have never made Baba ganoush, but I'd read about it and I really wanted to get my hands on those aubergines. Paul Merrett had blackened the aubergines before we arrived, directly over the hob until the skins were blackened. and they were then left to sit. So, when they finally made it into my hands, the skin was literally falling off them and the flesh was sweet and smoked. Heidi  and LizzeB did an excellent job of the lamb and the sweet potatoes, and I had fun getting the seeds out of the pomegranate and chopping garlic. Karen  ensured we were clearing down and had had everything to hand. We were a really excellent team, considering we had only just met. Looking back, by this point I was just SO happy, I didn't want to leave this place, ever.

Completely in my element

We 'plated up', (I love that term), and went back into the little eating area and enjoyed our main meal. It was delicious. The sweet potatoes with the garlic and cumin were amazing. The sweetness of the pomegranates. It all worked together wonderfully. However, the star of the show for me was, incidentally the part containing the yoghurt, the Baba ganoush. I will be making this again, without a doubt.

Smoky aubergine with yoghurt

For the dessert we prepared Rhubarb & Greek Yoghurt Syllabub. The yorkshire rhubarb with the sweet, creamy Greek yoghurt was one of the best desserts I have had for a long time. And I eat quite a lot of desserts. 

At the end of the evening, we were presented with a scrummy Total Greek Yoghurt goodie cool bag with a selection of their current range as a thank you for attending. When I returned home BB and CC 'reserved' their choices. Blueberry for BB and Honey for CC.

Many more photos of the event can be found on  Total Greek Yoghurt's facebook page and if you fancy getting hold of some more Total Greek Yoghurt recipes you can get their eBook here - Every Day Eating by Total Greek Yoghurt (the profits of which go to Action for Children).  I bought my copy earlier today!

I can proudly say that I finally feel like a REAL food blogger.

Many thanks to Total Greek Yoghurt for inviting me to this masterclass, and Paul Merrett for his fantastic tuition.

All photos courtesy of satureyes

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own, and were not influenced by the sponsor of this event .


  1. It was really lovely to meet you. We did make a good team didn't we?

    Thanks for 'dealing' with the squid! x

    1. Hi Liz, it was lovely to meet you too. It was such a fun night, I want to do it again !!!!
      Not sure about the squid next time tho - I think I might let you do that - :o)


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