Chef Pavel Petrov. Master classes and what they eat
Over the years of my professional activity, I have conducted many workshops of various formats and contents and formulated important, in my understanding, the rules for their success. I would like to introduce you to these rules today.
1. Take the place and time of the master class seriously. In the kitchen of an average restaurant, no more than 3 people can be involved in a master class. Master classes should be held in the morning, when the restaurant has few visitors and work is still in full swing! Often customers are asked to hold a master class in the kitchen in the evening (so that it turns into a romantic dinner) or offer to hold a master class in the kitchen for a large campaign. I explain for what reasons this is not possible, and the guests treat them with understanding.
2. When choosing dishes for master classes, always focus on their audience. For example, for a culinary master class for the Cosmopolitan women’s magazine, I chose elegant French desserts: profiteroles, lemon tart and dessert version of the Cosmopolitan cocktail – served strawberry soup in glasses! At the corporate master class of a technical company, with a large number of male employees, we prepared a rib-eye steak and classic Olivier with roast beef. At my children’s master classes, young cooks usually learn how to cook baby pizza, macaroons and milkshakes.
3. In preparation for the master class, consider the format of its holding. For example, at a culinary master class at the Bibloioteka Northern Cuisine Festival (organized by the LavkaLavka project), it was important to immediately make a vivid impression and stand out among other participants, while a detailed story about the preparation of dishes was optional, because the guests were not set to record and memorize recipes. At a master class for guests of one regional restaurant, I was given the task of making a vivid show – for the presentation of a new menu based on modern technologies. Of course, there was also no need to delve into the details of dishes or involve numerous guests in the cooking process. I myself prepared a great culinary picture, and then invited the guests to conduct a tasting. It’s a completely different matter when you conduct a small master class in the kitchen with 2-3 participants directly involved in the cooking process.
4. Do not choose dishes that are prepared for more than 3 hours. Inexperienced chefs will be bored at such a protracted master class, and the likelihood that they will remember the recipe for such a complex dish is minimal. But sometimes guests insist on including long-term dishes in the master class (for example, the now popular Demi Glace sauce, which is being prepared for a couple of days), I prepare these components in advance and tell the guests how they were prepared.
5. It is not always worth following the occasion of visitors to master classes. For example, sometimes I had to explain that behind the beautiful name “Caprese” lies too simple a dish, for mastering the secret cooking of which it is enough just to visit any culinary site) And the dish with the no less beautiful and mysterious name “Vitello Tonnato” is really worth studying for a master- classroom.
6. Do not let guests crash! If you have a lot of guests at the master class who independently prepare meals in parallel with you, try to approach them, controlling the main stages of cooking or invite an assistant for this. Of course, you should not leave participants alone with a professional stove).
7. If you conduct an enogastronomic master class (those who teach guests the correct combination of foods and drinks), then invite a professional sommelier to it. Such a master class will be especially interesting and memorable for guests!
8. Do not allow too young cooks under 5 to attend children’s master classes! Even if parents say that their child is a child prodigy, it’s still too early to introduce him to the kitchen. Or let his parents help him at the master class.
9. Calculate your strength! If a lot of guests participate in the master class or you are very limited in time, then invite assistants who will supervise the participants or carry out some cooking steps for you. For example, in “Biblioteka” one assistant worked with me – a cook from my restaurant.
10. And, of course, it is important to help guests remember the cooking process! I try to give guests instructions with ingredients where they can finish the recipe. If the participants ask, then I post the recipes for the master classes on my personal website.
The most important thing in my rules is attention to guests. Try to communicate with them before the master class, understand their tastes and interests, and then the master class will turn out to be fascinating for both the cook and his students!