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The Underground Cookery School

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by Kym Hamer (subscribe)
Kym is an Aussie sheila who came to the UK, set down her swag, and stayed. Check out her everyday moments at
Published August 14th 2011
A little while ago now, a close friend of mine got married and in looking for something fun and little more classy than L-plates and veils adorned with condoms (the bride-to-be just wouldn't have had any of that) we happened upon the Underground Cookery School for her Hen's Night.

The Underground Cookery School lies beneath St Mary's Church just behind Finsbury Circus and encourages attendees to have a drink, prepare the 3-course meal (for consumption later), have another drink, eat the meal they have prepared, drink a little more and...drink.

Under the watchful eye of our two chefs we made tagliatelle, sea bream with roasted potatoes and salsa verde, and souffle. And let me tell you, it got pretty competitive starting with vigorous dough-making and followed by some serious pasta-machine action.

Pasta Making - Part One
Pasta Making - Part One

As with any daunting enterprise (ie. 10 women - ranging from mildly tipsy to seriously 'sociable' - preparing a 3 course meal that they are willing to eat at the end of it all), an early victory can be quite motivational and cries of success soon filled the room as each of us produced a proud little bundle of pasta ribbons.

Proud Pasta Ribbons
Proud Pasta Ribbons

So what's next, we asked...Well there was sea bream filleting (getting those pesky bones out is more difficult than it looks), then tomato - for the pasta sauce - and potato - for the sea bream -roasting and salsa verde-making (again for the sea bream).

Fillet o' Fish anyone?
Fillet o' Fish Anyone?

There was also some Thai green curry prep-ping (for the vegetarians in the group) before the final piece d'resistance, the raspberry souffle. But how did that ramekin of salt end up in the saucepan of raspberries - it wouldn't have been one if we enthusiastically helpful ladies thought it was sugar, would it?

Souffle Prep Round One
Souffle Prep Round One

Just as well there was some other fruit 'out the back' so we did not have to go 'souffle-less'.

So finally we sat down to a delicious Hen-Cooked Meal:

Tagliatelle Treat
Tagliatelle Treat

Sea Bream with Salsa Verde
Sea Bream with Salsa Verde and Roasted Potatoes

Super Lemon Souffle
Super Lemon Souffle

And after more than 5 hours of underground cookery, we bid our patient chefs a fond and rather noisy farewell and waddled off to (drinking) pastures new.

If you're interested in a bit of Underground Cookery yourself, (they also do team building events and client days) check out their website.

The Underground Cookery School is located at St Mary's, 4/5 Eldon Street, London EC2M 7LS.

Tel: 020 3116 2076
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Where: 4/5 Eldon Street, London
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