Last weekend Jacqui and I ventured upstairs at MVH, North Parade to attend the launch event of Oxford School of Food and Wine; an exciting new cookery school, where anyone can go along and learn pretty much anything, from beginner’s baking to sushi and Italian regional dishes. Wine was flowing and there was a gorgeous array of canapes to nibble on as we chatted. Particular highlights were profiteroles filled with smoked salmon and horseradish cream, tiny dill crepes wrapped around a smoked mackerel mousse, plus bouche cases with mushroom duxelles and Hollandaise sauce. A few of the canapes were very familiar to me, having worked with one of the team, Amelia, making what seemed like thousands of these a long time ago for a wedding. They still tasted as good as I remembered though!
The School, run by the lovely Emma Collen and Amelia Kaye, will be opening in the New Year with a full calendar of events lined up. Emma’s time spent at La Cucina Caldesi in London, Jamie’s Italian and Sophie’s Cookery School will be helping her take control of all things ‘back of house’, while Amelia’s Cordon Bleu training, 25+ years of professional experience in catering and teaching food, plus teaching experience at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, suit her to getting hands on with the teaching.
We had a very interesting chat with Toby Chiles, who will be leading a class about wine – how to recognise the appearance, aroma and plates of various wines, matching with different food types and of course, plenty of tasting. Plus some nibbles to soak up all that grape juice! Possibly not one for the learned wine connoisseur, but perfect if you’d like to understand a bit more about wine, especially how to match it with your favourite (or more unusual) foods.
At the moment, the venue is under development, temporarily residing ‘upstairs’ at MVH restaurant, eventually to be sited behind in an extension to the building. For more information watch this space, it sounds like there will be plenty to come!