Thursday, 1 March 2012

Cookery School at the Gallivant

Last weekend I visited the Gallivant Hotel in Camber Sands, East Sussex, and took part in their cookery school. Two cookery schools in one week is impressive {tally until now - none.} Camber Sands is an amazing beach, which I haven't been to for a few years, so it's in a great location. The chef is Trevor Hambley, who used to work with Marco Pierre White, and the lunch was one of the best meals I've eaten in the last year. Ham hock terrine, sea bass gravadlax with beetroot, mackerel pate - it was all superb. It would be a fantastic location for a wedding or special party {this one looks great.} As my friend said, you wouldn't even need to think about the menu - you could just tell the chef to do what he liked and you would be wowed.

As part of the course, we visited the fisherman who supplies the restaurant, which was really informative. The chef came too, and it was interesting to hear his perspective; that the fish have to be a very specific size, to fit on your plate, and so the fisherman said they export most of their catch to the Continent, where they are less fussy. 

Back to the hotel for a two hour demonstration, which showed us how to make the dishes we were eating that evening {including salted cod with deep fried duck egg, yum.} The course was a little less hands on that I would have liked but we did learn how to open a scallop, and a taste test between fresh local scallops and supermarket scallops was a genius move. The chef had a lovely manner, and they have a very slick team behind them, so I expect they will soon fine-tune the course. The overall experience {still thinking about lunch a week later} was so enjoyable and although we were on a slightly pimped up version of the day, I think it's reasonably good value for the course, especially if you stay overnight in the hotel, which I loved for its beachy chic. I'd love to go back. The next day we walked round to Rye {another post coming soon.}


Jane Flanagan said...

Gorgeous! I would love to go to cooking school. I've always fantasized about a course at Ballymaloe.

Star said...

Sounds wonderful and I love fish! In fact, instead of exporting the big fish to the continent, I could suggest he exports them on to me? Your post made me hungry. I also felt like doing the course. You didn't say how much it costs, unless I missed that bit, but I am guessing it was quite expensive.

A Bushel and a Peck said...

I love Rye & Camber and have been looking for an excuse to go back. A fish cookery course sound just about perfect. You lucky duck. Xx