Early this year I gifted Michael a cooking class with a special guest chef for his birthday. I'm going to leave the chef anonymous because it was later revealed this chef was very arrogant and rude, who soured our day.
The cooking classes are held at the Sydney Fish Market on the second level. The entrance is by the car ticket pay machine, on your left, and you take the stairs up. PARKING IS FREE. If you're going to attend one of the Sydney Seafood School's classes, it comes with parking. We didn't realise and uber-ed it 😂.
Once they check everyone has arrived, you're seated in a small theatre-like room where the chef introduces themselves, talks about their history and then demonstrate their three main dishes for the day. The chef will pass around ingredients and you get to smell, touch, and take photos along the way. This process took an hour.
For our experience, people kept asking the chef where to purchase the ingredients and the chef kept repeating "just walk into any Asian store" which we found too broad, for example, Vietnamese ingredients are not going to be found in a Thai store, or Korean products are not going to be found in every single store in Cabramatta. For a "cooking class", there was a lot of presumptions and arrogance coming from the chef but more on this later.
Anyways, after the demonstrations, we're showed the cooking room where we were split into groups of 6-8 and we work together to cook the dishes.
This was raw prawns in fish sauce with garnish. It took 15 minutes to peel all the prawns and create the nice plating. The prawns were very fresh and creamy, making this our favourite dish out of the three despite its simplicity.
This was calamari in a lemon-flavoured dip. My mum makes this weekly.... This was a very easy dish made to look fancy. Skipping the dish choice, the squid itself was delicious. Very firm, slight bounce, fresh asf. We're not gonna deny the quality of the food.
There was a funny moment while cooking this when one of the other members of our cooking group decided to show off her "culinary skills" by dipping her wet spoon into the oil to get some of the squid pieces out. FYI for anyone with no cooking experience, never mix boiling oil with water. It will splash and it will burn and it will hurt. Everyone tried to reason with her but her stubbornness ignored us so we backed away and watched as she burned her fingers. Told you so.
Barramundi, stir fried with buck choi. Again, a very Vietnamese inspired dish. I'm quite sure my parents make this regularly took, without the fancy plating and expensive price tag. Our group did well to cook this - skin was crispy and gave the right crunch, inside was soft.
Once we're done cooking, we get to enjoy our dishes with our groups in this beautiful setting. White wine was on the house.
During the lunch, Michael approached the chef to purchase his cookbook and get his signature. While the chef was signing, Michael asked how much his cooking classes were and if they were designed for intermediate-level cooks (as Michael was interested to learn more). The chef said: "you couldn't even afford my class if you tried. It's $10,000 and that's just for me to show up".
Ok. Great. We understand you worked hard and you earned your way to the top but you didn't need to throw it in our faces, considering we paid for your time to be here now. A simple "oh, it's a few thousand dollars, if you're interested, check my website" ya know what I mean? 🤨
That was our experience. We loved the Seafood School itself, and the quality of the ingredients. It was just unfortunate we picked the wrong class to join. I knew I should have bought the Singaporean crab with noodle class instead, but you live and you learn. Thank you for reading.