Learn to cook like a pro with Chef Erin Stone at Al Riwaq
Time Out Bahrain staff
Cooking isn’t easy – well, for me at least. I can cook; it was instilled in me when I was a child, as my father was a chef. But the novelty wore off – he didn’t cook at home, and my mother worked a full-time job, so a lot of the time we made do with ready meals. Then, after many years in the food industry, running his own businesses, I saw my father leave one of the most stressful fields of work I have ever had to witness. Longing to take a break from cooking for a while, that was when we moved on to the microwave.
But now I am looking to buck a trend. After living on takeout and eating in restaurants, I’ve realised that I would really like to learn more about cooking. And the benefits are huge – saving money, eating more healthily and entertaining friends.
I saw an ad placed by the chef of the Al Riwaq Café, Erin Stone, which read: ‘I can heal your hunger!’ It was for his new food workshop, to be held at Al Riwaq, where he promises to make cooking fun for everyone. I’ve eaten enough restaurant meals now to know a bit about food, I just need to know how to cook it.
Erin’s course is an introduction to basic food preparation – everything from starters to main courses, plus a few tasty desserts. ‘We will be creating smells, tastes and textures – they will come together so you can make fast meals for parties and pleasure in a home kitchen,’ says Erin Stone when I meet him.
His main goal is to pass on the understanding that it is possible to have fun with food, and also share some of Al Riwaq’s signature dishes. ‘Not only that,’ he adds, ‘but I will show how I have learned my trade from many chefs in over 25 years in the kitchen.’
Every Tuesday evening the Al Riwaq Café will transform into one of the most vibrant culinary schools there is in Bahrain. With a focus on the meaning of sensitivity in the kitchen (this isn’t anything to do with how loud the chef will shout), Erin will push thinking creatively and outside the box, and working with limited foods and on a budget. The course will be over eight sessions, and you will see how to use this MacGyver approach in any kitchen, learning and understanding customers’ taste preferences, as well as the story behind the Al Riwaq Café menu. This is all before you create your own culinary masterpieces.
If you want to learn how to prepare for your next dinner party, or be able to cook for the other-half on a special occasion, this is the prefect opportunity to learn some new dishes and understand one’s taste buds, which may have always baffled you before. The classes are in-depth, but Erin is not the kind of person or chef to let anyone go home confused – you are bound to learn a lot. The workshop might not teach you how to be a professional chef, and it won’t give you any professional certification, but what it does promise is to give you a better understanding of food. Erin jokes that Michelin Star or Red Seal chefs should stay away, but he says everyone is welcome to share and present feedback. The cooking lessons will be a lot of fun whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned cook – come brush up on your skills and tuck in! Classes every Tuesday from 6.30pm-10pm, cost BD30, paid in advance. Places are limited to eight per class. Contact Erin on 36 100 476.