While the food service at The High Street Delicatessen is built on the principle of ‘we serve what we stock‘, we are always keen to expand our repertoire as we gather folk around a table and excite them about great tastes. Our #tablefor10 fine dining experience has proved to be very popular, with imaginative and beautifully presented vegetarian menus at the heart of the evenings. Mrs Deli recently ventured to Bath, to attend a week-long vegan diploma course at renowned Cookery School Demuth’s to build on her existing skills.
Mr Deli caught up with Mrs Deli to find out more about her experience.
Why did you choose Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School?
Demuth’s was on my radar for a while so when I started menu planning our #tablefor10 (the menus for which have been vegetarian since we started hosting them), I knew I needed to attend a course to help me expand on what I was able to offer … plus their plating skills are second to none! Gone are the days of ‘meat and two veg’ for many diners. And restaurants really can no longer get away with unimaginative and mediocre offerings for vegetarians. I really want to learn how to make vegetarian/vegan food look and taste amazing … this advanced vegan diploma certainly ticked all the boxes!
What did you hope to learn during your Vegan Diploma?
Veganism is certainly on the up, for many reasons, so learning what can be done with plant-based foods was something I really wanted to try my hand at. Who knew aguafaba (chickpea water) could be so amazing – it works just like egg whites … vegan meringues anyone? Marshmallow? But the plating of dishes was the one area I seriously needed to get some confidence about. It is definitely an art, a skill which doesn’t come so naturally to me, but after completing the course, I feel way more confident about what I will be able to produce in the future.
Did you have a favourite recipe from your course?
Beetroot kibbeh … it was lush!
How do you plan to use your new-found skills?
I would LOVE to run a vegan #tablefor10; it really feels as though there’s an audience for it locally. But there is no reason not to leap in and do it anyway? We have been flattered that folk have booked every one of our events without knowing what the menu is going to include. Excellently prepared plant-based food – done properly – can be so satisfying, totally nutritious and, of course, it can look amazing; what’s not to love? It shouldn’t matter that there’s no meat, or animal-based products involved and in many ways there’s no need to attach labels to our menu choices.
How was Bath from a foodie’s perspective? Any top tips for places to go?
Bath is a wonderful city, vibrant and full of great eateries. We ate at Acorn, a plant-based restaurant which I would recommend to anyone (even Mr Deli, a self-declared ‘reluctant vegetarian’ was blown away by the meal). I also tried Green Rocket Cafe, a funky eatery just opposite Demuth’s.
Any book recommendations that you’ll be revising to build on the learning?
I got Richard Buckley’s ‘Plants Taste Better’ book on the recommendation of a customer of the deli a few months ago and I have used several of Richard’s recipes for my #tablefor10 menus. Worth noting that Richard owns Acorn restaurant in Bath. While I was in Bath, I visited Topping & Co independent bookstore on the evening Sarit and Itamar of Honey & Co were launching their new book ‘Honey & Co At Home‘. What a fun evening of food, chat and laughter (naturally, I have that cookbook too!). I couldn’t leave the bookstore without adding ‘Planted‘, a vegan book by chef Chantelle Nicholson, to my collection. I am so looking forward to trying out some of her lovely eats!
Any future plans for more cookery lessons?
I’d love to go on many more courses; there are so many to chose from, but for now, it’s back to deli life, and putting these new found skills to use … look out for Autumn dates for #tablefor10