With the plethora of dining options in Islington, there is a certain doubt in my mind whether Islingtonites actually cook much at their own homes. Perhaps that is why organisations like Jenius Social are ever popular in the area, as they teach the public how to cook dishes that will impress your friends and family and save money in the long run.
Having reviewed various cookery classes, Jenius Social might not have the latest technology and equipment, but they more than make up for this with passionate and thoughtful teachers. Andrew, who led the vegan cookery class we were on, was engaging and humorous throughout the evening and made sure complicated concepts were easy to understand. He graduated from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant and worked in barbecoa as well as working with other famous chefs like Rick Stein.
The decor is simple and functional with the front room used as a reception area and where you enjoy the fruits of your efforts from the cookery class. It also has a large shelf display where you can buy some of the products and equipment used during the class. The backroom is the working kitchen, where you learn your skills. It comes complete with a large plasma screen which can display close-ups of the chef’s demonstration.
Courses like vegan cookery show us how to make food which is healthy yet brimming with flavours. It is all about careful preparation, flavour and texture balancing. We managed to learn key skills such as knife skills, vegan baking, the art of spice blending and use of non-dairy alternatives.
The first dish we prepared was a beautiful superfood salad with quinoa and citrus dressing. Having the juice from a combination of lime, lemon and tangerine made the salad extremely appetising and it is an easy dish to prepare which doesn’t take too long to create. We also learned interesting facts like quinoa was originally food for peasants in Peru before the health rush in the West turning it into a more expensive commodity.
Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry with sticky rice was trickier to make, as the curry does use a complex mixture of spices and other ingredients. However, the final product was surprisingly pleasing with just the right amount of heat and was a very filling dish.
For desserts, we made a delicious cherry chocolate brownies. It was reassuring to learn that using non-dairy alternatives still achieved very similar results in terms of the taste of the dish (although we were offered ice cream with the brownies since neither myself or my guest are vegan).
The cost of their cookery classes are also lower than similar classes at other cookery schools, so there is no reason to not give Jenius Social a try today.