Experiencing Borough Market with Le Cordon Bleu’s Culinary Arts Director, Chef Emil Minev, was a real eye opener – and a definite palate pleaser!
Yep. More Le Cordon Bleu. What can I say? This past week turned out to be even more delicious (and educationally culinary) than usual for me, lucky as I was to not only crash the Great British Chefs masterclass at Cordon Bleu London’s school in Bloomsbury but also tag along to Borough Market for an afternoon shopping spree and cooking demo with Culinary Arts Director Emil Minev and then watch (and help) this master cook up what we’d purchased at the market’s Cookhouse.
During the outing we (Chef Emil, a small crew of other media guests and myself) shopped for and made two dishes: a moreish and meaty main course of lamb with spring vegetables and forest mushrooms, and a basil flavoured chilled strawberry consommé with yoghurt and white chocolate ganache for dessert.
Emil has been Le Cordon Bleu’s Culinary Arts Director since 2016 with many year of fine dining experience behind him, including a career kickstart as a Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie student as well as a multi-Michelin star encrusted work with the likes of The Berkley Hotel, El Bulli, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel London and mega loads more – and usually in a senior if not executive position.
So the dude knew what he wanted to cook and where to buy it. Our lamb was purchased from Rhug Estate, an organic farm in Wales with a well-established stall at Borough Market. All the fruit, veg, and mushrooms came from Turnips, a Borough Market stalwart and wholesaler to the restaurant and catering trade. Wines for the meal were paired by Borough Wines & Beers (I especially enjoyed my glass of Ijalba Reserva, 2012 from Rioja).
And to be sure, he knew how to cook too! The lamb was magnificent, and the lessons presented were much appreciated and shall be put to good use. I was particularly chuffed with Emil for sharing his tips on preparing a proper jus (gotta roast those bones just so!).
The meal was not just a gorgeous cooking and dining experience but a fantastic opportunity to get sense of what it’s would be like to study at Le Cordon Bleu. And I must admit that after two greedy goes with this famed culinary institution in one week, I found myself browsing its course catalog to see what more foodie learning I could pursue.
I also loved cooking and conviving at Borough Market’s Cookhouse, an open plan kitchen and dining space located above the market with awesome views of the action below. It’s available from private hire and features top of the range appliances and equipment with a large table that can easily accommodate at least 10 guests.
Le Cordon Bleu is located at 15 Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2LS. Find out more at cordonbleu.edu.
Borough Market Cookhouse is located at Three Crown Square, SE1 1TL, near the Borough High Street entrance to the market. Find out more at boroughmarket.org.uk/venue-hire/the-cookhouse.