We arrived at the Red Feather Inn Cooking School not knowing what to expect, as we had never done anything like this before. I must say we were totally won over by everything from start to finish. We were attending the Comfort Food Class, one of the many classes on offer.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Hadspen Tasmania
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The Red Feather Inn Cooking School is in Hadspen in northern Tasmania

Red Feather Inn Cooking School

by Michelle Kneipp Pegler

The cooking school in Hadspen offers one-day classes and bookings are recommended, as they are very popular. We were invited to attend as guests of Red Feather Inn Cooking School on behalf of Think Tasmania, with a view to sharing the experience with you.  So here you go!

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Classes in Tasmania
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Red Feather Inn Cooking School hold classes for budding chefs in Tasmania

Comfort Food with Sydney Chef Camilla Baker

Our chef for the day was the lovely Camilla Baker from Sydney who has her own Cooking Classes, High Teas and Bespoke Catering business. Camilla has been a professional chef for over twenty years so we were in good hands. Ian White, the manager of Red Feather Inn was also on hand to help us out.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Camilla Baker
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Camilla Baker and her comfort food class at Red Feather Inn Cooking School

Camilla started the class by talking about food and what we were going to cook and then she went through the recipes for the day. This Comfort Food class had a bit of a Mexican twist to it. What I love about the classes here is the fact that you get stuck right in and actually have a go at everything instead of just standing back and watching the chef do it all.


Life is Short… Eat (or at Least Prepare) Dessert First!!

First things first we made the dessert.  This might sound strange making the dessert first but it worked out well because it was all ready just to pop into the oven when needed. The single serve chocolate fondant (Budinos), is a very yummy rich chocolate dessert, served warm with a dollop of cream.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Dessert, Comfort Food
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Comfort Food… Camilla Baker chose a chocolate dessert for the cooking school class

We all did very well melting the butter and chocolate over hot water and adding the eggs etc all at the right time. The only thing I had to watch was that John didn’t eat all the cooking chocolate!  As it was, he managed to sneak a few pieces into his mouth much to the amusement of the others.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Michelle of Think Tasmania
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Taking work seriously for Think Tasmania AND learning a few new cooking skills!

After all the desserts were in the fridge ready for later, we were off outside and into the vegetable garden to collect the fresh ingredients for our next recipe, which was Potato, Leek and Cavlo Soup. The sight of all the fresh ingredients out of the garden made me hungry and you can’t get any fresher than using what you’ve gathered just outside your door.

We washed and prepared the veggies and made the soup and it sat there on the stove happily simmering away and smelling delicious while we started the next couple of recipes: Slow Braised Pork Shoulder and Black Beans with Capsicum, Fetta and Jalapeno.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Vegetable Garden
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Collecting fresh veggies for the cooking class at Red Feather Inn

Really Fresh Veggies… Chop Chop!

It was all hands at the ready for cutting, slicing and chopping and also seasoning the meat before it was put into a casserole dish along with veggies, herbs and spices and into the oven to slow cook. Then we made the black beans dish, another filling and satisfying comfort food.


 

With all that done we decided it was a good time to sit down and have a break while enjoying a glass of wine and a bowl of the Potato, Leek and Cavlo Soup we had made.  The next dish of the day was Fajitas, which is chicken strips, onion, capsicum and spices. These were marinated before being cooked on the barbeque. We then made Guacamole and also Tomato Salsa.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Mexican
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Comfort Food with a Mexican twist… Fajita mix cooked on the BBQ

We got our hands into flour next as we made Empanada dough and Corn Tortillas. After everything was cooked and ready to eat, all fourteen of us (plus Camilla and Ian) sat down around the table and enjoyed the end result of our cooking extravaganza. We were a very happy group, seated around a large table, having fun and chatting about our day while enjoying good food and each others company.

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - Shared Table Dining Experience
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Enjoying the fruits of our labour… dining with cooking school classmates

Red Feather Inn Cooking School… Totally Impressive

I found Red Feather Inn Cooking School to be a very well presented and interesting experience. Even John was very impressed with it, which must be a bonus… before we left home he wasn’t very enthusiastic about the cooking idea at all. Yet afterwards, he even said he’d like to front up to do another one someday!

Red Feather Inn Cooking School - John in Class
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Surprise! John enjoys the experience at Red Feather Inn Cooking School

So if you would like to hone your cooking skills or just like experience something different why not check out one of the Red Feather Inn Cooking School classes for yourself?  Bring your partner along or a group of friends. Make a whole day of it and stay the night with one of their accommodation options*. I can recommend it as a fun day out where you will learn a thing or two as well. Bring out the inner chef in you!

*Read Michelle’s earlier article about the accommodation at Red Feather Inn.

Book Your Own Cooking Class at Red Feather Inn

Other classes for the rest of 2012 include:

  • Tasmanian Black Truffle Forage & Feast
  • The Butchery Series – Celerbre le Cochon
  • The Butchery Series – Smoking and Curing
  • Cheese Making & Souffle Baking
  • The Bakery Series – Artisan Bread Making
  • Comfort Food
  • Food Styling & Photography
  • The Butchery Series – Game Day
  • The Bakery Series – The Art of Pastry
  • The Wild Larder – Tasmanian Bush Tucker Experience
  • Christmas Feast The Red Feather Way
  • The Wild Larder – Tasmanian Trout Hunting

John and Michelle were guests of Red Feather Inn Cooking School.
Michelle writes a blog called Leven River Farm as well
as articles like this from many and varied regions of Tasmania.
If you’d like Michelle to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.

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Map: Red Feather Inn Cooking School, Hadspen Tasmania