Jonathan Turland from Capital One was chosen to take part in a 3663 sponsored Masterclass given by Jean Christophe Novelli, Jonathan explains below his experience…
It was a great honour to have been chosen to represent Olive at this Masterclass with the world famous Jean Christophe Novelli.
My day began arriving at Jean’s private farmhouse, on the outskirts of Bedfordshire, being welcomed by Jean Christophe and members of his dedicated team, Patti Sloley and Felice Tocchini. We entered the kitchen to a mug of tea and a glass of Champagne…who could refuse?
The walls of the kitchen were decorated with pictures of the famous awards that honoured Jean’s great career. To my left was a work station and open stone based oven and in the centre was a large cooking stove surrounded by various utensils, herbs and spices and a large stock pan on the stove.
After introducing ourselves to Jean and the other participants the Masterclass began. We surrounded the large stove and Jean began with what he is most famous for; sugar work.
Jean made a caramel and then demonstrated how to make sugar baskets and sugar spirals. It was fantastic to watch the man produce some amazing results. After the demonstration, Jean asked me to have a go. It wasn’t as easy as he made it look but with Jean’s guidance I got there!
Next was cabbage cannelloni with risotto and vegetables. Jean made the perfect risotto and the cannelloni were assembled and topped with sliced Gouda cheese and placed into the oven.
The main course was chicken with red wine and chocolate. Chicken legs covered with a sauce of shallots, garlic, cumin seeds, thyme, rosemary, corn flour, vanilla, cocoa powder and red wine. There was no salt added only honey and the results were both fantastic and surprising. The sauce was allowed to thicken and the chicken was added, covered and placed into the full wood burning oven.
Jean’s residential chef, Felice, invited us to make bread with various fillings, mainly soft cheeses and fresh herbs. We then made gnocchi with Felice; I was surprised how quick and simple it is to make.
Finally the part we were all waiting for…Lunch! We sat around the table, sharing ideas and experiences. First course was the risotto and vegetable wrapped with cabbage cannelloni, followed by the chicken in red wine and to finish dessert was baked apple with caramel, all washed down with a glass of red wine.
It truly was a fantastic day. The food was exciting and delicious, Jean Christophe Novelli was a gentlemen and a pleasure to have spent quality time with… An experience I never will forget.