Forgotten Food Skills: Shellfish

Being one of the furthest cities  in the UK from the coast it’s not surprising that so many of us in Birmingham love seafood but don’t know where to start when it comes to shellfish preparation. It’s a forgotten food skill that our coastal ancestors would have passed down through generations, but in recent years we’ve begun to lose.

Seafood Two: Shellfish

Join fish expert Lap-fai Lee for a hands-on evening introduction to cooking shellfish, including  crabs, oysters, and lobster. Identify, prepare and cook shellfish in a range of Asian & European style dishes, and discover how quick & enjoyable eating shellfish in your own home can be. The evening course will include a shellfish feast including crab linguine, dressed oysters, and chargrilled squid.

Our next course is on Wednesday 23rd October from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

For more info and to book click here

Afterwards why not take a visit to to the fantastic wholesale fish market in Birmingham city centre brimming with a wide range of fish and shellfish, and begin to create the magic again at home.

Photo: Jack Spicer-Adams

Seafood themed CANeat pop-up dining experience.

 

 

 

 

One-off Dosa Making Workshop – Thurs 29 August, pm

Exciting news – we’ve teamed up with Kings Heath’s Pop Up Dosa for a fantastic one-off dosa making workshop.  Taking place on Thursday 29th August from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at Loaf cookery school, this is likely to be the only opportunity to run this course in 2013, so book while you can!

 

Dosa Workshop

 

Pop Up Dosa have been bringing fantastic street food from Kerala in the south west of India to the streets of Birmingham for well over a year now. From their home-cafe in Kings Heath to guest appearances at markets and takeovers of other cafe’s, they’re an integral part of the grassroots food landscape developing in Birmingham right now, and for good reason. During this three hour workshop Head chef Haseen will teach you the secrets of this south Indian speciality – the right consistency of fermented ground rice for the dosa mixture, the correct texture of the lentils for the gunpowder chutney, the secret flavours of the essential sambar, and of course the cooking techniques for the perfect dosa. It’s a very hands-on workshop where’ll you’ll see or do all of the recipes involved and there’s plenty of time to try out you’re dosa cooking skills on the hot tava’s at the end. And of course, we’ll be eating dosa too. Arrive hungry!

To book you place visit: www.loafonline.co.uk/shop/dosa

One-off Dosa Making Workshop – Thurs 29 August, pm

Exciting news – we’ve teamed up with Kings Heath’s Pop Up Dosa for a fantastic one-off dosa making workshop.  Taking place on Thursday 29th August from 6.30pm to 9.30pm at Loaf cookery school, this is likely to be the only opportunity to run this course in 2013, so book while you can!

 

Dosa Workshop

 

Pop Up Dosa have been bringing fantastic street food from Kerala in the south west of India to the streets of Birmingham for well over a year now. From their home-cafe in Kings Heath to guest appearances at markets and takeovers of other cafe’s, they’re an integral part of the grassroots food landscape developing in Birmingham right now, and for good reason. During this three hour workshop Head chef Haseen will teach you the secrets of this south Indian speciality – the right consistency of fermented ground rice for the dosa mixture, the correct texture of the lentils for the gunpowder chutney, the secret flavours of the essential sambar, and of course the cooking techniques for the perfect dosa. It’s a very hands-on workshop where’ll you’ll see or do all of the recipes involved and there’s plenty of time to try out you’re dosa cooking skills on the hot tava’s at the end. And of course, we’ll be eating dosa too. Arrive hungry!

To book you place visit: www.loafonline.co.uk/shop/dosa

Loaf, Building Community Through Food

As a social enterprise Loaf was set up with the purpose to promote good food and healthy living in communities and build community through food . This means putting our profits towards social projects, primarily in our local community.

This month we welcomed year 6 children and parents from our local Stirchley Community School on Pershore Road to Loaf Cookery School for their very own bread making workshop. The afternoon was a huge success and as teacher Karen Sweeney said “They had an amazing time! The children they were raving about it!”. With three year 6 workshops in total, and comments shared that it was one of the best workshops we’ve ever been to, we’ll take that as a thumbs up! In June we also hosted an enjoyable bread workshop with adults who are deaf and hard of hearing through the work of national charity deafPLUS.

For more Stirchley Community School workshop photos visit their school website – you may even spot a few familiar local faces.

Stirchley Community School Bread Workshop at Loaf
Year 6 pupils, parents & teachers from Stirchley Community School enjoy making bread at Loaf
Parents & children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf
Parents and children from Stirchley Community School at Loaf

We also offer occasional work placements to individuals with a passion to develop a professional career in baking, which this month included Megan Jones who is studying for a Diploma in Artisan Baking at the prestigious School of Artisan Food.

Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from The School of Artisan Food
Megan Jones on student placement at Loaf from the prestigious School of Artisan Food

Loaf Goes Wild

Since our high street opening in September 2012 Loaf has been involved in some inspiring and innovative food collaborations, from baking Art Bread with Eastside Projects, to Beer Bread with Stirchley Wines and Spirits and Brewdog Birmingham using a range of their selected bottled beers. Our most recent collaboration has taken Tom even further afield, to combine wild food with Real Bread.

Forest Baking

Over the years Tom has met many inspiring real food evangelists including Chris Bax, the founder of Taste The Wild. It is here in their 18 acre woodland in Yorkshire that Tom recently lead a hugely successful open air bread making course. Going back to nature, this course with a difference included cooking in a wood-fired oven without any electricity or running water, and with endless wild forest ingredients to choose from. Transforming Loaf’s usual bread making course to this rural location, the results were equally impressive. A unique and enjoyable collaboration to be remembered, and hopefully repeated.

Here are some forest bread baking pics, by Jane Baker:

Bread Making course at Taste the Wild in Yorkshire
Loaf bread making course in the 18 acre Yorkshire woodland home of Taste the Wild
Shaping the dough before proving. Copyright Jane Baker
Tom demonstrates how to shape the dough before proving
Chris Bax (centre) of Taste the Wild. Copyright Jane Baker
Chris Bax (centre), expert wild food forager and founder of Taste the Wild
Loaf course participants. Copyright Jane Baker
Loaf course participants get stuck in to making real bread under canvas at Taste the Wild
Fresh pine needles, one of the added foraged ingredients for making wild bread
Fresh pine needles, one of the added foraged ingredients for making wild bread
fougasse before baking. Copyright Jane Baker
A fougasse before going into the wood-fired oven
Earth oven bread baking. Copyright Jane Baker
Earth oven bread baking in the forest.

New Round of Kitchen Essentials Dates

We’ve recently added a new round of dates for our series of Kitchen Essentials courses, between July and September 2013, so if you’ve been looking for a cookery course with Loaf, there might be one in there just for you.

Kitchen Essentials

Kitchen Essentials is a series of short evening workshops, designed to quickly improve your cooking skills in particular areas and make you a better, faster, and more efficient home cook. The series is broken down into bite-size chunks that you can dip in and out of depending on what areas of cooking you’d like to learn or improve on.

July – September 2013 dates are as follows (spaces available – first come first served)

  • Knife Skills: Tuesday 23rd July
  • Stocks and Sauces: Tuesday 30th July
  • Cooking Vegetables: Tuesday 6th August
  • Herbs & Spices: Tuesday 13th August
  • Beans, Pulses & Grains: Tuesday 10th September
  • Cooking Meat: Tuesday 11th June, Tuesday 17th September

Like all our courses at Loaf Cookery School, Kitchen Essentials workshops are very hands-on, and we guarantee you won’t leave hungry, but you will leave with a host of new skills to get perfecting at home. All workshops are led by chef and baker Dom Clarke, run on a week day evening from 7-9pm, and are priced at £30 per person (except ‘Cooking Meat’ which is £40).

For more information about each course visit: www.loafonline.co.uk/shop/kitchen-essentials/

ACE Leadership Programme Visit to Loaf

Arts Council England, with the Black Country Living Museum, is funding a 9 month programme to transform the futures of twelve museums. As part of their leadership training programme twelve successful museum applicants will visit Loaf to learn about the real life development of food social enterprises as part of a continuing grassroots food renaissance.

Alongside Tom, the programme is also working with, amongst others, famous sculptor Anthony Gormley, Andrew Lovett, Chief Executive Black Country Living Museum and Michael Day, CEO Historic Royal Palaces, so it looks like applicants will be in for a real treat.

Their deadline for senior museum professionals to apply is 14 June. For more information visit: www.museumresilience.com/faculty-page/

Loaf Cookery School
A Bread: Back to Basics course at Loaf Cookery School

Earth oven Building Course – 15 & 16 June

Sunny weather this weekend certainly brought the whiff of BBQs and outdoor cooked food in the air. For us this means firing up our wood fired oven in the garden and inviting friends and family round for a relaxing evening. Whilst we often make wood fired pizzas, and enjoy a glass of wine in the garden, we’ve been know to prepare a slow cooked roast too, plus sweet treats as the heat of the oven cools down, and even leave a meringue cooking overnight, ready for the next day.

If the idea of cooking in your own garden takes your fancy, our next weekend Earth Oven Building course is coming up on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16th June in Stirchley at the home of our baker Dom.

As well as choosing suitable materials, you’ll learn how to build the oven floor, and construct and shape  the thick oven walls using cob,  cut a door and decorate the outside. You’ll also learn how to cook in and maintain your oven. Top notch grub will be provided for lunch and snacks on both days as well as drinks throughout the day.

For more information visit the Loaf Cookery School pages on our website.

Earth Oven Course

 

Earth oven Building Course – 15 & 16 June

Sunny weather this weekend certainly brought the whiff of BBQs and outdoor cooked food in the air. For us this means firing up our wood fired oven in the garden and inviting friends and family round for a relaxing evening. Whilst we often make wood fired pizzas, and enjoy a glass of wine in the garden, we’ve been know to prepare a slow cooked roast too, plus sweet treats as the heat of the oven cools down, and even leave a meringue cooking overnight, ready for the next day.

If the idea of cooking in your own garden takes your fancy, our next weekend Earth Oven Building course is coming up on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16th June in Stirchley at the home of our baker Dom.

As well as choosing suitable materials, you’ll learn how to build the oven floor, and construct and shape  the thick oven walls using cob,  cut a door and decorate the outside. You’ll also learn how to cook in and maintain your oven. Top notch grub will be provided for lunch and snacks on both days as well as drinks throughout the day.

For more information visit the Loaf Cookery School pages on our website.

Earth Oven Course

 

Loaf reaches new heights

This month Stirchley featured in the May edition of Brussels Airline’s bthere magazine.

Described as a ‘destination for creativity, comedy and exciting cuisine’, it included us at Loaf and celebrated other local community food and arts initiatives such as Stirchley Community Market. Stirchley seems to be making a name for itself – not only in the UK, but now internationally!

To read more visit the be the b there website or download the full magazine as a pdf. We’re on page 74.

Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine - May 2013
Brussels Airlines bthere Magazine – May 2013

Cookery courses coming up

Three profiles of three brilliant courses coming up in a couple of weeks at Loaf

Kitchen Essentials Three: Eggs
23rd April 2013

Eggs are one of natures most simple yet beautiful foods, incredibly versatile but surprisingly difficult to cook right. On this two-hour workshop we’ll separate, whisk, scramble, omelette, poach, and turn into a classic egg-based sauce. The egg is a delicate soul, but with a few basic rules and some nifty new skills you’ll be able to cook it with confidence and flair, and learn how to use it’s unique properties in many great dishes from eggs benedict to poached meringues. Kitchen Essentials: Eggs is a great stand-alone workshop but also compliments the rest of the Kitchen Essentials series beautifully, especially the Stocks and Sauces workshop. More about Kitchen Essentials, course costs, and how to book here.

Forage and Cook
25th April 2013

Foraging isn’t just a countryside past-time, it can be an urban adventure too! Join us for a delightful evening wandering the urban wilds of south Birmingham in search of edible treats, before returning to Loaf HQ to turn them into some fabulous seasonal dishes. This course is aimed at those with little or no experience of foraging, and covers all the practicalities, legalities, and safety aspects of picking wild plants to eat. By the end of the evening you will be able to confidently identify several readily available wild foods, know how to properly prepare them, and be eager to get out there on your own adventure… read more about our Foraging course, course costs and how to book here.

Kitchen Essentials Four: Cooking Vegetables
29th April 2013

Vegetables are the delicious encapsulation of sunshine. For too many years they have played second fiddle to meat, but no more!! On this fantastic Kitchen Essentials: Cooking Vegetables workshop you’ll learn how to bring out those fantastic flavours locked up inside veg, and put them out front on a pedestal, where they belong. Chef and baker Dom Clarke will teach you that it’s not always about steaming and al-dente cooking: roasting, pan-roasting, and braising can give fantastic results and sometimes just a simple drizzle of olive oil will bring out the natural flavours in raw vegetables. Kitchen Essentials: Cooking Vegetables is a great stand-alone workshop but also compliments the rest of the Kitchen Essentials series well, especially the Knife Skills workshop. More about Kitchen Essentials, course costs, and how to book here.

For our full range of courses, check out our ‘shop’ section of the website.

Courses – Seasonal Favourites are Back

Since moving into our shop in Stirchley six months we’ve added a whole load of new courses to our Cookery School repertoire.

As well as old favourites (bread, sourdough, pasta, butchery) we’ve added a Seafood course and seven Kitchen Essentials workshops (knife skills, stocks and sauces, flavour geography etc). Our seasonal favourites, Forage and Cook, Earth Oven Building & Preserving are also back.

Sorry, but our courses and events always sell out fast, so book early!

New courses can be found on our website, or if you’re local browse in the Cookery School window: www.loafonline.co.uk/cookeryschool

Earth Oven Course

Courses – Seasonal Favourites are Back

Since moving into our shop in Stirchley six months we’ve added a whole load of new courses to our Cookery School repertoire.

As well as old favourites (bread, sourdough, pasta, butchery) we’ve added a Seafood course and seven Kitchen Essentials workshops (knife skills, stocks and sauces, flavour geography etc). Our seasonal favourites, Forage and Cook, Earth Oven Building & Preserving are also back.

Sorry, but our courses and events always sell out fast, so book early!

New courses can be found on our website, or if you’re local browse in the Cookery School window: www.loafonline.co.uk/cookeryschool

Earth Oven Course