New Bakery, Café and Deli 11-week countdown

We are looking at the frames for our replacement wall to wall windows which will form the front of the Cookery School and the café. We are now also able to step through the frame of what will be our new glazed entrance door! All very exciting and amidst the building dust, bits of wood and steel pipes we try to envisage entering through it to the welcoming smell of Union coffee and freshly baked pastries...


New Bakery and Deli 12 weeks

The lovely old brick building which was the head quarters of legendary Cambridge stone masons Rattee & Kett is getting a wonderful face lift ahead of us moving in!

We are busy running a summer of Duke of Edinburgh residential courses for another 7 weeks and then we close the door to our existing kitchen and head over to the new building. The Café and deli will be kitted out and the new doors will open...


A Food Safari for 150 at Churchill college

Our corporate Food Safaris have gained a reputation for delivering high octane, slick cookery experiences on a large scale. When we host them in our own kitchen our upper limit tends to be around 55/60 guests so when we were asked by McKinsey to organise a safari for 150, we knew the venue had to be much larger than our own.

Yesterday saw us move 15 team members and as many crates of equipment and food to the Churchill college dining hall to set up 12 large tables for teams of 13. The Safari destination was Italy and our tables included wine tastings, canapé making and the creation of 200 mini Tiramisú!

We had the delightful Italian chef and cookery book writer Ursula Ferrigno with us and who better to inspire teams of management consultants to be creative with their cream and liqueuer? This is how we like ours:

 

50ml strong espresso

40ml Rum or Kahlua

1 pack sponge fingers

2 free-range egg whites

250g mascarpone

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp Marsala

1 tsp cocoa powder
Make espresso, add the coffee liqueur, then leave it to cool
Break each Savoiardi sponge finger into about four and drop the pieces into small glasses, then pour the cooled espresso mixture over them. Press down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.
Using a ballon whisk beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks when the whisk is removed, and set aside for a moment.
Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey and, when smooth, slowly beat in the Marsala.
Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the Savoiardi in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into an elegant peak at the top.
Sift over Cocoa


New Bakery and Deli 13-week count down

At just over 3 months from the date we hope to open our doors to the brand new café/deli/bakery, we are looking at a proper flour slab and the first signs of a new solid wall following the under-pinning. Very encouraging - and the delightful guys from Balfour Beatty are just as happy to stop and smile for camera as they are building our new home!

What at first sounded like bad news is turning out to be rather fortunate for us, as our reconstructed building will have insulated walls and double glazed windows. And above those lovely old windows will be the box holding the original awnings which we love and which will form a nice canopy for our outdoor seating...we hope for a long, mild autumn


New Bakery and Deli 14-week countdown

The progress made on the old Rattee & Kett buidling we are moving into is good and this week we are delighted to acquire a floor! After months of looking at open soil and no facade following the discovery that this lovely old building needed under-pinning, we seem to be on the road to recovery.

Our landlords Homerton college are in charge of developong what will become known as Homerton Gardens and for preparing the ground floor of  "School House" for us. We are on track for handover on 28th August and after that it is over to our builder and the wonderful team from Cambridge Kitchens & Bathrooms.

However, until then, we are busy with back to back weeks of D of E Gold Award residential cookery classes.

 


New Bakery and Deli 15-week countdown

As of this morning we are the proud location of not only one but two diggers!

Drains being laid and then our floor should start to take shape. Whilst the open-air design might be a bit extreme come the autumn, in the current heat wave we are rather pleased with it!

We have only 3 classes left to run before our normal busy program is replaced with wall to wall week-long Duke of Edinburgh residential award cookery courses until the end of August.

September is earmarked for our kitchen and deli fit-out by our trusted partners Cambridge Kitchens & Bathrooms and Neff, thanks to whom we will be the first cookery school in the country to be cooking on the next generation of appliances with "swipe" controls.