As much as I enjoy eating, I really love cooking. I’m not the best by any means, but there’s something so soul soothing about being in the kitchen. Usually my recipes are ones from family, or from my favourite cookbooks, but I like finding different cooking classes throughout Perth to diversify my skills – and hopefully pick up a good trick or two.
I’ve tried cooking classes at different restaurants in Perth, including Rochelle Adonis, No 4 Blake Street and now, The Merrywell. Crown Perth are currently running a series of Chef Master Classes at their premium venues. There’s already been classes at Modo Mio and now The Merrywell, and in the next couple of months there’ll be one at Silks and Nobu.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend The Merrywell’s class, which was run by newly appointed Head Chef Ryan Ebbs who brings with him over 10 years of cooking in the United States. Sounds like he’s really breathing new life into this renowned dude food venue, and I was looking forward to picking up some tricks that I could use at home myself over the lunch class.
While some cooking classes get you in the kitchen, this one is $110 and includes a three course meal (though there were two extra surprise courses) and matched drinks while you watch Ryan at work in person and on the screens. It’s really interactive and allows you to feel like you’re part of the action without any heavy lifting!
We settled in for the event and before we knew it a surprise entree was placed down before us. There’s definitely something to be said about watching others cook while you get to eat – stops you from getting hungry!
A board comprised of The Merrywell’s famed wagyu mini beef burgers which have white cheddar, bbq caramelised onions and pickles. This was definitely my favourite bite, with the pillowy bun and that juicy patty. Yum!
There was also a lamb cutlets served with mole negro and a bbq duck sloppy joe with sriracha coleslaw in a fried bun. I couldn’t help but laugh at how much food there was – this is enough for me at lunch on it’s own! I knew at that moment it was going to be a very generous meal.
The first dish that we learned to cook from Chef Ryan was the guacamole. Everyone I know has a different version of guacamole, and with such beautiful avocados in Perth, it’s no surprise. I’m blessed that my parents have a tree so it’s not very often I have to actually pay for these… though I definitely wish I could have more because I can’t get enough of avocado.
Ryan’s version was really different to others I’ve tried because instead of your traditional onion and tomato combination, he also created one with fruit – strawberries, apple, pineapple and mint. I wasn’t sure how it taste but I have to say, I’m a big fan! There’s something really delicious about that sweet creamy combination, especially with the savoury crunch of the house-made corn chips. A seemingly easy dish, but I loved that I walked away inspired to try new flavour combinations myself.
The second course we learned (and third that we ate) was one I think will be great for summers in Perth. Normally The Merrywell’s shrimp lettuce cups come with tempura prawns, but this version was marinated in garlic and coriander, then grilled on a hot plate to sizzling perfection.
The sriracha mayo brought in a little kick and some creaminess, turning the paper thin slices of red cabbage and carrot into an almost slaw. With the squeeze of lime and the micro coriander, it was a really refreshing course – and something I think would be easy to recreate at home.
Preparing for the final course to learn to make, we were treated with another surprise course – The Merrywell’s popular lollipop buffalo wings with blue cheese fondue, hot sauce and celery sticks. These are actually one of the menu items I enjoy the most here so while I was pretty much bursting at the seams by then, I was still happy to down a couple of these bad boys. Finger. Licking. Good.
I stuck around to learn how to make the last course – but I actually was too full to eat it! (Though when it hit our table I did feel a pang of regret, how gloriously tempting does that meat look…)
The smell of that sirloin steak searing right before our eyes was truly mouthwatering, with a bright green rocket puree and soft pita bread to wrap up a lunch meal on it’s own. For those who attended the day and managed to get through all courses – my hat off to you, you did well! As for me, I left with my belly extremely full and my hand clutching some great recipes I’m looking forward to trying myself.
I was hoping to get tickets to the Nobu class coming up on 16 November but it’s already sold out! Damn! But there’s still a few tickets left to the Silks Master Class
on 20 October, so if this sounds up your alley, I definitely encourage you to give it a try. I really enjoyed it, and thought it was a great modern interpretation of the classic cooking class.