Being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic inspired many people to find their inner chef. Having more time to focus on the food we eat is something positive to take out of the lockdown period – although keeping that newfound kitchen creativity going can take a bit of nurturing.
Without the luxury of dining out and travelling to other countries, it’s easy enough to fall back on the same repertoire of dishes – but keeping your palate excited with flavours and spices reminiscent of faraway places is one way to keep things fresh. The huge variety of cookbooks and resources on ckbk means you can pick and choose your dream destination every night, travelling with your taste buds to far-flung destinations.
ckbk’s range of French cookbooks is unsurpassed (see our recent blog post offering a guided tour of the collection). For that extra je ne sais quois, there’s no better way to get started than by taking a classes with world-renowned French chef Michel Roux Jr. His course on Classic French Cuisine teaches you how to make his famous Omelette Soufflé, and The Roux Dauphinoise, a family favourite passed down through the dynasty of famed chefs.
Michel’s course offers insight into the kitchen secrets and techniques learned through decades of experience. You will be taught how to create the perfect steak and accompanying sauce, plus how to put together and dress the ideal salad, and to bring it all together for a show-stopping meal.
For something a little spicier, cook up a feast with a pioneer of Indian fine dining, Atul Kochhar. From the kitchen of his restaurant Kanishka in London’s Mayfair, Atul’s online course will take you on a tour of the four corners of India, highlighting the regional differences in specialities from Kerala, West Bengal, Kashmir and Goa. The perfect way to get your bearings, before exploring ckbk’s incredible collection of nearly 2,000 Indian recipes.
For those with a cocoa fixation, ckbk offers more than 3,000 chocolate recipes – enough variety to ensure that your passion for the dark stuff is never sated! But working with chocolate can be tricky – Paul A Young’s introductory course on The Art of Chocolate Making is just what you need to develop and refine your technique. Paul A Young is an inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene, famous for his ground-breaking creations and flavour combinations. His passion for his craft and his cutting-edge creativity have won him numerous awards.
With each lesson, Paul shows students how to create delicious chocolates at home. He demystifies tempering chocolate, teaches you how to taste chocolate to identify the complexities of flavour and texture, how to perfect cream and water-based ganaches, hand-roll truffles, enrobe chocolates, create moulded chocolates and unleash your creative flair with a range of decorating techniques.
Lockdown saw many of us turn to home bread-making (with flour and yeast often in short supply). There’s no question that a generously buttered slice from a crusty loaf, still warm from the oven, is one of life’s true pleasures. But bread-making is a subtle craft, and there are countless nuances that can make the difference between a light and crispy loaf or a jaw-breaking brick.
Richard Bertinet’s Introduction to Bread Making course will keep you on the right path, and could get you started on a lifetime of making and baking your own loaves. With the skills you acquire, you’ll be ready to try out more than 2,000 bread recipes on ckbk, showcasing the countless forms that the staff of life can take. From the Real Bread Campaign’s Slow Dough, Real Bread, to Jeffrey Hamelman’s legendary professional bible Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes, ckbk will ensure you never run out of ideas and challenges.