Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Starhill Culinary Studio - The "Very Atas" Cooking School, At the Top of Starhill

A few months back, when I attended the launch of the book A Perennial Feast, the very gorgeous Paula Conway, Operations & Marketing Manager of Starhill Culinary Studio, was telling us about the setting up of the Starhill Culinary Studio, which occupies the entire upper floor of Starhill Gallery.  That was in March.  And in the blink of an eye, a quarter of the year has zoomed by, and lo and behold, the Starhill Culinary Studio is now officially opened, with loads of interesting culinary classes as well, in an environment that is quite simply my dream kitchen.

12,000 sq ft, imagine, in the heart of KL, (one wonders what the rental would be like), dedicated to different teaching kitchens, dining rooms, wine cellars. 

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There was free flow wine as we mingled at chatted, I was relieved to see a familiar face, the Makan Fairy Godmother (writer and author of a cookbook herself, Marian Eu Hooi Khaw).  The "party packs" had two bottles of gourmet sauces, courtesy of the Starhill Culinary Studio.  In the bag, were a toque, and apron, and unbeknownst to us at the time, the toques bore the names of the kitchens which we were allocated.  Some were assigned the Pastry Kitchen, some the wine studio, some with Chef Wai himself, ...the Executive Chef at SCS. 

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The keynote speaker at the launch was Jeremiah Tan, Director of Starhill Culinary Studio and Autodome Sdn Bhd.  "An inspiring experience is what epicureans will discover when they attend Starhill Culinary Studio's classes.  In house and external experts will lend their expertise on how to enrich their daily lives and will get creative juices flowing with fun, engaging classes". 

The Chefs are introduced as they descend the escalator into the Syook at the Feast Village, where the audience is congregated.  After the introductions, we are beamed up (by lifts) to the uppermost floor, to our respective kitchens, as determined by our toques. 

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Sights like these greet us at the pastry kitchen. 

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Those of us allocated to Pastry are taught how to make a simple chocolate mousse.  The ingredients used at the school are top notch, and that is already half the battle won, in most cases.

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There is an atmosphere of gaiety and anticipation, as the teaching chefs explain the various methodologies. 

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Chef here is explaining how we should never use raw egg yolks in mousses, and it's best to whip them up into a sabayon, ...which personally I find terribly tedious. 

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I sneak out while the cream is whipping, and explore the premises, and think drat, I wish I had drawn the lot for the wine studio rather than the pastry kitchen.  Looked fun.  I can imagine swirling and smelling and sipping... how very ladidah. 

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The main chef, Chef Wai, who says, "We use the freshest of ingredients to create magic in each class where an insight into a whole world of different cuisines is delivered in one place.  Starhill Culinary Studio goes beyond making dishes, it is also an environment that creates friendships".

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There's a hive of activity going on.  I continue my self tour, while imbibing more of the free flow wine. 

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Chef demonstrates how to pipe mini eclairs. I should have paid attention to this class, because my choux always fails. The choux never fits

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Very good ingredients, as you can see. 

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Eclairs and cream puffs rising nicely in the oven.

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Dato Yeoh Soo Min of YTL Corp holds up her freshly fried curry puff.  Actually, those puffs were delicious.  It wasn't a curry filling, it was some creamy seafood, but the pastry was superb.  Drat, I want that recipe.

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There's also a dining area for Wai's Kitchen.

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Chef Wai poses in front of his kitchen.

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Hooi Khaw, Jeremiah and Datuk Yeoh Soo Min....

For more information on Starhill Culinary Studio, contact Angela Chan at 03-2782-3831 or angela_chan@ytlland.com

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