When was the last time you concocted a delicious meal? One that was nutritious, satisfying and used local ingredients? Is the problem that you don’t even know where to start? Each week, we bring you a unique cooking class that’s happening around Brisbane.

This week, we stopped by James Street Cooking School to see how we could brush up on the basics or perhaps even learn the secrets of the masters.

At James St Cooking School, professional chefs guide and inspire you to reach your culinary potential. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Look out Master Chef, here we come.

The school provides hands-on practical as well as demonstration-only classes and their extensive schedule will give you all the details of what, where and when the classes will be held. Your only problem will be deciding how to choose.

As well, you can book out the entire facility and the team at James Street Cooking School can design an event specifically for you, whether it’s a private group or a corporate class. Utilising the best produce and equipment, combined with the skills of professional chefs who teach you the tricks of the trade, a class will give you a practical and enjoyable experience.

The best part? After class, you sit down and dine on the fruits of your labour with lunch or dinner accompanied by matched wine. Yum!

John and Joanne Meredith, both professional chefs, own the school and believe that cooking is about using all your senses. That’s the reason it’s difficult to learn from television. You need to touch the food, feel its consistency, its heat, and smell the ingredients. They are both passionate about you getting involved in the entire process, watching the food change its colour and consistency, getting your hands dirty and do the doing so you really learn.

We chatted to John about the school and asked him who he would love to have at his dinner table.

Why did you start James St Cooking School?

Having a talkative personality, combined with a passion for food and then wanting to share info with like-minded people.

Your favourite dish or style of cuisine to teach and why?

South East Asian, because it suits our climate, we have an abundance of the same ingredients available locally, and the relatively simple approach to achieve a great result.

Any funny cooking stories you can share?

As a 14-year-old kitchen hand working on the Kookaburra Queen, I was cleaning squid tubes and made the fatal mistake of wondering aloud in front of a number of chefs as to who gets the job of sticking the long piece of cartilage that runs up the inside of the squid tube. Not knowing any better, I assumed it to be plastic, not realising that it was in fact a part of the squid. As a result I was the butt of many jokes over the next few weeks.

How important is it to be able to cook well in today’s society?

Relatively important, largely due to our convenience lifestyle. We need to be aware of what we are eating, as being all very busy we often neglect our diets. Having even a basic knowledge of cooking allows us to take back control over our diet based health. Cooking can also relieve stress in terms of relaxing with a glass or two of wine whilst making dinner at home. Great for young couples to catch up and spend time together.

If you could host a dinner party with anyone you would like, which guests would you invite?

Mark Wahlberg, Scarlett Johansen, Dave Grohl, Chris Martin and Anthony Bourdian.

For the list of available classes, both private and corporate, click here.

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