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29 July 2011 @ 08:30 pm
Quarter Twenty One Cookery School - Perfect Pork Crackling  
A few weeks ago, I was looking for ideas for Bill's Quarter of a Century birthday and I got a little sidetracked landing at Quarter Twenty One's website. My eyes lit up at the sight of those three little words... "Perfect Pork Crackling", without a doubt Bill's favourite foods are pork crackling, pork belly and a great piece of steak. And I knew this would be a nice little gesture to celebrate Bills birthday and had ourselves booked in for the express class.

Opposite Becasse Bakery is Quarter Twenty One (Level 5 Westfield Sydney) including the bistro restaurant and providore where I spy amazing produce, walls of wine and the pink salt that I usually take as souvenirs overseas :P (You also get 10% off products if you're attending the cookery school). Through the providore you'll find yourselves at the Quarter Twenty One Cookery School run by the lovely Libby. The school is fitted with stainless steel tops, state of the art equipment and finished with a wall of mini spice jars giving a warm, intimate and homely feel.

The class began with the grinding the fennel seeds and salt in the mortar and pestle to massage onto our huge pork rumps after scoring the skin. After our mise en place was completed, accompanied with a glass of wine we watched as Head Chef of Quarter Twenty One Michael Robinson shared his knowledge and food inspirations with us. We watched in anticipation as he demonstrated how to cook the crispy pork crackling and accompanying side dishes of sprout and chestnut saute, caramelised pears and a potato puree whilst he and director Libby Travers provided us with tips and tricks to cook a fail safe dinner.

The end result? Hearing the crunch as the pork was cut into serving pieces and smelling sweetness of the pears and the beautifully caramelised brussel sprouts. Of course we got to eat some too!

We both loved the class and the idea of cooking for the soul - I think it was Bill's first recipe too (hopefully not the last)! Though they call it a 45 minute express class, it was really relaxed able to ask questions and a casual way to perfect a culinary skill. A definite big bonus was we have completed most of the mise en place for dinner and ready to cook!

How did we go at home? Well... it didn't go quite as smoothly as he demonstrated and took us nearly 90mins to get dinner on the table but practice makes perfect!
Quarter Twenty One

Quarter Twenty One Cookery School
Peering into the bag of goodies - brussel sprouts and chestnuts

Kurobuta pork rump ready to be scored and massaged with fennel seeds and pink salt

Head Chef Michael Robinson
Applying pressure to create that crispy crunchy crackling


Perfect Pork Crackling
Sprout and chestnut saute, caramelised pears and potato puree

Bills version...practice makes perfect!
My version... we're getting there!
Happy Birthday Bill! I hope you enjoyed the class and you're more motivated to cook for us :)

Quarter Twenty One on Urbanspoon
beverly on July 30th, 2011 09:49 am (UTC)
What beautiful pics! And that pork.. mmmmm
oh_ayanaoh_ayana on August 3rd, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! And don't underestimate the mash.. it was delicious
mei.pinkbutt0ns on August 1st, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)
The pork looks so delicious! yums!
oh_ayanaoh_ayana on August 3rd, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
It was! But mine wasn't as tasty as the Chefs :(
Sugarpuffisugarpuffi on August 5th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
oh mi gad! perfect crackling! and i still need to visit quarter 21 >-
oh_ayanaoh_ayana on August 6th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
I want to visit the Quarter 21 restaurant too!