The day after the Eat Drink Blog conference, we split into three groups for the day’s activities. Team Mushroom were off to Crown Mushroom Farm before I’d even gotten out of bed; others went to a pastry demonstration with Emmanuel Mollois; I enjoyed my sleep in then ventured out into the heat to get to The Classroom for a cocktail and food matching masterclass.
The Classroom is a small themed bar & restaurant in North Perth, fitted out so it feels part oldschool canteen, part Harry Potter common room, and part sports shed. First we were introduced to the idea of matching food and cocktails, and why the world of cocktails has as much (if not more!) than wine to offer by being artfully matched with food dishes. Personally I only buy a cocktail to drink before or after a meal, never with food, and the idea that the two could go together so well didn’t occur to me. I’m not sure I’m convinced enough to order a cocktail with my meal at any old place the next time I’m out, but I can see how having the right advice and the right maker could give delicious results.
For this event we were treated to one of their specialities – the liquid nitrogen Espresso Martini – and a special matching dessert inspired by affagatos and Ferrero Rochers. I’m always a fan of the espresso martini, but these guys go a step further by using the liquid nitrogen to lightly freeze the top layer of coffee, and a good swirl of mascarpone sherry foam which makes it feel like you’re drinking a liquid tiramisu. The matching dessert was bursting with trendy ingredients and techniques – popping candy, crystalised flowers, micro-herbs, something which looks like dirt but is actually chocolate and nuts. Beautifully presented, and perfectly matched with the espresso martini. Oh and the menu was edible too, though unfortunately not tasty enough to do more than nibble a corner!
I left The Classroom feeling quite a bit more full of caffeine, sugar and alcohol than I usually am in the middle of a Sunday, but definitely impressed enough to return – perhaps for a cocktail degustation. Big thank you to our two lovely teachers!