Sydney Seafood School has announced its winter and spring program of classes for children and adults, with a star-studded line-up of guest chefs along for the ride. Danielle Alvarez of Fred's, The Bridge Room's Ross Lusted and Meena Throngkumpola from Long Chim are on-board for the first time this year, while returning chefs include Somer Sivrioglu (Efendy, Anason), Alessandro Pavoni (Ormeggio at the Spit, Sotto Sopra) and Christine Manfield. But don't let the calibre of those names daunt you.
"First and foremost people have fun," says Roberta Muir, Sydney Seafood School Manager. "We're not teaching people how to cook for a qualification. They come to skill up and get some knowledge."
Giovanni Pilu is the next big name to take the stage, where he'll demonstrate dishes such as red snapper with mussels and slow-cooked capsicum, and seared scallops paired with brown butter, almonds and sage. Come August, catch Christine Manfield sharing dishes inspired by her travels through southern Italy, including crab and bottarga risotto and orecchiette with school prawns, broccolini, anchovy and chilli.
After the chef demonstrations, it's straight to the kitchen where groups of up to six people follow the recipes, ask questions along the way and, ultimately, improve their seafood-cooking abilities. On Saturday evenings, classes begin with a round of canapés (featuring seafood, of course) and a glass of wine.
Meanwhile, every school holidays the Sydney Seafood School puts on a dedicated class for kids – and they're not all focused on fish, either. Coming up in October is a pasta-making class where gnocchi and an egg pasta are on the menu.
With close to 30 years of history behind them, the school's hands-on classes are nothing if not reliable. But you'll also walk away with the buzz of an enjoyable night out. After cooking with your group of six, you sit down with a glass of wine in the dining room next door to enjoy the fruits of your labour. What's not to love about that?
Sydney Seafood School, 25 Bank St, Pyrmont, NSW. Bookings (02) 9004 1111 or via sydneyfishmarket.com.au.