Last week I headed to Westminster Kingsway Collage, with my friend Georgi in tow, ready to embark in a battle of the bloggers cook off, hosted by Wines of Bordeaux. Think Master Chef meets fab tasting wine.
After tucking in to some lovely pink bubbles we got down to business and onto the wine tasting featuring six lovely wines from all corners of the Bordeaux region, along with an education master class from the lovely Laura Clay - that lady knows her wines!
We learnt the full-bodied Saint-Emillion would be good with saucy dishes and stews in contrast to the powerful Medoc wine with its strong personality which suits lamb dishes and strong cheese, and eagerly took mental notes for later. My personal favourite was the Richemont, Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rose, very reasonably priced at only £8.99 (M&S online).
On to the kitchen. On-hand to help were chefs Jose and Jonathan, and student chefs Margarita and Sam (our saviours). We already knew we'd be cooking with Iberico pork, but we'd been kept in the dark on the rest of the ingredients. And then the competition began - 2 hours to whip up a top notch dish, no problem.
We decided to go down the Asian route, the natural choice with a Spanish bit of pork and French wines, non? Carefully slicing the pork into 2cm slithers, we left it to marinade in a combination of orange juice, orange zest, ginger, chilli, honey, olive oil, garlic and thyme. Then it was onto the sweet potato, roasted with garlic and more thyme before mashing. And for the side, a portion of julienned sugar snaps, carrots and beans. The final touch - some gorgeous looking mushrooms steamed in a concoction of vinegar and sugar reduction. Oh, and some jus, just to finish it off. As one does.
We all sat down, eagerly tucking in to our dishes and those of the other teams. We relaxed, sipped the wine and gracefully accepted our defeat...until they announced the winners. Pure shock.
Thank you to everyone at Wines of Bordeaux, Westminster Kingsway College and Isobar Social for a fabulous evening. We had a blast!