Monday, March 6, 2017

Gordon Ramsay MasterClass

I've been taking the Gordon Ramsay MasterClass for the past few weeks.  Alexis bought it for me as part of my anniversary present.

The class is structured as a self-paced, 20 lesson online program.
  • Each lesson is centered around a short video from Gordon Ramsay in which he discusses the topic and then demonstrates a technique or recipe.  
  • There is a PDF workbook and for each lesson the book gives links to further explore the lesson topic through other recipes that build on what Ramsay just taught.  
  • Typically there is a recipe to do hands-on practice.
  • Finally, you post your practice recipe and discuss with your fellow MasterClass students in "The Hub" (basically an online forum specific to each lesson).
Here are a few pictures of my first few practice classes.
The recipe called for using cubed bacon to saute a variety of mushrooms.  The last time I smoked a pork belly for bacon, I cubed and saved the butt ends to use for something just like this.  I sauteed portobello and shiitake mushrooms with it which made the mushrooms peppery, smoky, and delicious.

Gordon Ramsay Masterclass review practice
Using Chef Ramsay's process was about 15 minutes faster than the way I normally poached eggs.  I seasoned the egg with black pepper and alaea red clay salt.

Gordon Ramsay Masterclass review
The recipe was spot on.  I want to turn this into a gastro pub style burger.  It would be an open faced burger topped with the bacon sauteed 'shrooms and the poached egg.

Review of the Masterclass by Gordon Ramsay
Perfectly cooked poached egg.  Before I took this class, if someone asked if I knew how to poach an egg, I would have replied that of course, I do.  I still gained something because I learned a new, faster method than my old way.

Review of Gordon Ramsay's MasterClass
The classes encourage you to explore what you learned in the lesson.  To practice poached eggs, I made Eggs Benedict.  I had cured and smoked a big batch of Candian bacon.  I made a rich Hollandaise sauce and poached a few eggs using the method I had learned.

Review of Gordon Ramsay's MasterClass

Chef Ramsay shared his method for the creamiest scrambled eggs but his recipe involved sea urchin, which I just couldn't do.  So I did scrambled eggs his way with roasted Hatch green chiles instead of the sea urchin and Mexican crema instead of sour cream.  Served it on a warmed tostada with the last of our fire roasted salsa that we canned at the end of summer.

The most common two questions I get about the class are:
  1. Has Chef Ramsay cursed or yelled at you yet?  No.  This is an online class and there really isn't any interaction or feedback other than your fellow students.  You can upload a video question and if selected, Chef Ramsay will provide a video response, but I haven't uploaded any questions.
  2. Is the class worth the money?  Short answer: For me, it is worth the $90 we paid. 
The long answer is more complicated and more than a yes/no answer.

  • I have seen a few fellow students write that they haven't learned anything or that they get the same info from his videos already on line.  I think if you don't use the workbook and skip the assignments, I could see that being the impression.  But for me, I have learned something with each assignment I have completed.
  • If you are an accomplished cook, you might not be bowled over with new information but it still might be a fun set of exercises to reignite your passion for cooking.
  • I think that basic home cooks will gain a wealth of information and techniques, if they do the work.  It's more than just learning 17 or 18 new recipes and/or techniques.  They should gain a confidence in their culinary skills and knowledge and to me, THAT is when cooking gets fun. 
So I'm enjoying the Gordon Ramsay Masterclass. It's not the end all and it won't turn you into a Michelin star chef but it's educational and entertaining for me.  I'll post some more stuff as I get back to the classes.