Matt Manning is a dear friend of mine. And I am so unbelievably proud of him and Roxanne Manning for launching their very first restaurant. They are both fiercely passionate souls and are now fighting their way up the steep learning curve of running a restaurant. In true Manning style – they didn’t just launch a restaurant. They also launched The Chef’s Studio which is the perfect chef’s playground. Matt is using this space to host his One Ingredient cooking experiences, pop up dinners and recently his How to Cook evenings.

The How to Cook classes are a modern take on cooking classes. Matt’s aim is to tackle one traditional dish a week through an interactive cooking demo, sharing great tips and a chance to cook elements of the dish yourself. I joined for the How to Cook Fish class which was perfect for me as cooking fish is definitely one of my cooking weaknesses. I can make a mean crispy salmon but any other fish makes me a little nervous.

Toomuchloveliness: The Chef's Studio

Snacks to start

It’s dangerous to cook on an empty stomach so we started with Matt’s famous arancini balls and a little salad. Dinner is enjoyed at a long table and it is great to get to know other like minded foodies.

Toomuchloveliness: The Chef's Studio Toomuchloveliness: The Chef's Studio

Let’s get cooking at The Chef’s Studio!

After snacking and small talk it was time to get to work! Matt started by presenting a demo cook where he ran us through the steps we need to recreate. It’s a lot to remember but luckily he’s on hand during your cook for a little guidance! We learnt to cook Matt’s crispy skinned hake served with white beans, sweetcorn and mussels. I love that Matt runs through tips and tricks whilst presenting such as how to recreate this dish for a large group (use the oven!) and what other fish could work with this recipe.

Next up it was our turn! Lots of the hard work is taken care of by Matt’s team such as portioning up all the ingredients and cooking the fancy sauces. But don’t worry – you still get pretty involved with chopping away and cooking the main element.

The Chef’s Studio is truly state of the art with incredible Siemens ovens, gorgeous hobs, serious knives and great scanpan pots and pans on hand. I really wish my kitchen was so well kitted out! Maybe one day when I’m a grown up ;).

I can confidently say that I feel much more capable of cooking fish in the future. And I have actually used Matt’s cooking method twice at home to cook tilapia fillets. And I’m pleased to say they were crispy skinned and delicious. I think even Matt would be proud of me!
But I’m not giving anything away! You need to visit Matt at The Chef’s Studio and learn how to make your own delicious dish.

What’s next?

June’s focus is on How to Cook the perfect roast dinner. You can learn how to cook braised beef, perfect Yorkshire puds & gravy or roasted baby chicken, honey roasted carrots & the ultimate roast potatoes. All the details can be found on their website.

The How to Cook evening is R350 per person for two courses – with the main course cooked by you! For a really unique experience and a new cooking skilled, I think it’s a pretty good deal!

  • Location: 103 Bree street, CBD, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Every Tuesday from 7pm
  • Contact details: 087 898 2207 or their website

Disclaimer: I enjoyed the How to Cook experience as a guest of The Chef’s studio. However, all opinions and images are my own.

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