Wahaca Stratford, a masterclass in Mexican magnificence.
There are occasions in life where you just have to pinch yourself. It all seems just too good to be true, and yet going on all around you is this astonishing event. I had one of those almost out of body experiences on Tuesday this week. I had been invited to Wahaca Stratford to take part in a Mexican cookery masterclass to be given by Thomasina Miers.
I rushed away from work, found a parking space at the end of the Northern line and jumped on the tube to Stratford. I was pretty much running on empty when I get to Wahaca. Walking up to the door I was also afforded a great, if somewhat grey, view of the Olympic Stadium and that lifted my spirits. To be handed a glass of hibiscus agua fresca was just what I needed too. It was just a pity that I was driving later so had to decline the Corona! Mind you the size and sharpness of the knives laid out ready for us to use did make me think that perhaps having all my faculties intact might also help me preserve my digits too.
Meeting other bloggers is always great fun, cameras are laid out ready, cards swapped and anecdotes shared. Nine of us took our seats in an area of the restaurant set aside for us and Tommi very gamely demonstrated three recipes taken from her new book Mexican food at home. All this was happening as she was being filmed for the Westfield Stratford website,you can Click here to see food news, videos and features from the restaurants in Stratford we were asking questions and taking far too many photos and the restaurant was filling up around us with paying customers. She managed to demo the recipes for guacamole, sea bass ceviche and a ricotta and beetroot salad in less than 30 minutes. Very impressive. Then it was our turn, in pairs or in our case a three we had to do the same. Armed with what felt like a samurai sword and the recipes we set to. Helen from Hjonesyfeeds, Rob from the Roving Sommelier and I had a huge amount of fun chopping, mixing and generally trying to avoid rubbing any sensitive areas of our bodies with the huge amount of chilli we seemed to chop. Interestingly, despite each dish having plenty of chilli, habanero sauce or chipotle, they were not overpoweringly hot.
Tommi’s dishes looked like this.
Here are our versions.
We didn’t get to taste Tommi’s versions but ours were just wonderful.
The fish in the ceviche was cooked just enough by the lime juice, no longer slippy but not turned to that cotton wool pappyness that come sometimes happen with marination. The guacamole was the best i have ever tasted, and I’ve tried plenty believe me. The star, and not just because I prepared it, I simply followed the recipe to the letter was the beetroot, chilli and ricotta salad. Beautifully herbal creaminess from the ricotta, deeply earthy from the beetroot and them addition of what seems to be almost ambrosial hibiscus flower syrup it was divine. All the ingredients are on my shopping list this weekend, including the hibiscus flowers. I think I may have a source for them that has been right under my nose for a long time. I am not putting the recipes up here as they are all within the Wahaca cookbook. If you don’t want to buy it at least order it from your local library, then lots more people will get the chance to try Mexican food at home.
Having shared our own dishes we were treated to a selection of dishes from the Wahaca summer menu. I have been in awe of the pork pibil tacos since I took the teens to Wahaca at Bluewater. We need to return there both to shop and to try and get a seat in the camper van. The teens don’t care where we sit but I really want to try it out! My other new Wahaca favourites are the cactus tacos, the sweet potato chunks and the new potato taquitos. I’m not a vegetarian, in fact I am a card carrying carnivore but the tastiness of the dishes at Wahaca have convinced me that you can cut down on the meat you consume without missing it at all.
Finally and rather sadly I only allowed myself the smallest of sips from the tamarind margaritas set out on our table as I had to drive home from the tube station. Hmmm, I will make sure elder teen comes with us to Bluewater, she can drive and as she is only 17 she can’t drink! Result! A large Tamarind margarita for me then. Another payoff should be that I won’t mind so much about Crapital radio on in the car on the way home.
Thanks again for the invitation Westfield Stratford, it was a lovely evening. Coming home with my own signed copy of Tommi’s new book was the chilli on top of the taco as far as I was concerned.
Westfield Stratford City Restaurants produced the video of the Masterclass at Wahaca. All rights are theirs and not mine!