THE soothing elegance of Noosa's award winning Japanese restaurant, Wasabi, has replicated its style with their associated Cooking School.
Beautifully positioned beside the Noosa Sound Park, next to Noosa River, The Cooking School Noosa offers exclusive classes with chefs from Wasabi as well as guest chefs from around the country.
Classes are suitable for everyone from home cooks to qualified chefs and those rarely found in the kitchen but keen to learn. The space itself is luxuriously appointed with only the most innovative, high end Electrolux equipment.
I was part of a contingent of 12 participants representing a vast range of skilled and non-skills cooks, however, the various levels of experience were of no concern to instructor Richard Ousby, the Electrolux ambassador and Executive Chef of Stokehouse Restaurants in Brisbane and Melbourne. Richard took it all in his creative stride and with a certain mindfulness calmly set the program and warmly responded to calls for information, advice and support.
Richard allocated specific tasks to various people, which ultimately contributed to the whole menu. It was a joy working with the purity of natural ingredients, including the marvellous plant food gathered from local beaches by Wild Forage Australia. Other produce is sourced from the restaurant farm, Honeysuckle Hill, located in the Noosa Hinterland town of Pomona, where Japanese ingredients, that would otherwise not be available, are grown. The farm uses the Japanese system 'Bokashi' where all the organic matter from the restaurant, mixed with micro organism activated rice bran, is used to nourish the soil, completing the paddock to plate cycle. For all other products, Wasabi Restaurant and Cooking School owner Danielle Gjestland ensures supplies are sourced from local farmers, fishermen and producers.
Once the relaxed fun of preparation is over, you are seated back in the sparkling surrounds of Wasabi restaurant, your cooking (polished with a few of Richard's master strokes) is presented with a refined panache that attests to the restaurant's high ranking reputation. Our group menu based on fresh produce and seafood gathered another dimension with a special sommelier chosen wine to match the food. The totality of the experience is enhanced with views of white pelicans and red-beaked seagulls dashing into the diamond studded waters where the occasional dinghy or sailing boat drifts across the gently rippling river. The Cooking School together with the restaurant experience fulfils the ideal of a perfect recipe - a wonderful day.
But the day does not quite end there, because of the opportunity to ask questions and receive advice from the Chef, (with no doubt to the delight of your family and friends), you have now acquired certain delicious skills that can be put to practical use in the home kitchen.