18 July 2011

my more cafe cooking class experience

I know this post is almost two weeks overdue, but I’ve been so busy lately. But anyway, as promised, here’s the whole story...

Last month, I answered Visa’s quick survey through the Mother, Baby & Child Magazine. Lucky mothers would get to win an exclusive 3-hour cooking class followed by lunch at More Café. Again, I didn’t expect to win but I thought “What the heck! There's no harm in trying.”

Then on the 3rd of July, I received an unexpected call. When the guy mentioned "Visa," I was about to cut him off because I assumed he was going to offer a credit card; but then he started asking (verifying) if I had answered the online survey about the use of debit cards, so I figured it was about something else. When he told me that I was one of the lucky people who won, I became so happy! But when he told me that the cookery session would be on the 5th of July (Tuesday) from 8:30 in the morning and there was no other schedule, my happy bubble burst. The thing is, I can’t afford to go on anymore vacation or local leaves this year because I’ve already scheduled when I’ll be using them. So, I had to decline and tell him to give it to another mom instead. Picture me almost crying here because it would have been a great opportunity to learn to cook.

After twenty minutes, I decided that it would be a pity if I let this opportunity go, so even if it was going to be really embarrassing, I immediately called the guy back and asked if I could still accept my prize...and the guy said my slot was still available! Hurray!

When I checked my e-mails the next morning, I saw the message with all the details of the class and lunch. Honestly, until the day before the class, I still didn't know what kind of leave I would use or what reason I would tell my manager so that I could attend. Later on, I applied for an ordinary local leave.

The day of the class came and I took the metro to the Gold & Diamond Park, arriving at More Café just before 8:30am. As I entered the restaurant, I noticed a long table with a few ladies of all nationalities seated around and immediately assumed they were the other winners and attendees of the cooking class. I sat down and within minutes, met the other mothers, including Elaine (the founder of Mumcierge), Abbi, and Neha.

After some time, the class started and we all put on our purple (nice!) More Café aprons. Chef Gert taught us how to prepare a complete meal of:

Italian Bruschetta

Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto (sorry, this was when three of us had our “candid” pictures taken with Chef and all of it had been eaten before I remembered to take a photo),

Basic Pasta for Ravioli with Pumpkin Date Filling

and Espresso Panna Cotta for dessert

They were all so good! And he made everything look so easy to make! But he didn’t stop at just teaching us what to do, he also shared tips on where we could get the (good and hard to find) ingredients and cooking gadgets at lower prices, pointers on how to eat healthy, how to make do with the ingredients at hand, and tales of his trips abroad. It was a very informative and entertaining class.

After the last recipe, we were each given Visa bags which contained a pack of espresso powder and a jar of strawberry jam. Just before we all sat down to eat, a group picture was taken of a few of us moms carrying the Visa bags.
(photo courtesy of Dabo & Co.)

Lunch was a treat of Salad and Ravioli with Pumpkin Date Filling

and their super delicious Coconut Cherry Chocolate ice-cream which tasted like a mix of Bounty and Cherry Ripe chocolate bars
Everything was absolutely yummy!

By around 1:15pm, practically everyone had had their fill, and one by one we stood up and left. As I kept telling hubby later that day, the class really inspired me to eat more healthy and learn how to cook so that I could help him out in the kitchen more. And I can honestly say that I have been working my way on the stove more often since then.

Thank you to Mother, Baby & Child Magazine, Mumcierge, More Café, and Visa for this opportunity!

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