Make me a chef at Altitude, Agenda Sydney // 26 April 2011

My piece in today’s Agenda:

It’s a not every day that you find yourself covered in flour, cracking eggs, gutting fish and sipping Champagne to the trifecta view of Sydney’s harbour, bridge and opera house. But Altitude’s cooking classes aren’t your everyday ‘home ec’ lessons.

Perched on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing a 270-degree vista, is your kitchen – the private dining room of one-hat restaurant, Altitude. Your teacher is head chef Steve Krasicki.

The focus is firmly on seasonal, local and stunningly fresh produce, and the accent is uncompromisingly fun. So, with charged glasses, expect to get stuck into making the likes of scallop-stuffed tortellini with a prawn bisque and Jerusalem artichoke puree – from scratch. Monthly sessions are filling up so quickly that extra dates have been tacked onto the original run.

The once-monthly classes officially last for about three hours but are known to go on and on, as long as wine is flowing and Steve’s larrikin conversation has warmed up.

Waiters are at hand to clean up after each wayward spill and – heavenly – to wash up too, leaving you free to hone down your fish gutting skills and beef up your pasta-kneading forearms – all while you soak up some bubbly and expert tips.

And the best bit? At the end of the practical session, you get to take your dirty (complimentary) apron off and head to the dining room to sample the pro version of the dishes. They arrive straight from Steve’s bustling kitchen with specially-matched wines – not a burst tortellini or lumpy puree in sight.

Where: Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland St, The Rocks, Sydney
When: 3rd Sat of each month | 11am-2pm
Price: $135pp
Phone: (02) 9250 6123

Or read at Agenda…

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