*Sadly now closed*

The Dining Room restaurant in Weymouth has had a tremendous first year and has really made a name for it’s fine food, so when Taher asked me to try out his advanced cookery class, I leapt at the chance. All I had to do was find three others who enjoyed food – which wasn’t difficult! We were to be guinea pigs for Taher’s new cookery course venture, although Taher had done many course at previous establishments he wanted to ensure all was perfect.

He runs two courses, a beginners and an advanced. The beginners is for those wanting to learn, how to cook basic dishes, knife skills, and understanding of flavour combinations. The advanced for the accomplished cook that would like to learn a few tricks, new methods, presentation styles and techniques and most importantly timings for a successful dinner party.

We chose the advanced and we were all a little nervous as we approached the restaurant were we accomplished enough! The nerves soon went away as Taher invited us in and we sat down with fresh coffee and danish. It was an early start 8:30 am, but we had a lot to get through and Taher started by explaining the day and we would be eating our own cooking at about 1pm!!

Taher had chosen three dishes that were excellent in their own right, but they could all be easily changed & tweaked using differing ingredients. They would also cover a wide range of cooking skills. Starters: Smoked salmon & haddock roulade. Main: Paella risotto & fried halibut. Dessert: Chocolate mousse.

The whole morning Taher guided us through each dish, this was really a hands on cookery course. He clearly explained each process, along with useful tips and answered all our questions. He pitched the whole course perfectly and at no point did we feel out of our depth or unsure what to do, there was also a lot of good humour which makes learning fun. He even knocked up an improvised mayonnaise from the cream we cooked the haddock in!! It was also good to see he used local ingredients & suppliers when possible, he produced some fennel & dill pollen, both bursting with a wonderful fresh summer aroma.

At the end of the morning all we were all amazed at the high quality of our dishes and it was interesting that all our dishes were a little different, even though we followed the same recipe!

The courses can be a group of up to four friends or can be four individuals, there is also the opportunity to cook for partners who were not on the course. We all throughly enjoyed the day, we learnt a lot of new techniques and will be recommending Taher’s Cooking School to all our friends.

Smoked Salmon Roulade

Paella risotto & fried halibut

Chocolate mousse & the four temporary chefs!

John Aplin:I could not believe my luck when John of “West Dorset Foodie” rang to say he had a place for me at Taher’s Cooking School in “The Dining Room” Weymouth. We arrived early Wednesday morning and were immediately put at ease with very relaxed welcome, coffee and the plan for the mornings cooking. We were all signed up for Taher’s cooking in the company of seriously foodie people but, and a very important but, is the way that Taher displaced any feeling of food snobbery and chef student differences, we were all on the same wave length, prepping, cooking, tasting and importantly laughing and enjoying ourselves like a bunch of friends should, Taher is quiet simply a great foodie guy to spend time with… We all learnt a huge amount…. Then came the fabulous lunch that we had prepared, washed down with a good wine, what a great way to spend a morning!”

Trevor Prior:So what was the experience like? Beforehand I must admit that whilst I was really looking forward to the experience, I did have feel some trepidation, after all we were amateurs and we would be cooking alongside someone who had worked in a Michelin star restaurant. Would any of us mess up our dishes? I needn’t have worried, as from the outset Taher’s friendly approach made us feel extremely relaxed and welcome. He was always happy to answer our questions and to give us glimpses of what it was like to be a real chef. We each had to cook our own dishes, but we were guided effortlessly through the process and given a host of useful tips along the way. At the end of it we ate the fruits of our labour, which looked good, tasted even better and we all came away having enjoyed a unique experience, in good company and with more confidence to experiment on new dishes in our own kitchens.

Mike Grindle:I had a great time, learnt a lot of new skills, tips and techniques. We all enjoyed producing three stunning dishes which we then enjoyed again when we ate them.Taher made you feel at ease as he took you through the recipes and passed on some of his extensive knowledge and experience during the morning..

for more details www.thediningroomweymouth.co.uk

Dorset Food & Drink

Thanks to John Aplin for the photographs.

Review Disclosures
Invited by PR company? No
Guest of chef/restaurant/owner? Yes
Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers? Yes
Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant? Yes
Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet? No
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1 Comment

  1. Hi John, thank you so much for the email. I had fun too, just wished I could have carried the day on with you! I’m really happy you enjoyed the day and found it helpful. Taher

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