The classes begin on May 23, with David Robertson, who is no stranger to teaching cooking techniques, in fact, it is his full time vocation as the owner and head instructor at The Dirty Apron Cooking School on Beatty Street. Trained in classical French fine dining David has worked in the UK, Europe, Australia, and the US before moving to Vancouver in 2004 to join the team at Chambar. He opened The Dirty Apron Cooking School in 2009. David has kindly shared a recipe he teaches in his Ocean Fling class to try at home and talked to us about his passions for teaching, food and travel.
Do you find it is easier to teach a complete novice cooking techniques or a student with some experience?
In any given class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School, I can have both types in my midst – so for me it really does not matter. I know that if I encounter a student that looks a bit like a deer in the headlights, I will have to spend a little more time with him or her, which is no problem. My role is to make sure that each and every student feels confident so that after a cooking class at The Dirty Apron, they can recreate each of the dishes at home on their own.
What is the top advice you give to your students on expanding their culinary range?
Don’t be handcuffed to your recipe book – I want students to know that they can feel free to add or take away ingredients from the recipes they follow. Being adventurous is part of cooking and learning. I also encourage students to cook with a new ingredient they haven’t cooked with before every month.
What is the most satisfying part of teaching at The Dirty Apron Cooking School?
Being able to share my passion while empowering others. Nothing beats the feeling of hearing a student say: “Wow – I can’t believe I made that!”
Do you ever miss being behind the line at a busy restaurant like Chambar?
Not really. I run the cooking school much like a restaurant, except the students become the chefs every night. It’s all about challenging myself and the staff around me, regardless of what kitchen I am in. If anything, I have to push myself to be more creative at The Dirty Apron, creating many different dishes that cannot be duplicated in other classes.
You are an avid world traveller. Are there any regions or countries that you haven’t made it to where you really want to go to taste their cuisine?
I have yet to make it out to the Middle East. I am a huge fan of their cuisine, and their use of simple and approachable – yet incredibly flavourful – ingredients.
Tickets are $125 per person/per class. To reserve for a class or find out more info, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Celebrity Chef Cooking Class series is an Arts Club fundraising event.