23 October 2008


"It's just a simple flick of the wrist," said Binky, as she taught us to gingerly toss onions and sweet potatoes in a large frying pan.

As she expertly flipped and stirred, tantalizing smells rose from the pots and pans. She patiently and effectively taught us to make the 3 amazing dishes that were part of her cooking lesson. We made a pumpkin soup, black bean cakes with mango-coconut coulis, sweet potatoes and rice, and pears with ricotta, walnuts and chocolate sauce.

During the last year, Binky purchased an incredible general store that had been abandoned and left virtually untouched for decades (see photo above, which I took over a year ago). After auctioning off most of the antique remainders, she renovated it into a cozy and fabulous space that is now her restaurant, Fuchsia.

Last night, I joined a few friends as part of her first trial cooking class. She plans to start offering courses over the next few months that specifically non-vegetarians how to make meals for their veggie-loving partners. The cooks-in-training prepare their meals for 2 hours, then the lucky partners arrive at the restaurant and the couples sit down to eat together.

I'm sure Binky's new idea will be very successful. The course was one of the most fun and interesting things I have done in a long time. Fuchsia's kitchen slightly resembles an apothecary: bags of spices, cans of mango puree, bottles of rose water and lavender extract. Bowls of apple crisp (my all-time favourite food) were resting casually on a counter top, while our glasses of wine were squeezed in between chocolate sauce bottles and maize flour. There were so many awesome things in one place at one time, it was kind of overwhelming.

After we finished cooking the meal, we sat down at one of the restaurant's family-style tables and ate, and ate ... and ate.

Suffice it to say, I highly recommend Fuchsia, and its cooking courses.

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