Monday, June 28, 2010

Jo Seagar's Cook School!

Well blog chics, I know you've all been waiting for this post for a long time. I know I have!
So I apologise in advance to everyone who's not reading this in New Zealand, because obviously some of the hype will not be quite in context, but...
Jo Seagar is a Kiwi chic icon, in the true sense of the word. More famous than the All Blacks in certain circles.
She trained at Cordon Bleu in England, then at some fancy cook school in France and has worked for various notables, but she is just a Kiwi chic from the Hawkes bay at heart!

This is the chocolate and raspberry brownie with chocolate mousse in a little shot glass. Devine!

Here is the woman in question, deep in meaningful conversation about ground almonds or something with my girlfriends Leigh and Debbie.

We've had this girls weekend planned since November, and it was quite a trek to get there. Oxford is a tiny town in inland Canterbury (South Island), about forty minutes drive from Christchurch. Seagar's of Oxford is the biggest thing to hit Oxford since the local pub opened sometime early last century I suppose. (We sampled the local pub cuisine and watched the rugby with said locals on Saturday night - great company - and we won the rugby!!)
There is the cafe, cook school, cook shop and the Band B all in the same corner site in the main street of Oxford. Leigh and Debbie and I stayed in the B and B and had breakfast in the fab cafe with a big gas fire going!

This is the B and B. Used to be a skody old motel, completely re-facaded and done up inside. Very comfortable.

Deb and I outside the cook shop. All the locals were very accommodating about taking photos!

Local took this one outside the cafe.

More food!

We watched Jo Cook for about 4 hours each day, at the same time telling rude stories and hilarious anecdotes from her various exploits catering in the High Country for Christine Fernehough of Castle Hill Station, taking the cook school to Umbria for a month every year and what happens on your wedding day when your bridesmaid has a wooden leg!
We had a few hands on turns at pasta making and truffle rolling etc, but mostly we just watched mesmerised and laughed and laughed at all the stories. Then we ate lunch which lasted two hours - more stories!!!

Lemon possit and lemon roulade.

Aforementioned truffles.

Chocolate mousse, brownie and berry coulis.

Playing with the pasta machine. Leigh rolled and I looked clever with lashings of rolled pasta sheets!

I have always coveted one of these!

Jo's fab kitchen!

Celebrity photo shoot LOL!

This is the fabulous Emily who would appear through the door with whatever was required next for Jo. It was quite miraculous , her timing. We wondered if she was run secretly by remote control and Jo had a secret Emily call button under the bench.

We were very reluctant to leave actually. It was so much fun, and they made us feel so welcome.
Back to Christchurch and a flight home unfortunately.
I have so many wonderful photos and memories. Thanks girls, I'll be boring my grandchildren with tales of cook school I expect. They will be very enduring memories.
PS - they did not give a prize for being most like the Swedish Chef from the muppets! Otherwise I would have got it. I got an autographed menu and a Seagar's of Oxford apron instead!


  1. Ha ha ha! awldy baldy chicken, hands all over the place.. I used to love the muppets! You sound like you had a wonderful time, and I bet you are sad it is over. But what great memories! I can't blame you for wanting that mixer, and the kitchen is beautiful too! Suzie xxx

  2. It doesn't get much better than truffles and a red Kitchenaid mixer! Looks like you had a perfectly delicious time in every way :)

  3. Those deserts look stunning....what a fantastic time you all had. I'm lucky enough to own a KitchenAid by the way...and i do actually use it!

  4. I noticed how often photos of the deserts appear on this post. Hmm... I think there's a trend evident here!!!


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