GTea Break

Theo Randall Pasta Master class

GT takes a pasta-making class at the Hotpoint@W1 showroom...

Hotpoint has always been on the safe side; it’s a brand I’d expect to see in Mary Berry’s kitchen, or even Delia’s. Not something I’d find myself drawn to. So I was pleasantly surprised at Hotpoint’s Luce range, which I tried out during a pasta making class in London. Luce, you see, is Hotpoint 2.0.

Hotpoint showrooms have moved on too. At Hotpoint@W1 they have a test kitchen so that you can try the products and evaluate if it matches your cooking needs. They also hold regular demonstrations and master classes.

I had a sense of stepping into the future… Luce boasts steam powered ovens, integrated coffee machines that clean themselves, and hobs that use different sources of power, if you want them to. I hate spaces that are hard to navigate or look cluttered, but Hotpoint have nailed it with Luce. It has great functionality, too, which is crucial. Most Luce ovens are touch screen and can be tapped and stroked to power – as easily as you would an iPhone.

In the test kitchen, interior designer Emilio Pimentel-Reid discussed the concept around his kitchen’s ‘Trend Station’, which focused on scale, personality and presentation. It incorporates elements from the rest of the house, and pieces taken from the user’s lifestyle, making the kitchen a more prominent hub. Emilio used gorgeous accessories from traveling, and artisan shops, that were consumable both orally and visually.

The master class was held by Theo Randall, a Michelin Starred chef specialising in Italian Food. He was a big part of the team at the River Café but now has his own restaurant, the Intercontinental.

This was part of the Man-Made Chef initiative to encourage more men into the kitchen and to add a gentle of infusion of testosterone into the teaching. (Though female participants joined the fun too.)

Theo showed us how to make Frito misto using a Multiplo, which incorporates the power of an oven as well as the convenience of an induction stove. Accessories allow you to deep fry, steam, boil and bake on this all-in-one kitchen equipment. To the side of it there’s a flat plate grill that can be used for hibachi cooking – or just a good old-fashioned steak with minimal fuss.

The trays slotted in easily and the oil heated up quickly. Theo added copious amounts of Prawn, squid, artichoke, Portobello mushroom and zucchini. All delicately dressed with some chili dressing.

The next part I especially enjoyed; he demonstrated how to use a pasta machine and made some ravioli with butternut squash, ricotta, marjoram and sage. It was a delightfully autumnal addition. Pasta making is fairly straightforward but you need to have a feel for it.

By using one of the steam ovens he cooked the butternut squash so that it formed a glorious orange mash. The Luce Dual Flow steam ovens don’t need plumbing in either. You add a litre of water to an integrated plastic container, and that provides the steam. Steaming is healthier as it retains color and vitamins that are otherwise lost when boiling or roasting.

He also showed us how use as pasta machine to roll the pasta to the correct thickness and then demonstrated ways to seal the ravioli – so that you wouldn’t end up with an orange sea in a pan. Our ravioli held together, which was somewhat of a relief. Leo then made a simple sage and butter sauce of butter. We tossed the pasta in it.

I was amazed at the ease in which moments earlier, things were being deep-fried and now pasta could be made in the same piece of equipment. All the trays were dishwasher friendly too, which always helps.

To finish off, Theo made a chocolate cake in a metal pan, which went directly in the oven. This was a flourless chocolate cake that required a lot of separating of eggs and folding in cream and sugar. The result was indulgent.

The oven’s technology bakes evenly (so they told us) and the cake certainly didn’t collapse. I am not sure though that at home it would come out so easily. That’s what chef’s are for, though.

I came away feeling more confident about more technical elements of Italian cuisine. It isn’t as complicated as I initially thought… but every bit as delicious.

The final masterclass is December 19th. Reserve your place by emailing or pop in to book at 98 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 3RN.

Words: Leng Montgomery

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