Published by: Julia
Gordon Ramsay really is a master chef and I was pleased to discover that he is also an exceptionally good teacher. This is a fantastic cooking course. The best one on masterclass.com.
Read on to see what you can expect to learn when you invite Gordon Ramsay into your life. I did and have benefitted hugely. In fact, as you will see, when you read on I took both of Gordon’s Masterclass.com courses.
Improve your kitchen skills with Gordon Ramsay
“You can’t pick up the world’s best cookbook and understand it. You need to do it, to get close to it. It’s so important.”
Gordon Ramsay – Masterclass Teaches Cooking IGordon Ramsay – Masterclass Teaches Cooking I
Learning basic kitchen skills is hugely beneficial. Skills are transferable.
Every time you master a technique or skill it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
So, I was really pleased to see that Gordon did not simply go through a series of recipes. Instead, he teaches you skills. Then shows you how to apply what you have just learned to create a wonderful dish. For me, this is a great way of learning.
Here is a summary of the skills and techniques you are going to pick up when you take the Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I course on Masterclass.com. Later on, I tell you about the wonderful meals you learn how to cook.
Learn Knife Skills from Gordon Ramsay
Despite the fact that I have been cooking for about 40 years now, my knife skills still suck.
So, for me, this part of the course was really important. It led to me going out and buying a new set of knives. A set with handles that were the right size for my hand and better quality than the ones I already owned.
My knife skills still need work, But, with Gordon’s help, they have greatly improved.
This video also covers:
- How to sharpen a knife
- The right way to chop up a shallot
- How to chop fast
- The safe way to chop up awkward vegetables
- Mastering a fine dice
How to break down a whole chicken
I already knew how to do this. But, I still enjoyed watching this instructional video and will definitely be sharing it with my son who is just getting into cooking. I particularly liked the fact he pointed out the oysters that are located underneath the chicken and suggested that you use the carcass to make a great soup or stock.
How to break down a whole fish
This section of the course is about so much more than just breaking down a whole fish. For example, it covers how to check the freshness of the fish you buy. It is also good to see Gordon going, one step further, than most chefs and explaining the different cuts you can get from a flatfish.
Learn how to make fresh pasta with Gordon Ramsay
This video provides you with the confidence you need to get started with making your own pasta. My takeaway from this lesson is to go easy on the flour and to never wash your pasta machine. Also, I did not know about aerating your pasta before each pass through the machine.
The right way to roll out pasta dough
Being able to roll fresh pasta into almost transparent sheets opens the door to a world of fantastic Italian dishes.
The way Gordon does it is a bit daunting. At one stage, he even called his assistant to help him. Don’t be put off. Just cut the pasta strip into three or four and keep rolling. It is much easier that way.
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How to lay out your kitchen
This was not Gordon’s strongest video. I would say it is really more about kitchenware and equipment than how to lay out your kitchen. A bit too general to be truly helpful.
How to cook a pan sauce
In the Chicken Supreme video, Ramsay explains the right way to deglaze a meat pan. Then create a beautiful sauce. There is definitely an art to creating a tasty sauce in a saucepan, which Gordon demonstrates perfectly.
Once you master this skill you will have the knowledge to be able to make a huge range of sauces and gravies.
Ingredients you will master by taking Gordon Ramsay’s first Masterclass
Understanding your ingredients makes a big difference to how good your meals taste. This is the case whether you are a home cook or someone running a food business, cafe or restaurant.
Understanding the flavor of vegetables & herbs and how to use them
In this section, Gordon goes through a huge range of vegetables and herbs. He tells you things like how to tell if a butternut squash, which has a hard shell-like skin, is ripe. Plus, why you should always store tomatoes on the vine.
As well as going into quite a bit of detail about how to cook each vegetable and which other ingredients it works well with.
Who knew you could do so much with endives/chicory. In two minutes Gordon explains two different dishes you can make with them. Then he goes on to suggest three ingredients that they go well with. He goes into a similar level of detail for dozens of other vegetables.
The herbs section of this video is also inspirational. I would never have thought of using thyme for a crumble or spiking ice cream with mint.
This 16 min video packs an incredible amount in. I was stunned by how much I learned from it.
Mastering Fish & Shellfish
Fish and shellfish taste great, so I enjoy eating them. But, I am not a fan of cooking them. Too much fussing around. But, this portion of the course was interesting, nonetheless.
As Gordon said, “with fish, you have to be on point”. Once you have gone through this section your fish dishes are bound to turn out much better. He clearly has a passion for these ingredients.
One of the most interesting points in this part of the course, was when he explained how to set scallops in the fridge. Doing this makes a huge difference to how well they cook.
His tip about weighing mussels, cockles, and clams in your hand to check they are fresh was good too. It is something I will be trying next time I go shopping for them.
Mastering beef, lamb and pork
This section of the course felt like it was a bit light on detail. The main reason for this is the fact that meat is such a huge subject.
I just hope that Gordon will release another Masterclass.com course that covers the subject of beef, lamb, and pork in more detail. That said I still learned a couple of things.
Let the cook-off begin!
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Gordon Ramsay Masterclass recipes
Now, for the exciting part. The fantastic dishes you are going to learn to make. I suspect that you will be able to easily pick out my favorites, as you read through this list.
Poached Egg and Wild Mushrooms on Brioche Toast
I struggle with poaching eggs freehand. At least I used to, now I can do it more or less perfectly every time. Gordon’s little tips have made all the difference.
When Gordon said I should drain the fat from the mushrooms before serving, I thought he was crazy. But, again, he was 100% right. Instead of leaving some of the flavors on the kitchen towel you are actually intensifying the flavor of the mushrooms by serving them that way.
Elevated Scrambled Eggs
I’ve not made this legendary dish yet. People have been talking about this recipe ever since this masterclass was released, so I know it will be good. But, I just cannot get hold of the sea urchin he recommends adding. It is not available in my area.
However, my regular scrambled eggs have definitely improved because of what I learned from this section of the course. For example, I no longer season my eggs before they are cooked, because, as Gordon explains, salt breaks down the structure of the eggs.
Chicken Supreme with Roasted Root Vegetables
The way Gordon roasted the root vegetables for this dish was interesting. I would never have thought of doing it this way.
Laying everything on a bed of herbs, warming and smoking the veg for a few minutes on the gas, before putting it into the oven to roast. Even more weirdly covering the tray with foil. All of this goes against my cooking instincts. But, following his advice produces wonderful results.
Salmon with Shellfish Minestrone
I am not a fan of minestrone, at all, the smell of it makes my nose wrinkle up in disgust. But, I loved Gordon’s take on this classic dish.
How to make fresh pasta
Recently, I have been trying out making fresh pasta. So, for me, this was a timely video.
Gordon’s tip about using a cold surface was a particularly good one. I knew it helped when making pastry. But, I had always made my pasta in a bowl rather than on my granite worksurface.
You definitely get better results when you make pasta on a cool surface. Finally, knowing how to easily remove sticky pasta dough from my hands has also encouraged me to make more fresh pasta, at home.
I’ve taken six of the eight culinary arts classes that are available on Masterclass. com and this very special recipe is my favorite. It is fantastic.
It would have never crossed my mind to put the lobster in ravioli.
This is a wonderful dinner party dish, but my family loves eating this as a treat on a Sunday. You actually need very little lobster to be able to make these parcels of joy. It is a surprisingly affordable dish.
His tip about practicing making Ravioli using mashed potato is a great one. My kids loved doing it. We created some surprisingly tasty herby potato ravioli and learned a fair bit about cooking with herbs, at the same time.
Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington
This classic is a family favorite. I’ve tried several different versions and liked them all, but, I would say that Gordon’s is a cut above the rest.
Savory chive crepes
These crepes are used in the Beef Wellington recipe. But, if you want to know how to make them you will need to refer to the workbook. Sadly, you don’t get to see Gordon making them in the video. They are great for breakfast and you can make fantastic, relatively low-calorie, wraps using them.
My overall impression of Gordon Ramsay’s basic cooking techniques masterclass
I really enjoyed this course, so highly recommend it. When you take it I can almost guarantee that your cooking will improve. A few months, after completing this course, I also took his 2nd masterclass. Below is my roundup for that course too.
Gordon Ramsay’s 2nd Masterclass course review
Like most home cooks, I enjoy experimenting, trying out new foods and cooking techniques. It feels great when you produce something really special, particularly when you are entertaining.
I am a pretty good cook, but, like most people have got stuck in a rut a bit.
Without realizing it I’ve started to rely on old favorites for dinner parties.
There are only so many times you can serve up beef wellington before your guests get tired of it.
So, when I saw Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant Recipes at Home Masterclass, I knew I had to take it and, boy, am I glad I did. It was truly excellent. My all-access Masterclass.com pass let me go through this course without having to pay out any more.
In this review of his second masterclass, I’m going to share my experiences and what I liked and didn’t like just like I did above with his basic cooking course.
My impression of Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant Recipes at Home Masterclass
Just like for his first course Gordon has packed a lot into this 15 video course, which shows you step-by-step how to make 13 meals.
Once again his teaching style was excellent, even better than for his first course. There is none of the “TV Gordon” in this 2nd course. No shouting or F-bombs. Just a really enthusiastic expert chef, who passionately explains everything you need to know to reproduce his beautiful restaurant standard food in your own kitchen.
Each circa 20-minute video is engaging, entertaining and easy to follow.
The quality of Gordon Ramsay’s workbook and videos
Gordon Ramsay’s Masterclass workbook is excellent. Far better than the ones provided by the other Masterclass.com chefs.
It contains plenty of additional information. Extra recipes and links to other resources that tell you more about a technique or explain the science behind his advice and tips. For example, why you should never add salt to uncooked eggs. Leaving space to make some notes down the side is another nice little touch.
His videos for this course are excellent too. He has taken the time to properly bookmark each of them (apart from the Beef Wellington one). So, if you want to go back and review something finding it in the video is really quick and easy.
All of the masterclass.com courses feature a range of useful extras that you do not typically see offered elsewhere. For example, the chance to get your questions answered by professional A-list chefs, actors filmmakers and more.
A word of warning about Gordon’s language
I am not keen on swearing. So, I found things a bit hard going at certain points in this course. Gordon swears quite a lot.
But, fortunately, most of the swearing is confined to the intro, advice for life and closing videos. You can still get a huge amount out of this course without watching those 3 relatively short videos.
So, don’t let his swearing put you off of taking and enjoying this remarkable Masterclass.com cooking course.
If it really bugs you, just take his 2nd course – Restaurant Recipes at Home. As you will see it is just as good as this one and, from memory, there is no swearing.
Course material is easy to reference at a later date
As I mentioned above, the Masterclass video player is excellent. It was great to be able to slow the playback down. For example, to see the knife skill Gordon was demonstrating in more detail.
You can also speed things up to double speed should you want to. When I forgot my headphones I was still able to watch the videos during my commute using the subtitles.
For most of the videos, bookmarks are built-in. So, when I wanted to cook just the endive from his crispy duck, endive and spinach menu, it was easy to do so.
All I did was open up the relevant video and click on the bookmark so that I could watch only the part where Gordon explains how to cook the endive. The bookmark feature is a great time saver.
Extra recipes from the workbook to use up leftovers
I have also found myself using the workbook a lot. It is beautifully laid out and really easy to follow.
The thing I liked most about it is the fact that Gordon provides extra recipes here.
For example, when I cooked the cauliflower steak recipe I had quite a bit of cauliflower leftover.
Normally, I would have binned it. But, this time I did not have to. Instead, I made cauliflower soup with ham and cheese toasties.
As a result, I ended up learning another two new recipes from the workbook. I also took Gordon’s advice and used the chicken thighs from his Szechuan Roasted Chicken recipe to make Hoisin Chicken and Pickled Daikon.
At the time, I had guests staying for the weekend. This was a great way to serve them two special meals without having to spend too long in the kitchen.
Not just for dinner parties – recipes you can use every day
When I bought the course, I thought I would only use the recipes occasionally for dinner parties. But, the reality is that this course has really inspired me. I find myself referring to the course a lot more than I expected because I am incorporating many elements of the meals into my everyday cooking.
Tips to help you adapt the recipes for special dietary needs
Throughout the videos and in the workbook Gordon explains little ways in which the recipes can be adapted and used differently. He pays particular attention to making sure that those with special dietary needs can enjoy his meals. It is also refreshing to see him including several vegetarian dishes in this course.
The recipes reference several different food cultures, including Chinese, European and Thai cooking. So, it is not hard to pick out something suitable for your guests. Although, I was disappointed that he only showed you how to make one starter and one dessert. If you are hosting a dinner party, you will normally want to serve at least three courses.
What to make in advance and how to store it
Unfortunately, when it comes to entertaining friends and family, I fall into the headless chicken category. I frequently end up running around in a blind panic trying to get everything done in time. Gordon clearly understands this is an issue for a lot of people.
So, he tells you what can be prepared in advance. Importantly, he explains how far in advance something can be made and how to store it. For example, the basil crumb from his rack of lamb meal can be made up to a week in advance.
This is one of my new favorites. As suggested by Gordon, I have also used it for chicken and fish.
Plenty of plating up advice
I would describe myself as a competent home cook, but someone who does not have much finesse. So, I was particularly pleased to see Gordon going into detail about how to plate the food up.
Little tips like cutting your asparagus to a length that fits nicely on the plates you are planning to use, makes a huge difference to how good your meal looks.
For his whole fish dish, he even explained how to serve and eat it, as well as how to serve it up.
Helpful cooking timelines for most recipes
Like most people, I struggle to stay organized in the kitchen. So, I found the timelines that are included in the workbook very useful. They ensured I did everything in the most efficient order and did not miss anything.
The timelines would have been even more useful if they had included actual timings, but nonetheless, they still came in handy.
An active forum and a big comments section
Usually, when I take a course I don’t bother much with the comments. But, I do now. I picked up several useful tips from other students. For example, that when cooking Gordon’s Szechuan roast chicken recipe you can get a good result using spatchcocking to speed things up a bit.
Alternative ingredient and beverage suggestions for most recipes
The workbook also includes advice about what to do if you cannot find a specific ingredient. For example, using green instead of red harissa or making your own, including a recipe that shows you how to do exactly that.
Or, if you have to use a supermarket stock making sure that it is the unsalted kind.
You certainly do not want to add any more salt to Gordon’s recipes. He uses a lot of it, in fact, too much for my tastes, which is something to be a bit careful about when you cook the meals from this course.
For each meal or dish, you will also find beverage suggestions. As a non-wine drinker, I found this information especially useful.
The chance to get cooking advice direct from Gordon Ramsay himself
The fact that you can ask this 3 Michelin star chef a question and stand a good chance of getting an answer from him personally is amazing too. This course is as close to a private cooking lesson with Gordon Ramsay as you can hope to get.
Both courses are well worth the price
To be honest with you when I saw the $90 price tag, I nearly skipped buying the course. But, I am really glad I did. It is well worth the money. This course really inspired me and taught me several new skills. I find myself constantly dipping in and out of it, so, I can highly recommend it.
Even after 40 years of cooking, I ended up learning two new skills – picking and shallow frying. Even more surprising, I finally understood why my pureed potato is not as smooth as it should be. I also found out how to counteract the bitterness in some vegetables. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a long list of other things I learned.
A great gift for any chef
Even if you do not fancy taking the course yourself, I would urge you to consider buying it as a gift. This Masterclass is sure to appeal to the budding chefs in your family or circle of friends.
A few words about the Masterclass.com all-access pass
As well as taking both of Gordon’s two excellent courses, I have completed five or Masterclass.com’s other culinary arts courses. All done using my Masterclass all-access pass, which cost me just $180. For me, buying it worked out to be a great deal.
Each Masterclass course costs $90, so effectively I have taken 5 courses for free. Plus, I plan to move onto the comedy and photography classes next. All of which I can do without paying a single cent more.
As I said the all-access pass is a great deal, so I highly recommend your checking it out. It would make an excellent gift for someone.