What a fantastic experience. This was our first cooking class and we’re already planning our next cooking adventure with Sticky Rice. Yukio is an excellent instructor. The menu was well planned. We had a lot of fun and learned so much. Thank you Yukiko and Daniel for all your hard work.
Australian Traveller Magazine attended our very special Masterclass with Tetsuya. Read their article.
Getting To Know Tetsuya
November 13, 2013Master restaurateur Tetsuya gives Steve Madgwick a masterclass in simple cooking and deadpan comedy at the Sticky Rice Cooking School in the Adelaide Hills.
“You must like cooking for a person, otherwise you might slip something into their food,” says Tetsuya Wakuda, with a straight face.
Holding the drama for a few seconds, a cheeky grin spreads across his face.
The lesson is supposed to be in simple food and “a lazy ways to entertain people” but it turns into a masterclass in subtle comedy. Tetsuya, whose restaurant has been ranked in the top five in the world, flits between earnest foodie advice and deadpan one-liners.
He prepares a host of dishes over a few hours, including a “tagine for lazy people” with strong Moroccan flavours, baked barramundi with roast fennel, and wagyu steak straight from the fridge to the pan to the oven. Simple field mushrooms are the highlight – delectable.
Tetsuya’s flavours obviously borrow heavily from his Japanese heritage: mirin, soy and even the ubiquitous sweet chilli sauce.
But he is equally true to his classical French training that he received under Tony Bilson’s at Kinsela’s, back in the eighties. The main lesson: You can never have enough butter.
In fact, “using olive oil is an option, but butter in your food is not an option – it’s a must”, he says.
This becomes obvious as he prepares the remainder of the dishes, especially ‘special’ scrambled eggs, with creamed corn for texture and flavour.
Apparently, scrambled eggs are “not just a breakfast option”.
No certainly not, especially when ingredients such as truffle salt find their way into the dish. A subtle fusion – just like the man himself.
Two Minutes With Tetsuya
Q: Which of your world travels has most affected your food?
Visiting Italy, as I admire the cuisine and their attitude to it. They respect the seasons and have a wonderfully ingredient-driven cuisine.
Q: If you weren’t a successful chef, what else would you be?
I’d be a fisherman.
Q: What was your most dominant impression of Australia when you arrived back in 1982?
I couldn’t understand the strong Australian accent.
Q: Since you first opened Tetsuya’s, what is the biggest change to the Australian restaurant culture?
People are more open and adventurous. I think they are more willing to try new foods.
Q: What makes a good dish?
Good ingredients treated with respect.
Q: Favourite all-time ingredient?
Himalayan pink salt.
Q: What makes a great Japanese whisky (he’s a big fan)? Better than Scottish whisky?
The water makes the difference – it’s not better, just different. Also, you have to remember the Japanese learnt to make whisky from the Scots. You can’t forget that.
Q: How did it feel when you first found out you were in the top 5 restaurants in the world?
I was so proud of my team.
Q: What is your favourite holiday destination in Australia?
Q: Somewhere in Australia that you’ve always wanted to go to but haven’t (yet)?
Q: Is food fashion? If so, what is the next?
I don’t follow fashion at all. We look for good ingredients of the freshest and highest quality available and go from there.
Q: Your greatest vice?
I do eat too much.
Q: Do you miss Japan– will you ever return?
I go back often and always enjoy myself, but my home is always in Australia.
Q: What’s next? Any new restaurants on the horizon?
It was a great experience, learning some trade secrets to great cooking. Met some lovely people, a totally enjoyable afternoon. Cannot wait to do the next one!!!
Amazing experience thank you. Beautiful food, beautiful people, magical from start to finish
Best inspiration to be creative back at home!
We did the Japanese Essentials. excellent chef guide in Yukiko. food was excellent quality and class was a lot of fun. Daniel was a delightful host. We stayed in the Bali villa which was beautiful and relaxing. Wonderful get away.
I’ve done five classes so far. Great time, great repeatable recipes. Japanese cooking class was amazing. Going to repeat entire menu for family this week.
A great day at Sticky Rice Cooking School, Stirling yesterday – so enjoyed “Sensational Seafood” with chef Tania. Fantastic food, flavours, cooking tips, wonderful host Daniel and new friends Trudy & Rachael. Thanks Claire for making your dream come true – such a beautiful place filled with happiness, love & care.
Fabulous Middle Eastern Cooking class with Genevieve Harris. Wonderful day cooking a delicious menu of Hummus and flat bread, Chermoula chicken, Harissa marinated Prawns,with a beautiful eggplant and tomato salad, and bbq lamb skewers marinated in Hilbeh served with baby spinach, pomegranate seeds and yoghurt sauce.
Then deep fried almond pastries with honey and orange blossom syrup.
All served with lovely wines or fruit juice and water.
Fabulous day, heaps of fun and staying at the villas made the walk home very easy.
Highly Recommended 5*****
It’s all hands on, all interacting with each other. The food, atmosphere and setting are just awesome. highly recommended.
Fantastic fun night out
The perfect Staycation ideas for these Adelaide Hills Luxury Villas. Stay and Play. Wellness, Adventure and Relaxation. Which Villa will you choose? Bali, Yoko or Zen
One of the standout features of group cooking classes is their inclusivity. Unlike non-hands-on activities that might alienate certain members, cooking classes create a level playing field.