Monday 1 October 2012

Benitos Hat Master Class - review

Last Wednesday I was at a Benitos Hat Master Class in Oxford Circus, and boy oh boy did I have a wonderful night.

I got there early as I said in my post about my new Uni Qlo jacket.

Even after that little bit of shopping I was still early.

The salesman on the till was so good that when I said I wanted something to nibble on a snack to tide me over till the start of the class, instead of suggesting nachos, he upsized me, and got me to have their 2 for 1 cocktails as I arrived during happy hour.  And he didn't sell me cocktails not knowing that they come with the class.  No siree!  He was able to say "these ones come with the class" so "I suggest you get these ones".

So two I did have whilst I read a free magazine and generally chilled out.  Ben warned me that I'd end up merry!

Upstairs in the 2 for 1 Happy Hour I had a standard classic margarita (way better than you'd have elsewhere) and a strawberry flavoured one.  Then during the class I had a Paloma, and a watermelon margarita.  We were also allowed to sample the Mexican chocolate martini that they have on the menu for chocolate week - you wouldn't think chocolate goes with a cocktail but it so so works - boy does it work!

And of course we were allowed to make mistakes when making our cocktail for the competition and rather than throw mistakes away, you of course drink them! Hiicccup!
Anyway, the evening could not have been better - treat yourself it is the best £25 you will ever spend! 

While you are being entertained taught how to make Mexican food and cocktails you are also fed Mexican food and cocktails, to the point where the last time I felt that full was Christmas Day.

We were split into teams, and each team was asked to make:

Tortillas x 3
Salsa verde
A cocktail

At the end they were judged expertly by the co-founders of Benito's Hat: Felipe and Ben.  It was also they themselves that held the class.

They were very discerning in their judging with tortillas only being signed off if they were of the right elasticity (for rolling into a burrito) and the right look, taste and size.  If you made 3 they had to all be perfect circles and all three same size.  I felt like I was at Master Chef.  Oh but what good fun.

We won for the best cocktail, but not overall.  I was dead proud as I personally made the cocktail.  HHHhhhm can I remember the ingredients?  It was a very tropical take on a Margarita.  Absolutely delicious.  I think they should do it as a special one week, and name it after me :-)

The amount of passion that Ben and Felipe showed is just phenomenal.  I know that they have put blood sweat and tears into the setting up of their 4 restaurants and the writing/launch of their recent book, but to watch them in action in the class you would think that life is just one big laugh.  They are riding high on passion and it is infectious.  They very clearly love what they do.  Several copies of their new book were on the table and they were all snapped up, by the participants, who had no other reason to be there, other than they are regular patrons of the restaurants.  I am glad to see them with such a loyal following - it really is well deserved.

Despite having previously blogged about their book I am yet to buy it so I must sort that out.  For the second time, I had a look at the book at the class and it really is stunning with amazing food photography to be proud of.

Back to the class: I'd say you could go on your own, as you are split up into teams so get to know the people you are with.  It would also be ideal to book up as a group.

They do the classes in Oxford Circus as they use the whole of the basement, and they are once a month on a Wednesday.

EDIT as of 3rd October 2012 Ben has now released the dates for the next two master classes so get booking you know you want to. You won't have had such a great night out in ages!

Bye for now,

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