BBQ Master Classes in Belgravia

It’s not often that the scent of exclusivity around London’s Belgravia risks being out-scented. But then it’s not often that we attend cooking ‘Master Classes’ by accomplished chef, Martin Gabler, pictured. Sat Bal takes in the tang at The Terrace. (19 May’14)

Set in the midst of Belgravia, The Terrace is a semi-shaded, open-air courtyard located behind the Jumeirah Lowndes hotel. It’s here that we assemble for an al fresco feast, courtesy of the cordial Mr Gabler. But it’s not a free lunch; we have to learn to earn – a prospect that somewhat ruffles this kitchen-dodging writer.

Chef Gabler’s enthusiasm for the perfect barbecue soon becomes infectious - after all he was runner-up at the British BBQ Championships 2012 - and blue vinyl gloves are duly passed around.

Easy, tiger - the prawns set to sizzle

The education starts early on when our chef prepares grilled tiger prawns. The size of the prawns soon becomes a hot topic. These are big. We’re told that they are a U5 size and this soon became evident as we feed on the fulsome meat. Remember this tip to get  more meat for your mollusc.

It’s not the best view from the Terrace but we’re blessed by warm shafts of light as summer makes a concerted presence. It’s easy to see why busy Londoners would want to retreat here and unwind in this hideaway of cool drinks and tasty food. Open daily from 12pm to 10pm, The Terrace makes lunch, dinner or drinks an easy escape choice.

Chef Gabler shows us how to turn this

Additions to the menu for 2014 include the ‘Burger of the Day’ which features the Peanut Butter burger, the Duckie burger (with duck pâté and caramelised red onion)  or the Monte Cristo, an egg-dipped, deep fried bun with bacon and a five cheese fondue over the beef burger.

 This also sets the scene for our burger-making exercise. Chef Gabler presents us with an array of ingredients: French mustard (10g), lean beef mince (200g), fine chopped onion, lightly cooked (10g), chopped seedless chilli (3g), chopped parsley (5g) and salt and pepper seasoning.

 We mix these into a ball and flatten to the required thickness. Wine and beer is on hand  to preserve the authenticity of the BBQ experience while our fledgling burgers head for the grill. Soon afterwards they emerge sizzling and succulent, served on a brioche bun laced with Marie Rose sauce, melted cheese and salad.


...into this!

Hurrah! I made a burger under the tutelage of a respected executive chef. As I contemplate switching from wine to champagne to toast the feat a more pressing need emerges. Eat! Be warned though; the size of the burgers requires a certain oral navigation and there’s no shame in using the knives and forks provided.

 Our very small group suddenly feels large as the BBQ mood animates the event. By this measure a reasonably full Master Class here would feel like a party!

 The warm sticky apple pudding in seduction mode

The additional input of warm pizza bread and delicious chicken skewers earlier on makes the contemplation of dessert a challenging notion. But it’s a reality we must face. You must too. The warm sticky apple pudding with golden syrup sauce and vanilla ice cream is, quite simply, not to be missed. And that’s coming from someone who is repelled by apple-based desserts but such is the talent of persuasive chefs.


 Tempted? Then book a BBQ Master Class with Martin Gabler; available Saturday 24 May, 31 May, 7 June and 14 June. Classes include nibbles throughout the lesson, plus a main, dessert and drink after the class. £38 per person. Classes start at 10.30am.

 See  http://www.lowndesbarandkitchen.co.uk/





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