The Social Kitchen + a giveaway

The Social Kitchen

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies

The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.

Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.


The Social Kitchen launched on 13 November and will run through every day through to May, with a variety of different classes (you can see the list on The classes are designed to be interactive and hands on, with a maximum of 24 people. The classes on market days will involve exploring the Market to source ingredients.

Paella beginning

I attended a paella class – and the fellow cooks on my station were my good friends Hazzie and Thanh. We were kept busy chopping and stirring, with The Social Kitchen chefs stopping by occasionally to offer some helpful tips.

The capsicum in this pan is quite funny because you can see three distinct chopping styles as we all did our own thing.

Paella cooking

Unlike other cooking classes I’ve done, this was very interactive – and it was fun! The chefs didn’t loom over us, and we were mostly left to do our own cooking. They just stopped by occasionally to check on things, have a quick chat, or to compliment us on our clean workstation.

Adding paprika

Or to stop by and add a truckload of paprika to our paella.

Paella finished

Tadah! Here is our finished paella. We did very well – ours was the unofficial best of the night (and not even as deemed by us.) 😀


As a side we made some spicy cauliflower. We threw caution to the wind and added all of the cayenne pepper set out – wheeeeee. It was great.

Eton mess

As a bonus for dessert, we went back to the kitchen and plated up Eton Mess. Look at all that beautiful fruit – the raspberries and blueberries didn’t survive long with me around.

It was honestly a really fun night – one of the best cooking classes I’ve done. I really liked that it was up to us to do the actual cooking. We didn’t just watch – we got our hands dirty. The amount of guidance was just right in my opinion. And of course it helped that we had a huge pan of delicious paella at the end to show for our efforts.

The Social Kitchen

Are you interested? Here’s a bit more info about The Social Kitchen:

The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen Cooking School will see just 24 participants per class guided through an experience that includes a wander through Queen Victoria Market to collect ingredients with tips on how to shop for the best seasonal produce; demonstrations and tastings; plus hands-on preparation and cooking of the menu of the day at individual, purpose-built cooking stations and the opportunity to sit down with other participants in a social setting to enjoy their creations. All participants will take home an apron and goodie bag with market produce and gourmet gifts.

Peter Rowland Catering have devised three styles of classes for the 26-week season. Thematic classes will be geared around regional and seasonal cooking styles, where participants will learn the finer secrets behind cuisines such as Mexican, Pan-Asian and Middle Eastern. Other themes will straddle the art of high tea, gourmet picnic menus, barbeques and canapés for the festive seasons.

Peter Rowland’s “Chef’s Collective” headed up by Shane Delia will lead classes in the Master Class strand, with 12 of the city’s most in-demand culinary creatives at the helm. Participants will have the chance to learn from the likes of Delia (Maha & Rowland by Shane Delia) along with Scott Pickett (Estelle), Darren Purchese (Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio) and Benjamin Cooper (Chin Chin) providing intimate instruction to participants.

Two and a half hour classes will run five days (Tues; Thurs-Sun), three times a day, starting Thursday 13 November 2014; with four-hour Master Classes offered twice a week (Mon & Wed). The Social Kitchen will make its only Melbourne appearance at Queen Victoria Market, before moving to another location.

The Social Kitchen

Okay, competition time! Thanks to The Fisher and Paykel Social Kitchen, I have two double passes to give away (valued at $135 per person). These passes can be used for any of the regular Market Day classes until May 2015 (the passes can’t be used for the Masterclasses).

There are lots of options to choose from – perhaps you’d like to cook paella like we did, or maybe you’d prefer to cook Christmas foods, Indonesian, game meats, pasta – the list goes on, and there are both day and evening sessions.

All you need to do is comment below – I will draw two winners randomly.

Make sure you include a valid email address when you comment – it won’t be published, but I’ll use it to contact you if you win. This competition will close at midnight on Sunday 14 December and is valid for Australian residents only. Good luck!

Update: This competition is now closed.


Congratulations to Alex and Lam – please check your emails 🙂

The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen Cooking School
WHERE: Queen Victoria Market, Shed A (Peel Street end)
WHEN: Starting 13 Nov 2014 – for a 26-week season only
Classes Tues & Thurs-Sunday: 9.30am-12noon; 1pm-3.30pm; 6-8.30pm
Master Classes Mon & Wed: 9.30am-1.30pm; 6pm-10pm
COST: $135 per person / $275 for Master Classes