ON SHOW: Lockyer Valley food ambassador and celebrity-chef Alistair McLeod said Lockyer Valley produce was a joy to work with.
ON SHOW: Lockyer Valley food ambassador and celebrity-chef Alistair McLeod said Lockyer Valley produce was a joy to work with. Dominic Elsome

A culinary adventure in Plainland

MUCH-loved celebrity chef and Lockyer Valley Food Ambassador Alastair McLeod took a lucky group of locals on a culinary adventure.

The second Lockyer Valley Cooking School was held at Faith Lutheran College Plainland on Sunday with 20 participants snapping up all available spots.

The eager students had the opportunity to learn from the talented chef, and work with produce sourced from around the Lockyer Valley region.

After a morning of hard work in the kitchen, the cooks were able to sample the fruits of their labour at a sit-down lunch with Mr McLeod and local producers.

On the menu was sweetcorn and chicken soup, followed by flame-grilled flat iron beef chimichurri with honey-glazed pumpkin, and whole roasted cauliflower with a mustard and caper dressing.

Mr McLeod said living so close to the Lockyer Valley and its produce was like being a kid in a lolly shop.

"I feel very fortunate that I live within an hour of an area that produces up to 90 per cent of the country's winter vegetables,” Mr McLeod said.

"I'm just lucky that this is where I live, and I love it.”

It wasn't just the participants that learned a lot on the day, with Faith hospitality students working as part of the prep-team and as servers, gaining experience in a commercial kitchen setting.

Student Zeden Fitzsimmons said the day had been a great experience.

"It's a bit of a learning curve of what its like working in the kitchen with a real chef, its different to how it usually is just in the hospitality class,” he said.

"You definitely feel under the pressure in the kitchen when there's all these deadlines to hit.”

Faith's curriculum leader for hospitality, home-economics and childcare Kim Roberts said it was a fabulous opportunity for the students to gain real world knowledge.

"The students pick up a whole new respect for what it's actually like, and then Alistair can actually give kids tips on what it is like in the industry and real life perspective.”

And as a final tip from the chef for home cooks, Mr McLeod said the secret to good food was simplicity.

"It's not really the skill of the cook, it's the proximity from where I'm cooking it to where I've sourced it from, and its doing as little as possible to it - that is the key to good cooking.”

Check out some highlights from the event:

Alistair McLeod Cooking Class:
Alistair McLeod Cooking Class: