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How do you spoil that special someone, especially if they already have everything? Nothing quite like a delicious home-cooked meal with a good lashing of love thrown in for good measure. And it doesn’t need to be on any particular day of the year either!

Led by the owner and headchef of Tillerman’s in Tea Gardens, Kerry Hodge’s ‘Romantic Ritual’ cooking class delivered an elaborate, middle-eastern inspired, three course meal in a relaxed atmosphere that felt more like a group of girlfriends cooking together at home than a professional kitchen.

On the menu, an entree of Grilled Quail with Fresh Herb Salad and Pomegranate Pearls, followed by Poached Barramundi fillet with seared scallops, apple, cashews & curry vinaigrette, and to top it off, a mouth watering Middle Eastern Inspired Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding.

With recipes in hands, the students got to work but with a twist, the recipes only included very rudimentary instructions, therefore forcing them to ask questions, submit the answers to memory, jot notes down as they went and eventually, share what they had learnt with the other teams. Seems like a pretty good way to learn!


Ras El Hanout made from scratch and fresh pomegranate pearls. ROMANTIC_RITUAL_06

A student preparing the quails. 

Grilled Quail with Fresh Herb Salad and Pomegranate Pearls: a delicious combination of warm spices and the tangy burst of the pomegranate pearls, served with a pomegranate molasses and lemon juice dressing.ROMANTIC_RITUAL_09

Kerry and a student preparing the Barramundi fillets. ROMANTIC_RITUAL_15 ROMANTIC_RITUAL_07

Preparing fish stock from Barramundi offcuts. The Barramundi fillets are then poached in the drained stocks. ROMANTIC_RITUAL_18

Searing the scallops.   ROMANTIC_RITUAL_03

Poached Barramundi fillet with seared scallops, apple, cashews & curry vinaigrette.ROMANTIC_RITUAL_10

Croissants: the main ingredient for the bread & butter pudding. If croissants are unavailable, then brioche, panettone or good quality bread with added butter can all be substituted. 

First the shredded croissants are covered in a warm cream and melted chocolate mixture, and then topped with slivered almonds and chopped turkish delight.

Middle Eastern Inspired Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding served with whipped cream and rose petals. One word: YUM!


Make a large batch and use on lamb, roast vegetables, chicken or haloumi. Store in an airtight container or give it to friends as a gift!

  • 6 Cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Dry roast and grind in pepper mill or mortar & pestle, then add to remaining ingredients

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

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