Sauce by The Langham: learn to cook with the pros

Sauce by The Langham: learn to cook with the pros

by Great British Chefs 03 February 2020

Michel Roux Jr’s brand new cookery school in The Langham Hotel in London lets you learn knife skills and essential techniques with professional chefs, including Michel himself. We jumped into a pasta class to see what the new kid on the block has to offer.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

The joy of cooking, for many of us, lies in the discovery of new things. A new ingredient used by a friend, an unknown brand discovered on the shelves of the local supermarket, or sometimes, a new skill added to one's arsenal. Picking up a new technique in the kitchen is one of the most satisfying, rewarding things for any cook – it opens doors to new possibilities that once seemed unlikely and distant. There are plenty of things you can teach yourself when it comes to cooking, but if you care about doing things well there’s no replacement for the advice of a chef – there’s a whole world of trade secrets that can make you a better cook at home.

There are a number of places you can go to upgrade your cookery skills in London but none quite as impressive as Sauce by The Langham. The hotel itself is one of London’s finest – The Langham was Europe’s very first ‘Grand Hotel’ when it opened in 1865 and it remains one of the capital’s most prestigious addresses. Nestled within its walls is a brand new cookery school, Sauce, which offers classes on a wide range of cookery topics, from basic knife skills to the intricacies of pastry or pasta, taught by a range of outstanding chefs.

Sauce by The Langham is fast establishing itself as an essential destination for those who want to up their kitchen game. Michel Roux Jr himself – chef at Le Gavroche and overseeing the menu at the nearby Roux at The Landau – hosts a day-long class where he guides you through the preparation of a three-course meal, for example, and other classes are held by the likes of Langham, London’s executive chef Chris King, Sauce kitchen manager Millie Simpson and The Langham’s executive pastry chef Andrew Gravett.

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Classes are held for up to twelve people in Sauce's state-of-the-art kitchen
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Over the course of a few hours, you'll learn to make restaurant-quality pasta from start to finish

So often with cookery the devil is in the detail, and detail is what you get at Sauce. We joined Millie for her pasta class at the school and gained invaluable detail about the art of making really great pasta. Pasta is not just about bringing together ingredients, making them into a dough then rolling it out. Kneading your dough until it is smooth and elastic is important because it gives your end result that perfect bite. Resting the dough allows you to roll the pasta out smoothly, otherwise it’ll be tough and crumbly. Then there’s the folding stage, which is absolutely vital; before you roll your pasta really thin, keep rolling and folding the dough like you would with puff pastry to create multiple layers – this makes the pasta incredibly strong and elastic, which makes it much easier to work with. These are the tiny details that separate restaurant-quality pasta from what you would normally make at home or buy in the shops.

Once you’ve made a few bundles of pasta and prepared some suitable sauces, you’ll get a chance to tackle some filled pasta. There’s a great amount to be said for learning by doing when it comes to making ravioli, tortellini and the like. Learning to make agnolotti based on text instructions alone can be tricky, but when shown the technique by Millie, it becomes a much simpler proposition, resulting in beautifully neat pasta parcels.

The school itself is homely, a combination of rustic furnishing and immaculate equipment that makes you feel as though you’re in the middle of a high-end food magazine photoshoot – no less than you’d expect from a hotel with The Langham’s reputation. Arrive for your class and you’ll be taken through into a beautiful breakfast room complete with a fantastic spread of juices, coffee and pastries to meet the rest of your classmates – the same room where you’ll enjoy all the food you’ve cooked after your class.

It’s a fantastic experience from start to finish, perfect for beginner chefs or more experienced cooks who are looking to add strings to their bows. With new classes and guest chefs joining the brigade for one-time-only classes (TV chef and author Ching He Huang, for example, will be hosting a Chinese cookery class), Sauce by The Langham is fast establishing itself as an essential destination for those who want to up their kitchen game.