in Cooking, Hackney, Masterchef, Social Enterprise, The Amazings

The Amazing Jimmy

Jimmy contemplating the next hors d’oeuvre

As some of you may know, I am currently supporting The Amazings, a new social enterprise based in East London that helps people who are about to retire or have retired create amazing experiences with the skills, knowledge and passion they’ve picked up throughout their life.

It was thanks to this connection that last week I had the pleasure to attend an experience delivered by Jimmy, a rising star of The Amazings and all-round nice bloke. Jimmy showed me and the others who attended the session how to prepare a range of classic hors d’oeuvres. Suffice to say, after my evening in the company of Jimmy, dinner parties at my flat will never be the same again. I’d now like to tell you a little bit more about my experience.

My first impressions of the evening were very positive. I was greeted at Hackney Community College and brought up to a well-equipped professional kitchen where the culinary magic would be made. Jimmy was a fine host, immediately putting me and the others at ease with some friendly chat, stories from his youth and and the odd glass of wine or two.

Jimmy’s carefully prepared hors d’oeuvres menu

Once we were suitably refreshed, Jimmy presented us with a hand-written menu he had carefully prepared. We then worked through a series of classic hors d’oeuvres, each course slightly more challenging than the last. Each course followed the same pattern: Jimmy would demo a dish, making it look easy; we would then try to replicate his approach with our own efforts, with varying degrees of success. Despite not being the most confident of cooks, I found that with Jimmy’s support I was pleasantly surprised with the dishes I produced.

Here’s one of Jimmy’s hors d’oeuvres
And here’s one of my efforts …

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet Jimmy and prepare lots of tasty food. If I were to make a couple of suggestions for how the experience could be improved, I would suggest the inclusion of one or two contemporary hors d’oeuvres so that we can impress even our Masterchef-watching friends. More importantly, though, I would ask that The Amazings remind people to bring a lunchbox so that they can more easily bring back their tasty treats on public transport. Balancing all those plates of food wasn’t easy but I managed it!

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