The year was 1980, and the place was Malvern Road, Prahran, Melbourne. Downstairs was a dry cleaners, and upstairs was an early incarnation of the now famous Gopal’s Vegetarian Restaurant.
The manager at the time, Brihaspati, pulled me aside one day and suggested we should run some cookery classes, since my daily cooking was eliciting very favourable comments. Some of the guests had even asked for the recipes, he said. At this time I had not written any cookbooks, nor had I ever put on anything that vaguely resembled a cooking class.
I was horrified with the suggestion. Me? In front of a crowd. I was petrified; Public speaking was not my forte. But Brihaspati kept nagging me about it. The clincher was this: he suggested we call the classes ‘Cooking with Kurma’. It sounded appealing…
Not long after, the posters went up, the enrolments rolled in, and we held our first 6-week demonstration course, on a wednesday evening. 80 people were booked; it was a grand success.
We held many many more courses at all the different Gopals addresses since then – Flinders Lane, Elizabeth Street, and finally the current venue, 139 Swanston, opposite the Town Hall. I wrote books, did my TV shows, and hit the road. The rest is history.
In celebration of those heady years, I’m returning to Gopals for more classes. The first of these all-inclusive hands-on cookery workshops, concluding with a grand feast, will be held on Sunday 12 October. For bookings call 03 8555 0361.
Posted by Kurma on 10/7/08; 11:45:18 AM