Diva does… Christmas Masterclass at The Atrium

Atrium Chef Neil Forbes is the kind of man who knows his way around a turkey. He’s the kind of man who gets excited about making bacon. He’s the kind of man who ‘gets on well with’ sprouts. He’s absolutely crazy about food. Some might say he’s absolutely crazy fullstop. He’s the kind of man I like.

Earlier in the year I was wowed by his Seafood Masterclass and Feathered Friends Masterclass so it was with much excitement that I went along to the Christmas Masterclass at The Atrium with 5 friends at the beginning of December.

Lunch menu

The sessions begin with a one hour masterclass of demonstrations, tips and tricks from Neil with a few tastings along the way, followed by a delicious two-course lunch. It’s fabulous value at just £24.

Neil started off with a huge turkey. Before we knew it both legs were off and one had been boned stuffed, rolled and beautifully tied up with string. This is a lovely a joint for 4 people and “something you could do at home”. I think Neil overestimates my culinary prowess and the sharpness of my knives. I like my fingers and wish to remain attached to them. 


The boning might be beyond me but the stuffing is something I will try. It smelled and tasted wonderful. A lovely mix of: sausage meat, shallots, sage, rapeseed oil, chestnuts, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.

Turkey joint

All tied up in very quick fashion

And I liked his idea of rubbing a mix of cloves, mixed spices and orange zest under the skin of the crown. Simple shortcuts to uber-deliciousness.

Bread sauce seemed to get people very excited. Whenever Neil mentioned bread sauce there was much ooooohing aaaaahing and mmmmming from the audience. I must admit bread sauce just doesn’t do it for me. Neil demonstrated how simple it is to make with bread and milk. The secret is an onion cloute (an onion pinned to a bay leaf with cloves) which adds flavour to the sauce.

Neil then said he was going to make sprouts fun. I was sceptical but with bacon and chestnut they were certainly a lot more interesting and tasted divine.

It was the bacon that got my pulse racing. It apparently also gets Neil’s blood pumping too because he talked for some while about how at Atrium they make their own bacons and hams. It was fascinating. I got lost somewhere around the third day of rubbing salt into the pork. Of course ladies and gentlemen this is “something you can do at home”.  If you happen to be married to Neil.

Neil Forbes

Neil Forbes getting very excited about bacon

Neil made a wonderful Christmas pudding and although I’m don’t do Christmas pudding I did appreciate the comforting Christmasy aromas. And if Christmas pud is your thing it looked simple to make. The recipe is in the Foodies Christmas magazine which you can pick up around Edinburgh. Blue Restaurant and The Atrium have copies.

Christmas pudding ingredients

Christmas pudding in the making

Christmas pudding

Less than 5 minutes later Christmas pud steaming. Gorgeous Christmasy aromas

We had a delicious roast turkey lunch (sorry no picture) followed by Christmas pudding.

Christmas pudding

The Fabulous Mr Forbes was a hit again!
If you haven’t been to The Atrium yet you really should. Fresh local produce prepared with passion and attention. Beautiful.

10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
0131 228 8882
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3 responses to “Diva does… Christmas Masterclass at The Atrium

  1. I don’t really do bread sauce either. My family makes it every year; my older sister and dad love it. Made it with a whole onion poked with cloves and a bay leaf. It just never did for me. But cranberry sauce does!
    I love Christmas pudding. I’ve made my own and am taking a couple over to the family with me this year.

  2. Ah well Fenella you’ll have to try Mr Forbes bread sauce. Two of us were ‘turned’. yes we are now officially bread sauce likers.
    But cranberry sauce would always beat bread for me. I like it fruity!
    Have a fabulous Christmas and enjoy the wedding (and the Christmas pud!).

  3. Pingback: WIN Tickets to Festive Foodies Paradise at Foodies Festival Christmas | Sunday Brunch Club Blog

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