Love cooking and want to develop your skills further? Or perhaps you have a friend or family member who you can't drag out of the kitchen. We've found the best cookery courses around the country to suit every culinary need
Are you a foodie looking to try something new and perhaps expand your repertoire of culinary skills? Or perhaps you know someone obsessed with food that would love to train with top chefs and take their passion a step further? All over the UK, one-off cooking classes are taking place at all sorts of venues, which teach the basics of cooking and reveal chef secrets to take home to impress family and friends.
There are certain cookery techniques that are difficult to get the hang of, so if there’s something that you’ve wanted to master, be it making sushi, filleting a fish or de-boning a chicken, you’ll certainly be able to find somewhere near you that offers courses tailored to your needs.
Rick Stein’s Padstow Seafood School in Cornwall (pictured) hosts regular cookery classes in which you will learn how to cook one of his favourite recipes and key skills along the way, such as how to fillet a fish, how to clean, prepare, open and cook a variety of shellfish and de-veining prawns. There are also plenty of courses to choose from that aren’t so seafood-orientated.
You can choose between an evening, half-day, full-day or two-day course, after which you will get to enjoy the fruits of your labour with a good glass of wine, looking out at the wonderful Camel Estuary. You can also buy a friend or family member a gift card, which can be used in either the restaurant or cookery school. This makes for a really great gift as even a practised cook will learn something new – plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and spend the day in an idyllic location.
Want to learn some new cookery skills and pick up some cheffy secrets along the way, then Tante Marie Culinary Academy is the place. With a choice of one and two day courses covering specialist subjects, to a four week cookery course or a Cordon Bleu Diploma, you can choose what sort of level of instruction you’re after.
Learn to cook an Indian feast in a day for £160 (from 9.30am until 4.30pm), take a class in storecupboard cooking, master making macarons or become a star baker in a day with the ‘Continental Yeast’ cookery day. Keep your eyes peeled on their website for new classes and updates and you’ll be sure to find something you or a loved one fancies.
Dudwell Cookery School in Somerset offers cookery enthusiasts the opportunity to learn new skills and recipes from the founding principal and former managing director of Leith’s School of Food and Wine, Caroline Waldegrave OBE. The main cookery course is a week long and guests will learn how to make a soufflé, slow roast meat and a variety of desserts (among many other things!). You’ll have the chance to cook meat, fish and plenty of vegetarian dishes too so you can widen your repertoire of recipes. At £900, this option is at the top end of cookery courses, but as it’s a residential course it includes not only tuition and the food itself, but also your stay at the lovely cottage.
If you want to learn how to cook like a pro, then Le Cordon Bleu is a good place to start. This prestigious cookery school not only offers professional qualifications in gastronomy and hospitality, but it has also opened its doors to novice chefs in the form of their gourmet and short courses where you can learn specialised skills in various disciplines. They offer a range of options from 2.3 hour to 10-day courses, for beginners through to experienced cooks looking to hone their skills.
Jamie Oliver is known for creating delicious, simple-to-make recipes and now it’s easier than ever to learn how to make some of his best and most popular dishes. At Recipease, Jamie’s cookery school in Notting Hill Gate, London, courses run for 1-3 hours and cover either cookery skills, such as boning a chicken or knife skills, to making some of Jamie’s classic recipes like his fragrant Thai curry or Mexican street food.
Following the success of its first cookery school in Finchley Road, London, Waitrose has recently opened a second branch in Salisbury, where you can take a lesson on anything from learning how to make the perfect fish and chips to making afternoon tea and vegetarian cooking. These courses are designed to take the fear out of tasks such as de-boning fish and baking bread and because they cater to a wide audience, make a great gift for anyone.
Waitrose’s Magical Macaroon course is one of their most popular, in which you’ll bake and fill your own macaroons under expert guidance and with two-part group demonstrations and hands-on help. They?ll take you step-by-step through whisking a glossy Italian meringue through to making the filling from scratch. Along the way, the chefs tell you the top baking tips and tricks such as the best way to fold the delicate mixture and how to pipe the perfect shell. At the end, you can take home your masterpieces to enjoy, impressing friends and family with your newfound patisserie skills. This macaroon masterclass is the perfect course to take with a foodie friend, teen or loved one who would love to master this technical recipe. At £50, it’s a real bargain.
Choose from a huge variety courses at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School led by renowned cook Fiona Burrell, former principal at Leiths School of Food and Wine.
The prospect of gutting or filleting a fish, cleaning a squid or killing a live lobster is, quite frankly, daunting for a lot of people. Here to dispel the myth that seafood is hard work is Billingsgate Seafood School, where you can learn the skills of a pro fishmonger. A range of courses are offered, including an escorted market visit so you can witness the hustle and bustle of the market first hand (if you can hack the 6.15am meeting time), as well as plenty of skills courses of varying length.
Love sushi and want to learn how to make your own? Take a lesson from the pros at the YO! Sushi school, which has more than 40 locations across the country. Spend an evening making your own maki rolls and nigiri, as well as learning how to cook Japanese rice and cutting different types of fish. The classes are only a couple of hours long and from just £30 so they only cover the basics, but you’ll have plenty of fun.