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Cookery Course News

Don’t lose your head at this Paris cookery course

Today, we’re off around the world again with our cookery course offering; nowhere as exotic as the Blue Elephant in Thailand or as far off to discover our own heritage as Ontario. Instead, we look at a romantic cookery class for two, staged where passion beats strongest, in the heart of Paris.

And if booking a cookery course for two isn’t sweet enough a treat, then the sugar levels will genuinely rise when you tuck into your creations as this particular lesson in gourmet is all about desserts.

No nation quite does pastries like the French and what better place to learn this particular aspect of baking than at the Just Desserts cookery class under the expert tutelage of the company’s own gourmet chefs in their native home town. Drawing upon local recipes, traditional fare of every French menu since well before Marie Antoinette infamously advised the peasants to eat cake when the bread ran out prior to the French Revolution, the chefs will learn you to cook desserts like no one else, no matter what your existing level of culinary expertise.

The cookery course is designed to be fun, although the state of the art kitchens in which you’ll be taking the class will bring out the very best from that latent chef, lying dormant, just waiting to burst forth on such an impressive stage. Even the names of two of the desserts, Galettes des Rois et layered chocolat praline avec parfait cashew, will ignite the spark of culinary excellence that you are guaranteed to achieve under the gourmet’s watchful attendance.

And it doesn’t end there! Following your punt at pudding prowess, carrying on la chocolat theme, there is a hour and a half traverse across the French capital to take in visits to la chocolatier of your choosing or, if you’re mindful of too much cocoa finding its way to your hips, divert to la Boutique Macaron, instead.

The cookery classes cater for five year olds upwards and can hold up to a maximum of sixty budding chefs at a time, but the trip afterwards is all about the two of you and bookable for a maximum of two persons at a time. You will be picked up and returned to Metro Cadet (ligne 7) and there are choices of dates all through the year.

Full details are on the getawayguides.com website, including prices, available timetables and a map of Paris so that you can plan your stay around this fabulous trip of a lifetime cookery course.

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Cookery Courses News

Ontario cookery school fan club for the Great British menu

In recent times, it seems that all we Brits have wanted to do is to learn to cook like another nations. Whether it be picking up renowned cookery tips from our near neighbours in France, Italy or Spain or traversing all the way around the world to learn to cook Asian food, from Sushi to Tandoori or Thai to Malaysian – anything, it seems, to escape our own unpalatable fare.

Unless, that is, we travel out into Green Belt land, where there are cooking courses a-plenty delving back to our culinary roots, foraging for vegetables, herbs and spices, poaching game from the manor estate land or, as is the en vogue menu, sourcing locally-grown ingredients. Good luck if you live on The Thames (jellied eels is definitely a southern delicacy).

However, we may have been doing ourselves an injustice; it seems that there is an appreciation society for the Great British menu beyond our shores, after all. The Waring House Cookery School (alright, you have to go to Picton, Ontario to find this cookery course) are holding a Modern British cooking class this coming Sunday in the second of their Around the World series. Yep, it’s true. For a mere snip at $80, there are three whole hours dedicated to the resurgence of the Great British menu. It will look at our classics and the influences from Italy and India that dominate our restaurants our take-away outlets (just look to your letterbox for verification of that statement).

It seems a bit of a hike for anyone from the UK to go, but there is the Waring House Inn available for an overnight stay, located in Prince Edward County central, if one cares to uphold their patronage and pop along. And although it is part of the ongoing global cookery course running by the school, it is a stand-alone cooking class in its own rite, so if you’ve missed part one, it doesn’t inhibit you from attending this lesson in the best of British cuisine.

The UK menu aside, The Waring House Cookery School certainly emphasises fun to run alongside it cookery classes, which run practically every Thursday and Sunday, keeping the Ontario masses on their culinary toes. And I mean that – if there was anywhere in the world that has encompassed the Internet, it is this Canadian state – I defy anyone to browse the web and not bump into someone from Ontario!

I was going to stick an additional note about appropriate food to suggest, but Wikipedia have a great article on British Cuisine which wraps it up in a nutshell. No mention of The Black Country classics ‘gray pays wi’ ber-kun bits’ or ‘faggits n mushy pays’ – wonder why…?

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Cookery Courses News

Thermomix cookery demo at Middleton Cheney

The Thermomix is just one of those cook at home products that you buy with the greatest intentions of using week in, week out, but inevitably ends up in its box in a cupboard until you feel the need to impress upon someone the fact that

1. you own one, and

2. you know how to use it.

Contrary to this belief, those who have learnt to cook using this machine swear by it and those who don’t prefer it where it is, skulking next to the vegetable microwave steamer underneath your worktop.

But fear not, you would-be Thermomix magicians – a cookery course is on the horizon that will have you whipping out your wand at the drop of a witches hat to amaze, astound and impress your friends. And what’s more, it can actually make your life easier and healthier, too.

At the Pudding Pie cookery school on Weds 28th March there is a FREE demonstration of what the Thermomix can do for you in your kitchen, whilst freeing your time to get on with your life. The cookery course begins at 6.30pm on the dot and runs until 9pm, with free parking and refreshments laid on, to boot.

There is, if you’re either shy or want to take your cooking to the next level with this appliance, a chance to book a private cookery class behind closed doors and away from prying eyes. Don’t want the competition or guests to know your secret, right? You can book the private cookery class on site.

But that’s not all the Pudding Pie cookery school is all about, no!

In the late eighties and nineties we saw the popularity of outdoor pursuits for the purpose of corporate team building eclipse all other manner of company strategy for encouraging communication between staff on similar levels across an organisation.

Whether it’s health and safety or people just don’t want to give up their weekend for three days of getting stomped on and covered in mud in a valley in South Wales, who knows, but cookery courses seem to be the en vogue method adopted by management strategists to break down inter-company barriers, replacing rope bridges and DIY role-play stretchers (yep, been there!). At Pudding Pie Cookery School they have a whole host of flexible cooking classes that the employee with the (somewhat dubious) responsibility of organising the next corporate event can tailor to bring their colleagues together.

From Team Building events to simply hosting a meeting room with accompanying buffet, the culinary experts can accommodate your corporate requirement.

These are simply two niches that the Pudding Pie Cookery School cater for – there are many more on their site, from chalet maid classes, to hosting parties for the gent about to tie the knot with a Bachelor/Stag Cookery party – let’s hope the two don’t fall on the same evening; could get messy! – and the more standard fare of classes and demos you’d expect when enrolling on a cookery course.

There are still spaces available for the Thermomix cooking class, which you can book on site; the location is the Pudding Pie Cookery School in Middleton Cheney.

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Cookery Course News

Oxford students to teach elderly healthy cooking on a budget

Two Oxford Brookes University students are turning their hands to helping elderly residents of one Oxford estate learn to cook nutritious food on a budget following a similar class they held recently for moms and children to achieve the same with resounding success.

The cookery classes will be held once a week for the pensioners who are not only stuck for ideas due to lack of local choice but are feeling the pinch in their purses for the exact same reason.

Monika Kozlak and Julie Hayes, studying nutrition and business at the local university, are not just putting together a cookery course that their curriculum dictates they ought, either. Their cookery class has a real community spirit feel to it.

Once a week the elderly residents of Alice and Margaret House hold a coffee morning. Next Tuesday, 28th Feb, the two students will pop along to discuss the residents likes and dislikes in order to put together the cookery course on a shoestring as many locals are extremely concerned that their pensions, given the adversity they face to get to a supermarket of any renown, do not stretch to a healthy budget.

Cooking healthily is not so easy on a budget

This scenario is so prevalent that the Rose Hill residents, the estate in question, recently rallied around for one senior couple to aid their application for debt relief after they ran up bills of £8,000.

A local Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre spokeswoman, Carol Roberts, echoed the pensioners’ plight, underlining how tempting it is for them to nip to the shops to get out once a day with the adverse affect of impinging upon their budgets.

This way of thinking is one of the aspects Julia and Monika hope to change, encouraging a bulk-food shop rather than fresh produce bought daily. To run alongside that is the cookery course; many of the widowers have not truly grasped the concept of cooking at all, let alone on a budget, since their wives have passed away.

Details have yet to be finalised and will hopefully be concluded following next week’s tête-à-tête with the residents. If things go to plan, the communal kitchens will be the venue for the cookery classes at the nearby Desborough Crescent sheltered accommodation flats. Sainsburys will provide the ingredients from its local Heyford Hill store, although, long-term you’d maybe proffer  cheaper alternatives, if they’re truly serious about saving, drawing upon other chains’ value/store brands to fill their larders and pantries.

If you want to see the type of things the girls will be considering for the cookery courses, they’re holding a demo tomorrow (Fri 24th) at The Oval, courtesy of The Health Bus.

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Cookery Course News

Whitbread academies to bring hospitality to the fore

With one eye on the Jubilee, another on the Olympics and a spare pair looking directly into the future, Whitbread have had the foresight to ramp up the skills of their 35,000 chefs and front of house staff in anticipation of 11 million punters walking through its doors, this year.

In order to cope with the expected increase in demand, the hotelier and restrauteur has invested more than £1M in launching three Food and Beverage Skills Academies across the country. Focused on ensuring that its entire staff has the training and knowledge to serve the millions of visitors to our shores this year the academies will serve an even greater purpose for the chain once autumn rolls around and all of the parties and closing ceremonies are over.

The Whitbread schools, located in Hockley Heath, Manchester and Swindon, will provide cookery courses that take the staff lucky enough to take part through every aspect of putting a meal in fornt of a customer; starting with the way the food is produced, sourced and store in a manner befitting to their industry.

The comprehensive modules will then move onto food preparation and learning the restaurant and kitchen managers to cook the various foods on the menus that are standard fare across the brand’s chain.

The specialist training and development program then completes the lessons in cuisine by teaching the chefs excellence and execution in meal presentation and the levels of service customers from around the globe have come to expect in their homelands. Not to suggest that, as a rule, the level of customer service in the UK is in any way below par compared to somewhere like Australia or America, you understand. But the role of hospitality is somewhat looked down upon here, whereas it is the stepping stone to prominent careers elsewhere in the world.

It is Whitbread’s hope that this perception can change with this complete cookery course, accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the training facility surrounding it. Rather than hospitality be a job that people turn to when they have exhausted all other options, they want young people to see that it’s a viable career opportunity from the outset. Recent figures suggest that they are well on the way to doing just that, using customer feedback to drive their future plans.

This time last year, in their ranks Whitbread boasted 2,000 trained chefs, kitchen and restaurant managers. By the time we hit 2012, a further 7,500 staff had come through the ranks and been trained to the exacting standards. With the investment in the academies, the effort put into the specialist cookery courses and growth through promotion and intense inhouse training, they have high hopes 2012 will prove even better.

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Cookery Courses London News

Cookery courses in London – for your scrumptious pumpkins

There is never a better age to learn to cook in a safe, professional environment than when your brain is more receptive to new ideas in your formative years. And Scrumptious Pumpkin know exactly that, a cookery school for children based in Woodford Green, London.

The cookery courses are run by two mums eminently qualified to teach children, from pre-schoolers to 16 year olds, a little bit about what they’ve picked up in the kitchen, as well as the values of working in teams in an environment outside the classroom, somewhere Janet would know all about from her background as a secondary school teacher.

With Melissa, a marketeer from The Smoke itself, they put together weekend and a dedicated schedule of cookery classes after school for the budding young chefs and chefesses to add to their extra curricular activity list.

The next ‘blocks’ of after-school, Monday advanced cookery courses are about to kick off, predominantly for secondary school pupils, with a five-week series of classes for 8-14 year olds running from next Monday, 27th Feb through March up to Monday 26th, inclusive. Class times 4.15 – 6.00pm.

The girls then have a well-earned half-hour break until the 14-16 year olds take over between 6.30 – 7.30, that’s for a six-week stint, starting tonight (20th Feb), again concluding on 26th March. Block-booking prices are £100 for the 8-14 year old five-week cooking course and £90 for the six-week 14-16 year band’s lessons in the art of cuisine.

The 4.15 spot is taken over tonight, Monday 20th Feb, by a spot encompassing both sets of secondary school pupils who can attend a pancake cooking class special where, for £20, attendees learn not just how to make the perfect pancake but also a whole host of scrummy fillings to go with. And what’s best, you get to eat everything you prepare, cook and toss!

If tonight’s a bit short notice, why not save yourself for one of the Mother’s Day special cookery classes? On Saturday 17th March (Happy St. Pat’s!), the girls are putting on three two-hour stints for a wide-ranging group of pupils looking to give their mom a break on Mothering Sunday.

The classes are open to 4yrs-teenagers and dads are especially invited for this advance-booking only lesson, too. For £40, one adult and one child can learn to cook a veritable treat of a menu to give mom a break when the big day comes. The three separate classes kick off at 9.45, 12.45 and 3.45, each for two hours, giving Janet and Melissa just about time to do the washing up in between!

With plenty more cookery courses for the eager young chef, find a time to suit your budding Jamie or Nigella at Scrumptious Pumpkin.

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Cookery Course News

Vegetarian cookery courses as part of a weight loss diet

What is it about Irish cookery courses that, instead of just learning the wannabe chef how to cook, they always add a little something extra to incentivise its pupils to actually use the skills they learn when they get home. Or even in business, as our review of Donnybrook Fair opined you may, last week.

Wholeffoodmatters.com is another weblog that, as well as offering a whole host of vegetarian cookery courses on a regular basis has factored in a special ingredient so that you not only want to practise what you’ve learnt when you get home to impress your friends, family and colleagues but also means that you’re getting a lot more value from your cookery class than just learning to prepare, cook and serve the menu.

Instead of just presenting a timetable of events, menu and pricelist, this Galway cookery school factors in how you can build their menus into a weight loss diet, with nods of acknowledgement to the master class from which they have taken a slice of inspiration. But more than that, the whole ingredients utilised in the variety of vegetarian offerings provide the body with much greater benefits, such as balancing blood sugars and lowering blood pressure, as well as giving a helping hand to help reduce cholesterol levels for a healthier lifestyle, overall.

As you would expect from a vegetarian cookery course, there is a heavy leaning on pulses, other vegetables, fruit and nuts, seeds and rice to deliver an all-round balanced diet. Not only from main courses, but you will also learn to cook starters, desserts and sides to offer a complete meat-free meal.

The next cookery course (after today’s) is on Saturday, March 3rd at a very reasonable €40, €20 of which will be required as a deposit when booking online.

There is no danger of being lost in the crowd, either, as cooking classes have a maximum of twelve chefs-in-the-making and will be guaranteed when the size of online enrolments reaches eight (your €20 deposit will be returned if the minimum class size fails to materialise).

In the next class in Moycullen a week on Saturday, there will be a grand selection of delights on the menu, such as berry smoothies, muffins, pâté and croutons, stew, salad, dressing and shepherd’s pie all prepared, cooked and served in a meat-free zone. As a rule, there will be a demonstration by Liz first, then it will be your turn to get stuck in.

If this is not for you, but you know someone who’d just adore to learn to cook vegetarian you can buy the €40 voucher online as a gift for, I don’t know, perhaps mother’s day? As long as your ma doesn’t take it the wrong way, of course! All details on their site.

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Cookery Courses News

How to use what you learn at cookery courses

A question many people ask when, having recognised they have a flair in the kitchen for one style of cuisine or another and are looking to extend or certify this talent by taking a cookery course, is: what use can I put that knowledge and experience to?

Sure, it’s great cooking for dinner parties or serving up a treat for your partner and receiving the plaudits, but don’t you ever think that there could be financial gain from this culinary prowess?

Starting up a food business is a big step. Sure, eating will never be short of a market, but there are so many others in the niche that potential chefs and/or entrepreneurs may be put off by the competition. You can go on all the cookery courses you like, excelling in every discipline, but why isn’t there a course out there that combines learning to cook and how to turn that into a successful business, all in one?

Well, now there is, tucked away in The Emerald Isle in Donnybrook, Dublin. Over the first two Saturdays in March, they’re putting on a two-part cookery course with a difference, where the emphasis is not so much on the food itself, rather the food for thought that so many start-ups don’t consider enough before rushing to open their doors to the public and subsequently rarely see their first anniversary.

The Cookery School at Donnybrook Fair is not, as such, a business school by any stretch of the imagination. At its core lies a healthy breadth of cookery courses from historic and native Ireland itself, stretching across the globe. As well as offering a taste for every occasion, its cookery courses are an occasion for every taste, as their classes cater for seasoned chefs and beginners, families and children, spots specifically tailored for teens, private lessons for corporate days out and even cookery courses for men. Have they left anyone out?

Their schedule is cram packed with specialist disciplines, with cooking classes almost every day of the week, except Sunday. Many are taught by the cookery school’s professional chefs and tutors but their is a healthy spattering of guest celebrity chef appearances throughout the year, too. In March alone, Audrey Gargan is sharing her sushi expertise (7th) and Elizabeth Carty, author of ‘Shrewd Food’, follows the success of her January ‘Health and Wealth’ cookery class with a new instalment going by the same name as her successful book (27th). And no menu would be complete without cheese and wine, which Elisabeth Ryan brings us a taste of on the 28th.

In between the star spots, there are classes a-plenty covering everything from cooking bread to matching your vino with your platter. All are very reasonably priced; a full schedule can be downloaded from the home page of their site: www.donnybrookfair.ie. Sláinte!

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Cookery Class News

Oar-some night of cooking at Hedsor House, for charidy, mate

A live cookery lesson in aid of charity – namely sports relief – will be held over the weekend at Hedsor House in the style of a cook-off between two teams of three from the Olympic kayak and rowing teams.

The £50/head black-tie do, will be held just three miles from Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire, where the Olympians and Paralympians will choose very different weapons than those you can find in the kitchen to do battle against the world’s best in just a few months time as they take to the water to represent their country at The Games themselves.

However, for the evening in question, the athletes are taking a night off from training to show off their culinary prowess in what’s hoped will be a sell-out gig. The seating arrangements can be booked individually or for a corporate night out of fine dining in larger groups. All tickets are bookable online and if you have a PayPal account, all the better, as this is the preferred choice of payment method for the live cookery demonstration one-of-a-kind culinary showcase.

For your £50 – very reasonable indeed, considering it’s in the name of charity – you are greeted with a glass of champagne (donated by Bibendum Wine, official champagne supplier to The Olympics) or a soft drink with canapés, before going through to take your seat in anticipation of the three-course meal served up by the (albeit temporary) celebrity chefs.

For those of you who have reservations on your palette’s behalf, fear not. All of the cooking will be undertaken under the supervision of award winning chef Melissa Webb – it not certain that she’s given any lessons or a crash cooking course to either of the two teams, but we’re certain she will laud their efforts at the end of the evening as both sets of three course meals are put to the sword by panels of judges – that’s everyone who’s stumped up the fifty numps and braved the cooking – to see which team is crowned the inaugural champions of Hedsor’s Kitchen.

Two members of each team have been named so far; for the rowers, Natasha Page and Mark Hunter have been pencilled in already. And for the kayakers, Jon Boyton and Andrew Daniels are staking their reputations to prepare the best oars d’oeuvres on the night.

All are champions and medallists in their own rite, and we here at cookerycourses.co.uk reckon the secret weapons for the third man in each team could come from any of the three 80’s gold and silver medallist middle distance runners, namely Lord Seb Roe (or Row, I suppose), Steve Omelette or Steve Scram .

Whatever the final line-up, for those who attend there will be the opportunity, once all the pots and pans are scrubbed and podium celebrations are done with, to meet the athletes involved in the cooking challenge, plus any others who may also tag along to show their support.

It’s £50, all profits go to the Sports Relief charity and you get a three course meal and bubbly in beautiful settings – what more could you ask for?

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Cookery Courses London News

Telegraph cooking course in London – £36! But be quick.

Have you ever wanted to sample a cookery course but never quite been able to justify the sometimes eye-watering prices for an art you may be a total failure at? Well now you can get a whopping 54% off an evening cookery class in conjunction with the Open Kitchen and The Telegraph at Hoxton, in London – making this an ideal sampler for those exotic tastes you thought learning to cook would be forever beyond your budget.

However, you’ll have to act quickly for this one-time only offer from the newspaper; although the class-dates run from February 16th right up until mid-May, the special price is only available for a very limited time and subject to demand.

If you’ve ever wondered just what Irie Caribbean’s all about, or how the Japanese and Thai peoples get their foods so fresh-tasting or you just wanted to be reminded of those lazy days spent around The Med or far-flung adventures in South Africa by the food you prepare, you can choose from anyone of those native menus at this part demo/part hands-on two-hour introduction cookery school.

Not only will you have the benefit of the experience of one of the Open Kitchen’s skilled, professional chefs as an endearing memory of the evening, but you can also keep the apron with which you’ll be provided as well as the recipe card for your chosen cookery class .

The classes, run at the Open Kitchen, 40 Hoxton Street, London, are not aimed at any particular level of culinary expertise, but suitable for all. Yes, they are meant to be informative, but there is also a big dollop of fun involved, too.

The welcome pack you receive on arrival contains all of the evenings ingredients, the afore-mentioned apron and a complete itinerary of what the cooking course entails. It kicks off dead on 7pm, but you are welcome to arrive early for a local beer or English wine.  The focus, as with The Great British Menu with which you may have already associated the ‘Open Kitchen’ name, is proud of locally foraged ingredients and likes to uphold the traditions from the days when Britannia ruled the kitchen!

During the two hour stint, you will learn to prepare your two-course meal in the chosen discipline, watch the professional chef do it properly and then it’s your turn to follow in their footsteps whilst at your very own work station. From Japanese teriyaki to a cookery lesson in Thai vegetables, herbs and spices, from a complete cruise around all-ports in The Med to the other end of Africa with an Angolan treat or a Caribbean Jerk special, the cookery courses really do take you on a trip around the world’s taste buds.

There is a bit of fine print to read as well as details and timetables of cooking courses and how you book and claim your ticket, as well as a little more about the Open Kitchen, whose site you will need to visit to finalise your booking. To get this information on the Telegraph’s pages, click here […] – enjoy!