Cookery Courses News

Low GL diet will leave you feeling Grrreat about yourself

It’s no use denying it, we all like to get our money’s worth. When cookery courses deliver both inspiration in the kitchen and also give you a metaphorical package that you can take away to deliver a healthier lifestyle, then they’ve ticked all of the ‘value’ boxes in one hit.

Whether you agree with a vegetarian lifestyle or not (thought I’d better redress the balance after the Meat Advisory Panel last week), there are evidential benefits that you can take from the plethora of plant-like ingredients that other menus don’t offer.

Whole Food Matters is running a four week cookery course at the end of the end of September that will not only show you how to get the greatest gratification from your greens, but will also garner a growth in your gift for grasping a gregarious side of your nature to spread the word beyond the granite work surface of your kitchen so others can grasp the gravitas of the grandiose goal of the course. G-g-g-grrr, I’m gobsmackingly great today!

From High Volume G’s and Gr’s to Low GL, the premise behind this series of cookery classes.

Many people turn to vegetarianism as a way to lose weight, cutting out all of the natural fats that can be found in meats believing that they’re all harmful. There’s a tome I could right on how wrong that is, but that’s the media for you (and, before you start writing in, I do mean ‘right’, not ‘write’ – bless).

The issue a lot of people have with being overweight is admitting it, first to themselves then acting upon it in socially – it’s sort of like a public admission, saying ‘hey, look, I know I’m fat, right?’ But that is the first milestone if you’re going to do anything to actively reduce the excess poundage. That’s what this course is about.

Without giving too much away, WFM is supplementing the vegetarian cookery course itself with diaries and recipes as well as offering a weigh-in every week.

Taking into account your BMI and the readout your existing body-make up gives you, you can then implement the Low GL diet in a way to shed the pounds over the four-week period and beyond.  And this really is where WMF has gone a step further, identified the key issues associated with other cookery courses to help lose weight and where they may have failed and done something about it.

Firstly, the price of the whole four-week course is at a cost – no, I’d say an investment in yourself – that I’ve seen single classes go for, especially in The Smoke. But after the first four weeks, for a nominal fee, you can extend the session in weekly, biweekly or monthly drop-ins to get an update and check your progress either at Health & Herbs and/or Moycullen, where there will be encouragement and a tad more advice to keep you on track for your weightloss goals.

So, if you’re up and around Galway, intrigued with herb-ilicious cookery, Low GL diets and perhaps looking to shed a few pounds, Liz and the gang can sure accommodate you this September.

Cookery Courses News

A different type of degree set to hit ovens in Cambridge

It’s every parent’s nightmare – little Johnny or Susannah have passed their A-Levels, been accepted at University (somewhere on the other side of the country) and are packing their bags to set off on life’s journey for real.

The only thing is, the greatest thing they’ve achieved to date in the kitchen is to burn the baked beans to the bottom of the saucepan, boil the kettle without putting water in scorching the element, and burnt the fish fingers to matchsticks as they returned to play their Xbox. Okay, they have somehow become dab-hands at cheesy chips with mayo, but that’s the exception that proves the rule. Other than that, you can’t help but ask how on earth they’re going to get on feeding themselves at University.

However, if your child is lucky enough to have got into one of the colleges at Cambridge, they may not fair as poorly as you think. A local pub has decided to host two one-day back-to-basics cookery courses to set students up with at least a little culinary craft so that if the allowance you send them won’t stretch to a KFC bargain bucket, they can at least have a pop at cooking something from scratch and not coming back mid-term half a stone lighter than when they set off in September.

Toby Didier Serre, proprietor of public houses and an award winning chef in his own right, will host the “Moo-niversity Cookery Survival Course” (know, I haven’t got the foggiest, either) at The Red Cow (ah! The penny drops!) before term starts in an attempt to help prevent students spending three years of their lives eating only a fast-food diet, save for the times they return back to the fold during the holidays.

The first cookery class will be held a week tomorrow, the 20th August with the second taking place a fortnight later on Monday September the third. Both days will tackle the absolute basics of cuisine competence, from where to shop to buy the most elementary ingredients – and indeed, what those ingredients are – to finding their way around the basic utensils one would expect to find in a common or garden kitchen drawer or cupboard.

There will also be a section on a veritable menu of basic dishes, whereby Toby will hope to unveil the fact during the cookery courses that culinary expertise doesn’t necessarily mean having to win Masterchef. By delivering instruction in essential cooking techniques it is hoped that University will not only provide food for the mind, but also keep the metabolism ticking over healthily as the young adults strive for their degrees.

For details and prices of this particular offer, see the original article in The Cambridge News.

If your child is off up to Glasgow, York or Wolverhampton and Cambridge is a little too far, why not consider buying them a cookery lesson at a local cookery school, close to you? You can choose from our hand-picked selection of the best cookery courses available in the UK based on our specific search criteria and at least get them graduating from cooking school with honours before tackling the big wide world and all of the pitfalls it potentially possesses for those heading off for three years without the inherent knowledge of how to cook a morsel.

Cookery Courses News

The make up of your average cookery course student

What type of person enrols on cookery courses? Have you ever thought about attending one, but don’t want to look or feel like the odd one out?

Well let me put your mind at rest – all sorts of people attend all sorts of classes!  Whether they’re bespoke cookery classes aimed at cookery courses for men, for the elderly, for the young or if you enjoy a meat-free diet, there are plenty of vegetarian cookery schools dotted around the country, most notably in Edinburgh (although by no means exclusive to Scotland’s capital).

To highlight just what I mean, a recent blog post on tells the tale of a chef, Kavey, funnily enough, who was invited some time ago to attend a public relations exercise for a well-known brand at Food at 52 – a delightful, family-run, olde worlde cookery school. Since then, John and Emily, Food at 52’s proprietors, have managed to grow its classes and repertoire, move into bespoke premises yet – much to Kavey’s delight upon her recent return – managed to retain all of the olde charme of the original family home school as was in their brand new premises. The retention of the warmth and overwhelming hospitality that she felt on her original visit has been recreated at the new location, between tube stops Angel and Old Street, purely down to John’s previous life experience of running a set-building company for the flicks, which he drew upon to fit out the new cookery school himself. Talented booby.

That’s the scene set, no Bela Lugosi in sight, just Kavey and the revamped kitchen (do you see what I did there?) with its range, custom-made hoods over the ovens and a trestle table to work around so long it could double up as a bowling lane when not in use by budding chefs.

But that’s a little aside from the main point of this article, although is a nice aside as many chefs who blog don’t often go to the extent of giving you a visual. So, who attended this cookery class with Kavey?

Well, first and foremost there is John, the aforementioned set-building half of the duo that run the school, whose background is obviously in construction. However, it is he who teaches the class Kavey has been invited to in order to get her blessing on the school’s new abode, along with an able assistant who (hopefully) won’t mind me saying this, was John’s skivvy for the day.

Then there’s Kavey herself, a renowned chef in her own rite turned pupil for the day.

Other students who joined her at the trestle table, in no particular order, were a professional food blogger whose written content was accompanied by a video review of a series cookery classes they were attending, in this case Food at 52, obviously.

There was then a Scottish mother and daughter team in London for a break who had taken the opportunity to top up their culinary skills. And another mother and offspring team were there, however this second particular team included a red-head mother-to-be and an infant in utero, who was not so many days away from announcing their arrival. She, likewise, was taking the opportunity to indulge in a cookery lesson before the little one came along, limiting this type of activity for the foreseeable future.

And finally, a recently graduated student (unfortunately, Kavey couldn’t recall whether it was physics or an engineering qualification the lad had attained) whose girlfriend had bought him the cookery class as a birthday treat.  Female logic prevailing, if ever their was evidence of its superiority.

So there you have it – a diverse cross section of the UK public enjoys the camaraderie and the satisfaction of partaking in cookery classes with no inhibitions or, if they had them beforehand, are soon dispersed.

So, what’s stopping you? Check out our hand-picked cookery courses or drop us a comment below if you have something to say – all comments will be replied to.

Cookery Courses

Unhealthy diets cost the NHS £12bn every year

A recent study has identified that poor diets cost the NHS almost twice as much as the combined effect of alcohol and cigarettes.

The research, which was conducted by the WHO and Oxford University, concluded that, of the various lifestyle choices, poor diet and obesity now place the biggest economic load on the NHS.

Whilst experts acknowledged that the health risks associated with excess drinking and smoking are high, because a much higher proportion of the population have unhealthy diets, the overall impact on the NHS is much larger.

Whilst the proportion of adults that smoke has fallen by 50% in the last 40 years, the levels of obesity have increased four-fold, with 25% of adults now considered obese.

Poor diet and obesity have been linked to a number of different diseases including, most cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The problem is being blamed on the erosion of basic cookery skills and an over-reliance on junk food. The average diet now contains excess levels of sugar and fat and this has increased the risk of acquiring many diseases.

For many people, the issue is that they eat too much and this leads to obesity which is related to a variety of health issues. However, there are also those who look healthy and slim, yet the fat and salt content in their diet places them at high risk of heart disease, stroke and other health conditions associated with elevated blood pressure

The research, which was financed by the British Heart Foundation, estimates that the cost of alcohol related diseases is £3.3bn, which is roughly the same as the cost of treatments associated with alcohol.

A spokesperson for the National Obesity Form explained that the staggering cost of managing diseases related to Britain’s poor diets was threatening to breach NHS budgets.

Those looking to improve their cookery skills can book themselves onto a cookery course.

Cookery Courses

Simple diet changes can help stave off cancer

Recent research into the effects of diets on cancer sufferers have thrown up some extremely interesting results.  Many of us are aware of the dangers of too much salt, not enough vitamins and minerals and additives in processed meals that are either harmful or do us no good whatsoever.

If you’re wondering why I’ve not included fats in that little list it’s because a lot of what you read about the danger of too much fat is sooo misleading you wouldn’t believe.  People do not get thin or healthy by cutting out fat in total.  Their diet improves by increasing healthy fats and kicking out saturates but that’s perhaps for another day.

Through research it is estimated that approximately 29,000 cases of cancer are directly linked to a poor diet every single year.   Yet a few simple changes in dietary habits can ultimately turn a poor diet around.  Typical cancers that are associated with eating the wrong foods over a period of time are those you’d expect: gastric tract, oral, bowel/stomach and even breast cancer threats can be radically reduced by knowing what to avoid and making healthier substitutions.

Very few of us eat enough fibre anyway.  Not only will increasing fibre help to keep your intestines clean and your bowel regular, but it will also stop food gestating there, which can, according to research, reduce the risk of bowel cancer by 25%.

A good source of fibre is fruit and veg, although many people think only of whole grain, pulses and cereals, especially bran, as delivering fibre.  So, as well as delivering essential vitamins, minerals and natural sugars – elements in their own rite guardians against some of those aforementioned cancers – they can help keep your system fluent as part of an overall nutritious diet.

A fantastic list of vegetables and fruits high in fibre can be found at fruitsandveggiesmorematters

Many people don’t realise that pork is a red meat but it is one of only a handful of red and processed meat associated with bowel cancer.  People who eat higher volumes of either/or red or processed meats are putting themselves at higher risk.  As well as pork, take any meat you care to think of from a pig, beef in its many forms (steaks, burgers, etc) or lamb and eat it in voluminous amounts and you’re increasing the risk of bowel cancer.

Processed meals – even those tagged ‘good for you’ as they’re ‘low fat’ (don’t get me started) – rely on salt to add taste.  Check your guideline daily amount compared to how much each processed meal you buy contains.  I promise you, you will be shocked.  Less salt equals less chance of many of those cancers.

If you’re genuinely concerned that you’re culpable for any of the above poor eating habits, try these simple changes.  Your sources of carbohydrate, such as bread, rice or pasta, are all available with a wholegrain alternative.  Swapping to wholegrain will add much-needed fibre to your diet.

Salad doesn’t have to feel like a snack.  By adding your protein and healthy fats through roast chicken, tuna or nuts and dried fruit you can make any salad into a meal.  You can also incorporate turkey mince into your diet rather than beef, lamb or pork mince, often higher in protein and with more good fats.  Alternatively, try vegetable grills made with potato, onion and peppers rather than a normal burger – just as tasty but with none of the risk that too much red meat can bring.

More information on all of these topics can be found at or why not enrol on one of the many healthy cookery courses we have to really get to know how to cook tastily from scratch so you know exactly what is going into each meal you serve?


Cookery Courses News

Vegetarian cookery course in aid of Sunni Mae Trust, Galway

In a special post today, we take our inspiration from back across the water to my homeland, that little Emerald Isle being the last outpost of Europe before the Atlantic stretches the odd few-thousand miles to run aground again at Newark – Ireland.

A couple of cookery schools over the way are promoting a special cookery course day at the end of July with the aim of raising much-needed funds for Lily-Mae Morrison. The four year old has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and proceeds raised by the three hour session in Galway on the 28th July (10a.m. – 1p.m.) will be forwarded to the Sunni Mae trust, set up by parents, dancers Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison, to help treat Lily-Mae’s stage 4 Neuroblastoma. The trust was launched officially only last Friday (6th July) following a performance of Alice Underground by Youth Ballet West at the Galway Town Hall and it is hoped that further awareness can encourage more support to help their very poorly little girl get better.

The vegetarian cookery class is being run by Liz Nolan via her website WholeFoodMatters and will take on the form of an initial demonstration by Liz herself before up to twelve willing victims students prepare cook, serve and finally  tuck-in themselves to the results of the knowledge Liz has endeavoured to impart.

As with most classes that emanate from the WholeFoodMatters website, the whole menu (six courses) is suitable for vegetarian consumption, the emphasis being on health, well being and excellent diet as much as the meat-free angle.

Beginning with an elevenses dish of banana and pecan muffins, the follow-up course will be the trending food of the last couple of years, Hummus, cooked with a lemon-bite and pita croutons. Then there will be the more traditional starter of a summer soup, a nut roast featuring almonds, celery and apple, a side of ‘slaw and, to finish, a crumble made from summer berries.

As well as a maximum of twelve cookery students, there is the caveat of a minimum of eight to get the class off the ground. Price is €50, of which a 50% deposit needs to be put down. To confirm your interest and make your payment, you can e-mail Liz at her gmail e-addy, which is [email protected] or call/text her on 0868-099-604. Even if this is not for you, but you know someone who would love this opportunity, both to support the cause or partake in the lesson, €50 cookery class gift vouchers can be purchased from Liz via the same route.

From all of us here at, we take our hats off to Liz for organising the event and wish Leighton, Judith and of course Lily-Mae all the very best; if you cannot make the cookery course but would still like to donate, you can do so here: iDonate/Sunni Mae Trust.

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Cookery Courses News

A recipe for success on

Do you know what we’re missing here on

It’s something so blindingly obvious but, in our urge to bring you the best news and trends from the world of food, fine dining and, more importantly where to go and learn to cook it, we’ve not brought a single recipe to you in all of that time.

Yes, we may have pontificated about the strides being made in the hospitality trade to overhaul the restaurant and pub trade menus to incorporate modern thinking about what’s healthy and their attempts to deliver just that.

We may have raved about the number of vegetarian cookery courses and the rise in the number of eateries where you can now go and be sure that the vegetables have not been prepared on the same kitchen work surface as a slab of meat.

In more recent times our focus on food recycling and the work that featured not-for-profit organisations like FoodCycle are doing to give young people experience of working in teams, learning to cook using fresh ingredients and fight food poverty in needy communities has received welcome comments from our readership.

And, of course, no decent site about food would overlook the struggle the Western World is fighting against obesity, derived from generations opting for a Big Mac, Kentucky or microwaved ‘healthy’ meal instead of preparing their own lunches from fresh ingredients.

What we’ve not done, in all this time, is offer recipes of our own – Lord knows, there are enough of them out there for us to adapt to our own special theme.

But what many recipes don’t do is give you the calorific and nutritional breakdown of what goes into each meal Yes, they give you the prep time, ingredients and method, but not a lot about what good the meal does you.

So don’t be surprised to find a few quick, easy recipes popping up between our news articles, starting tomorrow with an Aldo Zilli classic.

See you then.

oh – and a big p.s. – if there are any classics that you would like to see covered that you have cooked time and again or would like to try but you are not sure about what the meal constitutes in the way of calories, nutrition or how far they go towards your five-a-day, please feel free to drop a line in the comment box, below, and we will endeavour to bring you a recipe with the break-down of nutrition to go alongside.

Cookery Courses News

Food Recycling will grow by teaching others better values

In the final article of this week’s topic, food recycling/food poverty, we visit one of the country’s most established organisations in that field, the Food AWARE Community Interest Company, associated with campaigns such as Healthy Start and its ongoing support of Love Food Hate Waste and the UK charitable outfit Chernobyl Children.

In itself, it is likewise a not-for-profit organisation and, in a similar vein to FoodCycle, our main topic on this week, it relies on a combination of discarded food and volunteers but has had a little longer to establish itself and supports projects mainly in the north across Yorkshire and Humber.

What makes Food AWARE’s modus operandi ideal as the basis for a cookery course, amongst other aspects that we’ve dwelt upon using FoodCycle as an example through the week, is its focus on getting 5-a-day ingredients to those who may otherwise see no nutritious food on their plate.

This fits in perfectly with the amount of younger families that may be a) struggling to keep up with mortgage payments and therefore their budget for food is not as healthy as the diet they would prefer to eat and b) even if they did have fresh produce on their kitchen work surface, they would hardly know what to do with it, having been brought up on convenience food. It’s stating the obvious, but there is a very real need to address both.

As well as supporting many charitable organisations and community and church-led programs in the north, Food AWARE has a close affinity with Love Food Hate Waste, part of the scheme that has already committed to developing a 5-year diet program to encourage healthy eating, better for society as a whole – and thus the environment – and not only to get people to actually eat more wisely but have a very real appreciation of why the food they’re eating has both sustainable and planet-friendly values as well as delivering an overall more nutritious diet.

In summary of this week’s articles, all of the key issues are being addressed by organisations that are not in it for profit, which is great, but also limits their expansion and reaching a wider, more appreciative audience.

It needs more of the recognised food outlets, cookery courses and big brands to get behind these outfits to redistribute the food, yes, but in a way that people can learn to support themselves. These charities can then concentrate on growth, reducing the food surplus mountain and tackle poor nutrition in the less well-off regions of the country.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week and learnt as much as I have; here are the links to the other four articles, just in case you missed any:
1. Monday
2. Tuesday
3. Wednesday
4. Thursday

Cookery Courses News

Cookery courses + FoodCycle = oh, c’mon, keep up…

So you’re all dying to know: what’s this great idea of Zeb’s to get food recycling, unemployed volunteers and communities to work in unison with cookery schools, right? No? Perhaps you’ve not read yesterday’s article, then…Cookery courses could incorporate FoodCycle…okay?

Good, I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up. I’ve had a good night’s sleep, feel refreshed enough to tackle two ideas in two days (yes, I’ve had another one) and moreover, scribble the thoughts down in black and white and share them with you, my avid audience.

First of all, we need to understand a little bit more about what exactly FoodCycle does that makes them the perfect candidate for this opportunity. The exposure and link with their community that a cookery school would get, in my opinion, far outstrips any aspirations of ‘brand recognition’ they could hope to achieve for offering quality cooking classes. But in that respect, not having a bridge to their market in any tangible sense, I’m not sure if they’d agree. But here goes.

Salvaging edible food

Did you know that every year, 400,000 tons of food that is fit for consumption is discarded by food retailers?

UK food deprivation

Of its sixty-million plus population, 4,000,000 – almost 7% – are affected by food poverty in this country. For a ‘civilised society’, that’s plain ridiculous.

Voluntary work for the unemployed

There are two and a half million people in this country without a job, 40% of whom are between the ages of 16-25 – that’s a million young adults out of work! It’s alright saying ‘get a job’, but where is their experience – the all important factor employers look for – going to come from?

Kelvin Cheung, who turned 29 earlier this month, was the visionary beyond bringing all three of those aspects together to help individuals suffering from food poverty, bring communities together by sourcing free kitchen space and giving young adults experience of working as a team and with a defined goal that they would otherwise not be afforded by getting them involved and turning this waste food into essential, nutritional meals for the needy.  Simple, effective but someone had to ahve the balls to actually do it.  Kelvin was the one who grew them.

Now, my secondary thought is that, announced on here earlier this week, is the upcoming cookery course of the year award. Can you see where I’m going with this secondary idea?

If not, c’mon – keep up! Okay, perhaps it’s still a bit vague. I’ll give you a clue before tomorrow’s article: FoodCycle + Cookery Courses = ???

I said a clue – I’m not going to give you the answer like that, am I? See you tomorrow.

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Cookery Courses News

Kenwood offering 12 ‘disaster’ chefs online cookery tuition

Kenwood is looking for chefs to literally give cookery courses away to, as well as a hefty amount of cookery equipment and ingredients into the bargain. But this is no masterchef competition. In fact, the title ‘Disaster Chefs’ sort of gives away what type of individuals and at what scale on the culinary ladder of evolution those for whom the search targets subsist.

Stranger still is the starlet Kenwood has lined up to head the quest. Emilia Fox, who, by her own admission, is so bad in the kitchen that her dad, actor Edward Fox, actually bought her a course of cookery classes when she became pregnant to try and make her more adept in the kitchen. Some people, I guess, are just not meant to cook.

Apparently, The Day of the Jackal actor could not bear to think of his grandchild being subjected to the type of culinary prowess that Emilia had shown to the rest of her family over her 37 years. Her cooking is so bad that the ‘Things to do before you’re 30’ star is the butt of many a family joke; for her co-star in that film, Billie Piper, let’s hope the affliction does not run in the family as Billie eventually married Emilia’s cousin, Laurence.

But back to the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition overview.

Perhaps Disaster Chef is not the title many budding chefs would welcome, but don’t worry – the initial burden will be shared by you and eleven others if you are successful in reaching the preliminaries.

Of course, the intention is to turn disaster chefs into professionals. Each of the baking dozen will receive a Kenwood Chef Titanium food mixer, online cookery classes from Kenwood’s own pro-chefs and a hamper of ingredients delivered to their door every week to match the online cookery tutorials.

On top of that, the twelve finalists will also receive a digital camera with which to record their progress, upload the images to the website and share their experience, which no doubt Kenwood will use in their advertising campaign, thereafter.

Those chefs who have shown the greatest improvement, going from novice to nouvelle in the two-month duration of the online cookery courses, will be invited to the final in August where the winner will carry off prizes to the value of a cool four grand.

If you feel you could benefit from – or know someone in desperate need of – culinary tuition, you have up until June 29th to enter through the link to Kenwood, above. Good luck – you never know, I may just see you there!