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The next tool to fight C.O.D. – fine dining

Compulsive Obsessive Disorder has become a byword, or a branch of psychotherapy, that is having a lot of eggs thrown into its basket since being coined as a condition with mileage and brought to prominence by the likes of TV psychotherapist Stelios Kiosses.

His Channel Four show, The Hoarder Next Door, highlights just one those eggs – the secret hoarders of Great Britain, as the name suggests. The figure is so vast, popular theory is that from next year it will be a branch of neuroses in its own rite. Recent estimates put the number of people suffering with the condition in the UK at around 3,000,000, which, coincidentally, has been the approximate viewing figure for the show this Spring. You’re surprised? So are Channel Four, but in the nicest possible way. Perhaps it is just the hoarders watching, burning the shows onto DVD and storing them next to all of their other possessions ‘in case they might come in useful for something later’.

But what the devil has all this got to do with cookery courses and fine dining?

Stelios, rapidly becoming one of the most recognised therapists on TV, is of the firm opinion that the disorder is self-feeding. The urge to collect nick-nacks, jumble, newspapers or not throw out old clothes, shoes and bags that will never be worn again (are you listening, my Da Wife?) takes priority and diet becomes neglected. The lack of nutrition, a common theme with sufferers, not only serves to deprive the body of essential vitamins, minerals, carbs and protein but the mind too, funnelling the hoarders obsession. By extracting them from this self-indulgent spiral (which is more than likely subconscious) and catapulting the patients into a festival of fine dining for their taste buds, they are lifted from the hum-drum that may well have been the catalyst that allowed the disorder to take a grip so powerfully in the first instance.

Stelios’ friendship with restaurateur Andreas Antona, owner of Michelin-rated Simpsons in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where the TV therapist is based, kick-started Stelios theory that good food = good mood. And, just like the cookery schools that run the cookery courses on our home page, Stelios takes a whole heap of, what to the untrained eye looks like, haphazard ingredients, does his magic with them and returns an end result that is much more palatable. And it works.

Tantalising anyone’s taste buds is a gift and will instantly lift their mood. And that’s the way Stelios views therapy – as an artform, as well as a treatment that has its base roots firmly implanted in scientific research. And Antona agrees and welcomes the cookery classes that find their way to his kitchens.

He goes on to explain that cookery, likewise an art, takes 100% focus to perfect. For the time they’re learning to cook interesting and different recipes that are anything but the processed meals for one (or for a family, if the rest of the household are unlucky enough to have a hoarder in charge of the menu) they usually subject themselves to, they start to see the pattern and interact with other students.

The cookery classes are just like the warm up and, when the sufferers are primed, Stelios and his team takes over to really get to the root cause of the issue (in total confidentiality) and work with the patient to find a way out of the clutter-packed wilderness, whilst nibbling away on the amazing food they’ve just prepared. Et voila. The treatment can begin.

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Cookery Courses London News

BakingMad cookery course and cook books up for grabs

How are your baking skills? Could do with a top up? Have one of those bread-makers at home that you bought, used once, couldn’t be doing with the mess, thought about putting it on e-bay but seen there are a thousand other budding bread chefs like you beat you to it? Yeah, I? know where you’re coming from.

Well, here’s a chance to put all of that right. In conjunction with BBC Good Food, we have news about the chance for you to win a half-day cookery course learning how to turn dough into bread, not an hour and three quarters in the oven for it to turn out D’oh! Instead.

Not only is it an intense cookery class in everything to do with baking but the winner of the competition will be under the expert tutelage of Channel 4’s Eric Lanlard, he of BakingMad With Eric Lanlard fame.

Of the many cookery courses on offer in London, this one is perhaps one of the most renowned. Obviously, with eyes on customers giving it star ratings given the media spotlight surrounding his Cake Boy cookery school in Battersea, you are guaranteed to come away with the knowledge Eric imparts as you stroll through some of his favourite recipes and patisseries as well as the inherent experience of what it must feel like to bake on television. For what that’s worth.

As well as the half-day cookery course, the competition winner will take home the staple branded apron, everything that you have baked during the course of the cookery class and a handy BakingMad gift bag in which you can put the recipes you also win as part of the prize.

In order to celebrate the show’s return to the TV screens earlier this month, Eric’s giving away a prize a week. There is also a freebie to claim on his site plus the opportunity to win an Allison’s herb Garden and a separate competition to win one of five cook books he currently has on offer. The question for the cook book is simple enough: What is the name of Eric Lanlard’s Baking Mad With television show called? It’s all going on over there, I tell you.

You do need to sign up to access the competitions, but you will get plenty of recipes in your inbox and there are many on the site, ranging from Almond Cheesecake to Brioche made in a bread maker. For the intuitive, there are enough recipes on there to start a cookery class of your own, but I didn’t say that…