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Rotherham fire station set to host cookery courses

Fire-fighters at a fire station in Rotherham have allowed a local chef from the town’s catering college to use their kitchen to run a series of cookery courses aimed at local residents.

The cooking courses, which will take place in the Fitzwilliam Road station, every Thursday evening for a period of six weeks, are designed to teach people how to cook delicious healthy meals within the constraints of a tight budget.

The courses will last for two hours and will feature instructions on how to prepare and cook a different family meal each week.

Rotherham’s Metropolitan Borough Council is funding the initiative whilst the supermarket giant Asda has kindly agreed to donate all the required ingredients.

Those residents that attend the cookery courses also will be offered advice and suggestions, where required about how to go about gaining employment within the food industry. In addition, fire fighters at the fire station have agreed to offer participants advice about how they can protect their homes from the dangers of fire.

A spokesman explained that it is hoped that the scheme will give the people of Rotherham the skills required to cook healthy nutritional dishes within the confines of a budget and, as a result, help them to live a much healthier lifestyle.

It is hoped that the additional fire safety advice will also help to ensure that the participants feel more comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

A spokesman for Asda explained that the company was proud to be part of the cookery course and is excited to be supporting such a great scheme aimed at teaching local residents how to cook nutritional and healthy food.

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Food and Ingredients News

Celebrity chefs could do more to reduce food waste

A new study has revealed that the cookery styles encouraged by high profile chefs are unlikely to reduce the nation’s huge amount of food waste generated by British households.

Dr David Evans, a member of the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute, claims that the desire to eat a wide range of meals coupled with the drive to prepare more dishes from scratch can result in more food waste.

Dr Evans studied nineteen Manchester households during the course of eight months in an attempt to understand why the nation throws away over eight million tonnes of food waste each year.

Dr Evans watched people prepare, cook and shop for food and also asked them to discuss the contents of their cupboards, fridges and freezers. He claims that whilst consumers are often blamed for lacking the ability to cook or not caring enough about wasting food, he found nothing in his study to support this view.

The research suggests that people don’t generally need cookery courses but do sometimes find it hard to make use of leftovers. This is particularly true when the family contains are fussy eaters who often prefer established recipes to more improvised meals.

Dr Evans argues that the current volumes of household food waste should be considered as the result of people negotiating the contradictory and complex demands of everyday life. He believes that the pressure from celebrity chefs to eat and cook in certain ways inevitably leads to a greater risk of food waste.

Most food advocated by celebrity chefs is perishable and therefore should be eaten fairly quickly. Our unpredictable leisure schedules and working hours make it more difficult to make best use of the food in our cupboards and fridges.

Dr Evans believes that those with influence including celebrity chefs should recognize the issues and consider how to make it desirable or at least socially acceptable for people to use frozen vegetables or eat the same dish for several consecutive nights.

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News

Young Carers Benefit From Cookery Courses

Young carers from the South Tyneside region have spent the summer holidays acquiring valuable skills at cookery courses arranged by the Cooking for Life project.

Young carers are often required to take on many of the roles traditionally played by parents. These can included completing the weekly shop and preparing meals for the entire family.

Shopping and planning meals on a tight budget can be very challenging so the cooking courses offered to members of South Tyneside’s Young Carers Scheme have been really helpful.

In addition to teaching the youngsters how to cook, the cookery courses also focused on explaining how to use the kitchen equipment, the importance of a balanced diet and also how to stay safe.

Interaction with the group and social skills were also an important aspect of the project. The youngsters were able to relax with friends and enjoy the meal that they had helped to prepare.

Members of the Cooking for Life project have been working with youngsters in the area for the last ten years. A spokeswoman for the project, Joyce Greely explained that the North-East is unfortunately one of the least healthy places in the UK, with rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease rapidly increasing.

By the time that they leave home, many young people lack basic food knowledge and are unable to prepare simple balanced meals themselves. Many fail to recognise the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Without additional help, this lack of basic skills and unhealthy lifestyle is likely to be passed onto their children. It is for this reason that the Cooking for Life project was established. It aims to teach young people and their families how to prepare great tasting meals that are also cheap, healthy and nourishing.

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News

Shropshire farm joins forces with cookery school

Maynards Farm in Shrewsbury has teamed up with the Seasoned Cookery School to offer a range of different cookery courses.

The team at Seasoned already run courses throughout Staffordshire and Derbyshire, and are proud of their reputation for teaching students of all abilities.

The courses at Maynards will utilise the farm’s fantastic produce and will be delivered by a team of expert chefs. Topics will range from Best of British Meat to Indian Entertaining.

Seasoned’s founder, Clare Tetley, explained that all of their cooking courses are delivered by professionals in a fun and relaxed environment. The aim is to give people a fun day out at the same time as helping people to improve their cookery skills.

The cookery school was launched during 2010, and since then has taught more than a thousand people, from youngsters who have never cooked before to aspiring chefs that are aiming to perfect their dishes. The school primarily focuses on daily courses for keen amateurs and uses eight different chefs each with different passions and skills. The team consists of experts on subjects such as Indian cuisine, restaurant food, food smoking, baking and cake decorating.

In addition to the courses at Maynards Farm, Seasoned are also offering food education to schools and community groups in Shropshire. Recent activities have included,

  • Student survival courses for school leavers preparing for University,
  • Workshops with CLIC Sargent for cancer patients,
  • Respite courses for carers and
  • Fundraising and other fast food projects in schools.

The Seasoned team are passionate about food education and believe that teaching people the fundamentals of cookery can give them a skill that will last a lifetime.

A number of cookery courses are scheduled to take place over the coming months. These include Indian Entertaining, Food Smoking, One-Pot Wonders and Easy Entertaining. All will take place at Maynards Farm in the recently converted barn.

For further information please visit the cookery school’s website.

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Food and Ingredients News

Indian cooking and the spice of life

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another and had a disastrous experience with too much spice. It may well cause a moment of hilarity, when one or the other of our guests is calling for water, lots of it and quickly, but it begs the question: “why do we use spices?”

One of the first things that you’ll learn at any Indian cookery course is that spices are not just for flavour. To many peoples on the subcontinent, fresh and organic spices are not just to give their food a bit of a kick. The marriage of more mundane ingredients with exotic herbs and spices, traded in local markets for centuries, is as much to do with ensuring that their bodies stay nourished as it is with anything to do with simply flavour.

The old adage, we are what we eat, has never been truer than with the concept of the n=majority of Indian cuisine. Collated over many centuries, the various indigenous peoples of regions of India have developed harmonious recipes that blend affluent, local spices to produce the dishes we know and love in the UK as our favourite take-away food.

Ayurveda is much more than the technique developed of marrying ingredients to one another, as sworn by by the populace of many Indian townships. It is an out and out science that draws upon the chemistry between ingredients, developed through time-honoured practises (in the absence of any scientific equipment), passed down from generation to generation.

Okay, it may not pass a stringent examination under controlled conditions in a lab as a health benefit, but many of the blends we taste in our favourite Indian dishes have remained fervent in their respective cultures due to the belief that such time-honoured combinations as we’re now used to seeing accompanied with rice, naan, chapatti and roti have the added benefit of helping to stave off disease.

So not only are many of the Rogan Josh, Jalfrezi and other spicy dishes mouthwateringly tasty, but it’s the common belief of the people who uphold the traditions of their preparation to a traditional recipe that each curry or balti we have is doing our body good in a way that we perhaps do not even realise.

The scarcity of food in such tropical zones is well documented and the way of thinking that has been enforcedly adopted over time is: what benefits are my meal going to deliver my body and mind? Necessity is the mother of invention and many of the combinations of onions, chilli, red meat and spices that make up the basic ingredients of your common or garden curry dish are the results of using combining what ingredients were available to help stave off the effects of malnutrition and pestilence in times gone by.  A blessing in disguise as we look back, one may hasten to say.

So the next time you’re sitting down with your Biryani, mostly unknown on home shores sixty years hence, just think of the journey that traditional dish has had to get onto your plate today.

Spices are a truly fascinating culture on their own – and can be quite lethal if served in inappropriate doses but a boon when you know how to get the best from them.
The quickest and easiest way to acquaint yourself with their benefits is take on one of the many popular Indian cookery classes on offer, many available from those on our cookery course home page. Get to grips with your corianders, cumins, turmerics and cardamoms once and for all so that next time the boss comes round for a curry, you end up giving them too much of a chilli reception, whether they deserve it or not.

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Cooking Courses News

Cookery experts sought for NHS project

Cookery experts are current being sought to share their knowledge, skills and passion as part of programme sponsored by NHS Norfolk which aims to provide cooking courses dedicated to simple, healthy and cost effective food.

It is hoped that trainers for the not-for-profit Joy of Food scheme will inspire others while offering advice and practical support on simple ways to enjoy a more balanced and varied diet.

The cookery courses, which are currently taking place on a regular basis throughout the county, aim to demonstrate how to use a wide range of techniques and ingredients.

Whilst a number of trainers have already volunteered, more trainers are required especially in west Norfolk. Each volunteer is being asked to commit to a minimum of one three-hour session per week. Anyone can apply to become a trainer, from keen amateurs to professional chefs; the only requirement is a love of cookery and a genuine passion for food.

Trainers will be required to teach small classes in community venues, such as village halls, pub kitchens and children’s centres.

A spokesman for the project explained that they are aiming to recruit individuals who possess a good knowledge of food and cookery and who are comfortable standing before a group of people and passing on what the know. The trainers will also be passionate about cookery and be keen to inspire others.

Organisers are planning to launch more specialist cookery courses to supplement the basic workshops. These are expected to include courses devoted to chicken, fish and bread making as well as a workshop dedicated specifically to cooking on a tight budget.

A public health official for NHS Norfolk explained that a well-balanced diet plays a really important role in helping to prevent poor health. It is hoped that the programme inspire a variety of different people who have never taken responsibility for cooking their own meals.

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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 http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fiber-in-fruits-and-vegetables

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

www.cancerresearchuk.org/health 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?

 

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Cookery Course Cookery School News

Yorkshire cookery school wins tourism award

A Yorkshire farm that opened a new cookery school just 12 months ago has been awarded the Most Remarkable Newcomer at the East Yorkshire Tourism Awards.

The Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School in Southburn focuses on local produce and was established as part of farming diversification scheme.

The principal tutor at the cookery school, Ali Bilton, initially thought of establishing a school in York. However, this plan was changed following a series of conversations with JSR Farms; the country’s largest family owned farming business.

“JSR mentioned that they had premises that they thought would be a perfect site for a cookery school,” explained Ali.

“It means that there is a constant supply of quality local food for us to use in the kitchen.

“A recent course, Yorkshire Born & Bred, focused on demonstrating to students how you are able to make meals entirely with produce from the county. It proved so effective that we are planning to continue to run it again.”

Ali feels that the trend for television cookery shows has been motivating more and more people to cook, but that sometimes they give the appearance that cooking is much more difficult than it needs to be.

“I think that sometimes people are put off because they believe that almost everything has to be cooked to a michelin-star standard.

“Our focus is geared much more towards creating quick and easy meals, particularly for students.

The manager of the cookery school, Alison Johnson has worked with several farming businesses all over the county. She feels that the  accolade will provide the encouragement that will help the school move forward.

The school has installed brand new kitchen equipment and can accommodate ten cookery students at any one time.

All who attend a cookery course at Yorkshire Wolds are welcome to take home the food that they have cooked.

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Cookery Courses

Community cookery courses come to Bristol

The city hub Coexist, situated in probably one of Bristol’s poorest neighbourhoods, would like to create an established cooking area in which members of the local community can arrive and have inexpensive courses on every aspect of cooking and cookery…

The Community Kitchen seeks not only to offer cookery courses to the Stokes Croft community, but also to supply a cost-effective service to vulnerable members in the local community, from cooking courses for the younger generation to diet classes for individuals in protected housing. Local business owners can utilize it as a system to launch food catering companies. The community kitchen seeks to connect the community with the tremendous plethora of Bristol cooking and support enterprises.

Bryony Morgan via Made In Bristol stated: “We are looking toward showcasing the brand new cooking organizations in the Community Kitchen at Made In Bristol functions and also the Harbourside Market.”

Coexist must raise finances to upgrade the flooring, re-establish services and purchase new machines. Coexist intend to raise funds via numerous fundraising promotions, the first of which is the global financing system IndieGoGo – go to the Coexist Community Kitchen web page to find out more about their strategy and to help boost funds today.

For the past two years Coexist have operated out of Hamilton House in Stokes Croft, and ever since arriving have developed a rundown range of offices into a lively social centre.

In only 2 yrs, Coexist has hosted in excess of 200 people and enterprises while offering a broad array of activities: such as dance and motion courses daily, educative discussions and programs, local community music area and recording studios, conference areas as well as alternate treatment rooms and facilities for artists and small enterprises.

If you have any additional questions regarding the Coexist Community Kitchen, make sure you get in contact via e-mail through clicking on this hyperlink.

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Cooking Courses News

Cooking courses help stroke victims

Five stroke victims have regained their zest for life following a 10 week series of cooking courses at Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food in Bradford.

Each member of the class, had a their own specific reasons for signing up.

Since suffering a stroke 7 years ago, 42 year old Rachel Charlton had relied solely on her mircowave. “I discovered healthy choices and new tastes on the cookery course and also regained my self-confidence in the kitchen.”

53 year old Maxine Gabbitas had a stroke in 1992 which left her with mobility challenges that lead to her gaining weight. “I need to maintain a tight control on my budget and the cookery courses helped me cook meals that were economical as well as healthy.”

Since her stroke in 2010 Bobby Wood experienced taste changes. She said: “With my taste now returing the cookery course gave me the opportuniy to try new flavours and textures.”

A spokesperson for The Stroke Association, explained: “The cookery courses have given everybody a genuine boost in knowledge and confidence, everybody has taken something positive out of the experience.

“The Ministry of Food taught us a great deal whilst they also learnt about some of the obstacles that victims of strokes need to tackle in the kitchen.”

The Ministry of Food Centre in Bradford is one of just four in the United Kingdom. For further information please visit thier website.

For additional information concerning The Stroke Association, please click here.