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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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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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Cooking Courses News

Cookery courses now popular way of enteraining clients

Cooking courses are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertaining clients and staff with many businesses looking for an alternative to the more traditional activities such as golf, clay pigeon shooting and rugby.

The Cambridge Cookery School is one of many cookery schools that have seen a growth in demand. Accountants, Solicitors and Industrialists are all reaching for their chopping boards in an effort to improve business relationships.

Many in the industry accept that the growth in demand is due in no small part to the increasing popularity of cookery programmes on television.

Tine Roche, who is the founder of the Cambridge Cookery School, estimates that 60% of her revenue is now corporate. The sessions can be structured with either team building or entertainment in mind and level of competitiveness can be decided by the corporate host.

The cookery courses can be tailored to suit the needs of the corporate host.

The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School offers a team building class where the participants cook a three course dinner or lunch, which they then enjoy with a glass of wine in our the school’s dining room. The event usually takes around 3 ½ hours and can be booked in the evening or during the day.

The cookery school also organises sessions where wine is the central theme. This can take the form of Wine and Food Pairing Dinner or a Wine Tasting, with the expert knowledge of a wine tutor. The events follow a specific theme, for example, based on a grape type, time of year or specific country. Whisky Tasting can also be arranged with specialist tutors.

The Lavender House Cookery School in Norfolk has recently introduced Chocolate Workshops for corporate clients. These sessions include a chocolate demonstration followed by a hands-on workshop. Also included in the package are lunch, recipe sheets and chocolate truffles to take home.

For more information on corporate cooking courses please visit our website.

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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.

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Cookery Courses News

Cooking course gives college students a taste for success

Charitable trust Mentor Link is helping students at Church Hill Middle School in the West Midlands get the opportunity to become the future Jamie Oliver.

A grant of five hundred pounds has recently been awarded to run cooking courses within the college.

The funds arrived following Mentor Link’s successful application for support via West Mercia Police’s Community and Voluntary Sector Awards.

The courses are being run by experienced culinary experts Andrew Powis and his wife Elaine.

Mrs Powis stated: “I tutor 3 students while Andrew tutors 1.”

“The students are really passionate about their cookery courses and have picked a wide range of dishes.The most favoured recipe were crepes which have been tried and appreciated by the headmaster Philip Hume.”
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“Because of time restrictions we’ve unsurprisingly needed to make use of packet blends however they haven’t spoilt the students’ enjoyment.”

Aside from acquiring a brand new approach, the purpose of the cookery course is to get tutors to communicate with and befriend the students on a one-to-one basis every week and develop a much more constructive mindset towards studying.

Mrs Powis also explained: “We attempt to instil a strong awareness of working together, maths, safety and health issues, social skills and individual hygiene however it isn’t often simple. Any kind of bad behaviour leads to a exclusion from the subsequent lesson, for which the student is genuinely remorseful.”

To get more details regarding the cookery course please visit the MentorLink website here.

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Cookery School News

Cookery school CEO earns national recognition

The CEO and founder of Ashburton Cooking School, has been identified among the United Kingdom’s 100 most influential females in the tourism, travel, leisure and hospitality industries.

Stella West-Harling, a leading member of the organic produce movement in the South West, has been included in the Top 100 list that was revealed at a exclusive event in London.

The list also includes prominent women such as Nigella Lawson, Prue Leith, Delia Smith, Jill Stein and Ruth Rogers.

Ms West-Harling was chosen in recognition of the huge work she has done to galvanise the various parts of the food and drink sector across Dartmoor by endorsing excellent quality, locally sourced produce and the importance of a healthy approach to life. She also received praise for her involvement in developing imaginative cookery courses at the award winning Ashburton Cookery School that she set up in 1992.

Since 2008, the Cookery School has been delivering cooking courses to many of the school cooks from across Cornwall and Devon on behalf of the School Food Trust. The Cookery School has also developed strong links with the Princes’ Trust where it seeks to encourage disadvantaged youngsters to consider develop a catering career.

Stella believes that her nomination acknowledges the relevance of this type of work with youngsters. She also feels it is essential that tomorrow’s consumers appreciate the importance of local and good healthy food: “When I was first started out, the organic food market was considered as slightly alternative; however it is now highly regarded.

Our cookery school is always keen to promote the attitudes of high quality and sustainable, locally sourced produce along with raising the standard of training quality for the next generation in the food industry of tomorrow.”

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Cooking Courses News

Housing association uses cooking courses to build confidence

The Regenda Group has introduced an innovative new programme which uses cooking courses to help develop the life skills and confidence of its residents.

Regenda believes that many of its residents are keen to improve their lives but lack either the confidence or the knowledge to succeed. The cookery course aims to help by challenging the participants to learn basic cookery skills during interactive workshops and also encouraging them to join personal improvement sessions.

The first cookery course was held at Limehurst Village Trust in Oldham. Twelve local residents completed the twelve-week programme which focused on teaching hands-on cookery skills alongside topics such as menu planning and health and safety.

The courses made use of neuro-linguistic coaching and programming techniques to give the participants a number of tools to help them in their everyday lives.

One of the participants explained that the course surpassed their expectations. As well as learning to cook they learnt how to combat their fears in a sustainable way. They went on to explain that the course helped them to bring out their confidence and led them to feel happy with a desire to pass on what they have learnt.

This sentiment was echoed by other participants who found the course so useful that they have formed a group to undertake community wide projects.

With support from Regenda the participants have developed a constitution and are now planning to apply for local funding to support community projects.

The group hopes to help develop the Limehurst Village allotment site. It plans to encourage local residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

The Regenda Group describes itself as more than just a Housing Association. By developing innovative community projects and using its expertise in shared-ownership it aims to help make the North-West a nicer place to live.

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Cooking Courses News

Specialist cooking courses: bread making courses

Bread is amongst the oldest of our prepared foods with evidence to suggest that Europeans were baking it around 30,000 years ago.

It is eaten throughout the world and is probably one of the most satisfying foods to prepare and cook – there are few things that beat the smell and taste of freshly baked bread.

With its enduring popularity it is easy to understand why so many people want to make their own. For those looking for improve their bread baking skills there are numerous cooking courses throughout the United Kingdom.

There are a variety of different providers but, in our view, the following are amongst the best.

Nottingham, The Manor School of Fine Cuisine

The Manor School of Fine Cuisine was founded in 1987 and offers visitors a wide range of cookery courses. It is based in the Nottingham School of Cookery and is proud of its friendly, informal and relaxed learning environment.

The cookery school places a strong emphasis on food provenance and makes excellent use of the fantastic produce available locally.

The one-day bread making course aims to demonstrate how simple and rewarding it can be to make your own bread. It will provide students with the skills to enable them to make fantastic breads such as Irish soda bread, organic granary loaves and focaccia.

The day will begin with some fundamental bread techniques before progressing onto bread shaping and more advanced doughs later in the day.

Bath, The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School

The award-winning cookery school was opened in 2005 by French baker and chef, Richard Bertinet. It offers specialist bread-making and baking courses for professionals and amateurs alike as well as a wide range of cooking courses for food enthusiasts of all abilities.

If you’re really serious about bread then the five day bread-making course may be for you. The week long course will be taught by Richard Bertinet and will begin with an introduction to bread making on day one. This will be followed by Italian breads, French breads, sweet & dark and slowdoughs, and sourdoughs on day’s two to five.

The course will include lunch on each day, all ingredients and materials and a copy of Richard’s acclaimed book – ‘Crust’.

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Cooking Courses News

Hostel residents receive cookery courses

Residents at the Salvation Army hostel in Newcastle have been receiving cookery courses as part of a community initiative backed by Jamie Oliver.

The ten week course has been provided by staff from East End Health and has focus edon teaching the residents the fundamentals of how to cook meals for themselves.

The staff from East End Health have all been on the training courses at the Ministry of Food to enable them to teach simple cookery skills to people who are looking to create meals on a tight budget.

One of the community food trainers explained that the team visit places such as schools, hostels and community centers to teach pensioners, single mums, youngsters and anybody else who is interested, the fundamental skills required to prepare meals for themselves.

East End Health are the only organisation that deliver the Ministry of Food cooking courses in the area and they’re the only orgaisation in the country that provides the training using an outreach model.

One resident, who has been living at the Salvation Army hostel since the spring, was quick to acknowledge the success of the initiative. He explained that as well as enjoying the cookery course, he has learned a great deal and will hopefully have the opportunity to put his knowledge into practice before too long. Another long term resident admitted to finding the course ‘quite relaxing’.

Residents who successfully complete the course will be presented with a certificate which should improve their chances of securing future employment.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army was also pleased with the impact that the cooking courses had made. He explained that they have been really popular with the residents who are learning life skills that they will find really useful when they leave the hostel.