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Cookery School News

Michelin-rated Cookery School joins FoodCycle cause

Welcome back to the third and penultimate part of our little run on FoodCycle and how, I believe, by cookery courses taking the initiative, the good work performed by volunteers around the country turning waste food into nutritious meals could be a win-win-win situation.

What do FoodCycle and cookery schools have in common?

Ok, the obvious answer is cooking food. But the secondary answer I’m looking for is: students!

Many of the 16-25 year old volunteers who help bring the discarded food from retail outlets to the tables of those suffering from food poverty in the community are students, not necessarily from the region they’re helping to bring suchre to.

We have written many an article on cookerycourses.co.uk about how youngsters leave home without even the most basic knowledge of cooking from fresh ingredients. Whilst cookery classes may be beyond the reach of a young family’s budget, getting involved in a project like FoodCycle will not only help that old dinosaur culinary ignoramus further down the road to extinction, but will also benefit a local community near you.

The cooking revolution has already started (and I was totally unaware of this before starting this serious – oops, sack the researcher!), but one London cookery school has already begun to tap into the talent flocking to FoodCycle from the universities and suburbs.

Only last week, Giorgio Locatelli and the guys at the La Cucina Caldesi in London W1 were offering 10 budding chefs the opportunity to take part in a cookery masterclass with the Michelin-star chef himself, before joining the main man to eat the three-course meal and soak up the atmosphere and a little of Giorgio’s fine dining philosophy. Cooking and philosophy from an Sicilian master – does it get any better than that?  Well actually, yes it does.  During the meal, owner of Enoteca Turi, Guiseppe Turi, was scheduled to guide the lucky students through a history of fine Italian wine, including what they were partaking in at the table.  Doubley Bubbly!

At £500 a head, it does, however, underline how far out of reach fine dining cookery classes are for the average family, but on this occasion, every penny went to the the FoodCycle cause. Now if my maths are anything like my writing…

…Kelvin needed £5,000 from this year’s fund raiser before he’d consider having the dragon tattoo on his back…10 guests were invited to Giorgio’s masterclass on the 19th June in London…at £500 a pop – hey, Kelvin – there’s your five G’s, big man…let us know when the ink’s dry and the scabs have healed!

Right, so that sums up my arguments. Join us for the fourth and final part of this mini series tomorrow, before we take a peep into another program in this growing niche already infiltrating UK retail outlets and raising a volunteer network across the nation, Food Aware CIC, to conclude our week on food recycling and food poverty.

This has been a real eye-opening ride, so far; I just hope more cookery schools, including the 2012 awards, take the Locanda Locatelli attitude towards the cause, taking in the bigger picture rather than the short-sighted view of remaining somewhat exclusive.

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Cookery Courses London News

L’atelier des Chefs: the all-in-one corporate cooking course

It is so difficult finding suitable team building activities that will incorporate the capabilities of all of your troops whilst keeping them constantly motivated and delivering that sense of teamwork that is the essence of such an exercise.

One of the more popular ways of achieving this goal, that doesn’t involve your workforce having to traipse half way across the country already demotivated and in the doghouse with their other half because of the two nights you’ve planned for them doing outdoor pursuits, is the corporate cookery course.

L’atelier des Chefs, a London cookery school that has just opened up its second venue in St Paul’s, has become somewhat expert at organising just this type of hands-on, goal-oriented event. From the concept through to the end result, having worked as a team to get where they are, they know all about what it means to work together and have a bit of fun in the process. No standing up to your knees in a freezing cold river in the middle of Wales, here.

Both the Oxford Circus venue and the new St Paul’s cookery school offer flexibility in a location where space usually comes at a premium, the centre of London, and with contemporary kitchens and Michelin-trained chefs L’atelier des Chefs, whilst holding true to the ‘art of delicious, accessible food‘, have an uncommon view of what team-building is all about.

There are other cookery schools that offer corporate cookery courses, for sure, but the dedicated operations team that organise the events for the London venues not only offer spaces for 12-180 victims employees to work together, but they can also make the elements of the cookery courses bespoke to the specific team-building goals you’re aiming to achieve.

Whether you have would-be Tom Cruises looking to create the perfect company cocktail, are looking to send the guys and gals out to learn to cook for a seasonal event or even set departments head to head against each other in cook-off challenges, L’atelier des Chefs can tailor a menu to suit your needs.

Not only that, their West End venue can host your corporate networking event before taking the results of your labour into a private dining space to hone in on those potential relationships or even host a PR Event for the launch of a new product or if you have some hot off the press news you want to ‘big up’ as an announcement to your team or customer base.

If it all sounds too good to be true, check them out for yourselves. Access their site through our home page on cookerycourses.co.uk where you can sign up to follow them on facebook, receive their newsletter or contact them directly if you’ve already got the event in mind. Bon Apetit, tous les mondes. x

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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 School News

French cookery school explores Scotland

Continental diners may soon be enjoying the taste of Scotland after the French cookery school, Lycée Hôtelier in Dinard, sent nine cookery students to explore the country and learn more about its chefs, products and producers.

The joint project was developed in association with Frédéric Berkmiller and his two Edinburgh based restaurants, L’Escargot Bleu and L’Escargot Blanc.

During their stay, the students travelled the breadth of Scotland meeting wholesale fishmongers, vegetable producers and cattle farmers, and visiting their premises.

They also had the chance to learn about the rich variety of Scottish produce, from fish and meat to dairy and vegetables.

The students also visited the kitchens of L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot. There was also the opportunity to visit Michelin-Star chef Tom Kitchin and discuss his passion for fresh produce and his saying: “From nature to plate”.

Mr Berkmiller believes that both Scotland and France have rich larders that are very similar and as a result it is the duty of chefs and restaurant to share knowledge and experience with youngsters wherever they may come from.

During their visit some of the trainee chefs were left in charge of the kitchens at L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot Bleu. The remaining members of the French team visited the Institut Français d’Ecosse in Edinburgh, to participate in a special Tastes of Brittany and Meet the Chefs afternoon of sweet and savoury crepes tasting.

The exchange project was arranged as part of a year of cultural exchange between Scotland and Brittany that was conceived by the Institut Francais d’Ecosse.

The project is built on partnership with cultural organisations in both countries and aims to strengthen the existing links to support and develop artistic creation in addition to promoting it at an international and national level.

The Lycée Hotelier cookery school will be hosting the return leg in October. This will be an opportunity for a number of Scottish cookery students to explore the gastronomic joys of Brittany.

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Cookery Class News

Marco Pierre White sets out on Knorr-tical world cruise

We have written before about Marco Pierre White and his amazing rise to fame as a teenager, through to his hands-on apprenticeship to the renowned chef we know and love from the reality cooking shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and The Chopping Board to Australian Masterchef, whereupon he set his own challenge.

The fifty-year-old chef, more recently prominent on our screens promoting Knorr stock cubes, is to go on a world tour giving cookery courses on the same, teaching budding chefs across the planet how to integrate them into their own recipes.

The father of four, who famously renounced his three Michelin-star awards when he gave up the nitty-gritty of cookery in the very practical sense as a restaurateur – despite being the youngest ever chef to get a hat-trick of said awards – jets off to Singapore for the first three day stint. The trip will serve a dual purpose: promoting the stock cubes and unveiling the brand new Chefmanship Centre, brought to us by Unilever Food Solutions’.

From there, he will also be appearing at the World Gourmet Summit where he will be giving live cookery demonstrations using the stock cubes as the base of his own recipes. It really should be a treat as Pierre White will also be including in the live cookery class how other herbs and spices can be used to compliment or counteract the tantalising tastes that the Knorr cubes and cooking sauces deliver.

Be inventive and creative in the kitchen to create your signature dish

This is a theory that the young Michelin man thinks sets good chefs apart; having had such successes in the past, who are we to argue? He truly believes that chefs need to get ‘inventive and creative’ in the kitchen to give their dishes that distinct signature that sets them apart, yet hold on to the nature of the meal they are preparing without compromising their own precarious position when meddling with the classics, especially if things go horribly wrong.

It’s for this reason cookery courses are so important – you may think you have a dish licked, but without advise of experience, how do you know if you’ve been successful?  Well, apart from licked dishes, of course.

Someone else who has enjoyed success thanks to Knorr is Peter Joyner, Elior UK’s food development director. He recently came first from five in the UK division of Knorr’s recipe competition, Blue Dragon. His experience in the Far East will be altogether different as, rather than host the cookery courses, he will be a student in Bangkok and Phuket (hard life these chefs have got) as he travels to Thailand next month to indulge of masterclasses of the highest order to help develop his own culinary prowess.

Pierre White will return to Australia after his jaunt to MasterChef last year, but this time his sole intention is to continue to promote the Knorr stock cubes and not, this time, to see what the best chefs from down under can do for one of his cooking lesson challenges.

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