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Cookery Courses London News

Waitrose cookery courses using only the freshest ingredients

We all know the supermarkets renowned for their value ready-meals, such as Tesco or Asda or if you’re feeling flusher, for a little something extra special, Sainsburys or even Marks and Sparks, all of whom have pre-prepared meals to suit every mood. You can literally pick anything up, get home (pay for it first, AWT!) and bung it In the oven or microwave with very little effort or thought and, usually, in less than an hour, your meal is ready for you; however, there are other supermarkets gaining reputations for the food that actually goes into these prepared meals fresh, rather than the microwaveable end product.

The big-name supermarkets are all so well known that if you know your budget and your monthly menu you don’t even have to think twice about whizzing around their store or online to pick up your favourites and bung them in the freezer ready to be pinged. If, on the other hand, your are wanting to pick the ingredients yourself to attempt to learn to cook a meal you picked up from a recipe online or from watching a cookery show on television, then chefs in the know go to Waitrose. It is, if you believe their hype, the go-to supermarket for ingredients to cook from scratch; which is just as well as above their Finchley Road store in London, they run a cookery school in what can only be described as a vision of stainless sterility and a kitchen to absolutely die for, if that’s the sort of thing that floats your boat.

It would be little fun attending a cookery course if all of the ingredients had already been put together for you and all you had to do was decide which Smart Price or Value box you wanted to pick out of the freezer. Indeed, the four hour cookery classes that Waitrose host above the London store, hosted by chef James Campbell, covers three main courses, a veritable pleasant diversion from your usual two-and-a-half hour session learning to cook one of each starter, main and pud, as is the wont of many cookery courses out there at the minute, especially in the capital where time is money and rent and the busy professional wants to be able to knock up three courses in time to entertain the boss or clients straight from the orifice.

The cookery class itself takes on the classic format – demonstration first, then participation, then indulge in the resultant meal with an accompanying beverage, all set in a fun atmosphere with a bit of Wham or Duran Duran in the background to help proceedings along swiftly.

Waitrose do offer a variety of cookery courses, not solely this particular one, which was targeted at chefs of all capability; however, any chef above the basic-intermediate level may have this degree of skill under their belts already. Of course, the best, freshest ingredients are all supplied to make this class a little different from others out there, underlining the fact that Waitrose not only know how to source good quality food, but put it together to make a bally decent meal or three out of it, too.

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Cookery School News

Scottish Retailers Make Fruit And Vegetable Pledge

In a move designed to tackle Scotland’s obesity crisis, eight of the largest food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, have signed a commitment to encourage customers to eat more fruit and vegetables.

The voluntary agreement has been arranged by the nation’s retail consortium and has been supported by the Scottish government. The retailers have agreed to implement up to six different initiatives.

They could choose to ensure that the price of fruit and vegetables remain affordable. They might also add more fruit and vegetables to their own branded products such as ready meals and soups.

Another of the initiatives the retailers can opt to strategically place displays of vitamin rich avocados and apples, in place of chewing gum and chocolate, to promote impulse buying.

They may also choose to ensure that a selection of ready-to-cook, pre-prepared vegetables is available to buy.

The other retailers that have pledged their support are Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Boots, Morrisons, The Co-operative and Sainsbury’s.

The Scottish Sports Minister, Shona Robson, welcomed the commitment that retailers have shown. She explained the by helping consumers make informed decisions about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, the commitment by the nation’s retailers can really help to improve diet and combat unhealthy weight.

It is hoped that the growth in the number of cookery schools offering cookery courses will also play an important role in helping to tackle the problem.

A spokesman for the Scottish Retail Consortium explained that the pledge that stores are making will impact how the promote, prepare and price fruit and vegetables. The affordable and practical steps should help customers to eat healthier diets.

The latest figures produced for the Scottish government suggest that almost sixty per cent of women and over sixty five per cent of men in Scotland are classed as overweight or obese.