Categories
Cookery Courses News

Low GL diet will leave you feeling Grrreat about yourself

It’s no use denying it, we all like to get our money’s worth. When cookery courses deliver both inspiration in the kitchen and also give you a metaphorical package that you can take away to deliver a healthier lifestyle, then they’ve ticked all of the ‘value’ boxes in one hit.

Whether you agree with a vegetarian lifestyle or not (thought I’d better redress the balance after the Meat Advisory Panel last week), there are evidential benefits that you can take from the plethora of plant-like ingredients that other menus don’t offer.

Whole Food Matters is running a four week cookery course at the end of the end of September that will not only show you how to get the greatest gratification from your greens, but will also garner a growth in your gift for grasping a gregarious side of your nature to spread the word beyond the granite work surface of your kitchen so others can grasp the gravitas of the grandiose goal of the course. G-g-g-grrr, I’m gobsmackingly great today!

From High Volume G’s and Gr’s to Low GL, the premise behind this series of cookery classes.

Many people turn to vegetarianism as a way to lose weight, cutting out all of the natural fats that can be found in meats believing that they’re all harmful. There’s a tome I could right on how wrong that is, but that’s the media for you (and, before you start writing in, I do mean ‘right’, not ‘write’ – bless).

The issue a lot of people have with being overweight is admitting it, first to themselves then acting upon it in socially – it’s sort of like a public admission, saying ‘hey, look, I know I’m fat, right?’ But that is the first milestone if you’re going to do anything to actively reduce the excess poundage. That’s what this course is about.

Without giving too much away, WFM is supplementing the vegetarian cookery course itself with diaries and recipes as well as offering a weigh-in every week.

Taking into account your BMI and the readout your existing body-make up gives you, you can then implement the Low GL diet in a way to shed the pounds over the four-week period and beyond.  And this really is where WMF has gone a step further, identified the key issues associated with other cookery courses to help lose weight and where they may have failed and done something about it.

Firstly, the price of the whole four-week course is at a cost – no, I’d say an investment in yourself – that I’ve seen single classes go for, especially in The Smoke. But after the first four weeks, for a nominal fee, you can extend the session in weekly, biweekly or monthly drop-ins to get an update and check your progress either at Health & Herbs and/or Moycullen, where there will be encouragement and a tad more advice to keep you on track for your weightloss goals.

So, if you’re up and around Galway, intrigued with herb-ilicious cookery, Low GL diets and perhaps looking to shed a few pounds, Liz and the gang can sure accommodate you this September.

Categories
Cookery Courses News

The make up of your average cookery course student

What type of person enrols on cookery courses? Have you ever thought about attending one, but don’t want to look or feel like the odd one out?

Well let me put your mind at rest – all sorts of people attend all sorts of classes!  Whether they’re bespoke cookery classes aimed at cookery courses for men, for the elderly, for the young or if you enjoy a meat-free diet, there are plenty of vegetarian cookery schools dotted around the country, most notably in Edinburgh (although by no means exclusive to Scotland’s capital).

To highlight just what I mean, a recent blog post on kaveyeats.com tells the tale of a chef, Kavey, funnily enough, who was invited some time ago to attend a public relations exercise for a well-known brand at Food at 52 – a delightful, family-run, olde worlde cookery school. Since then, John and Emily, Food at 52’s proprietors, have managed to grow its classes and repertoire, move into bespoke premises yet – much to Kavey’s delight upon her recent return – managed to retain all of the olde charme of the original family home school as was in their brand new premises. The retention of the warmth and overwhelming hospitality that she felt on her original visit has been recreated at the new location, between tube stops Angel and Old Street, purely down to John’s previous life experience of running a set-building company for the flicks, which he drew upon to fit out the new cookery school himself. Talented booby.

That’s the scene set, no Bela Lugosi in sight, just Kavey and the revamped kitchen (do you see what I did there?) with its range, custom-made hoods over the ovens and a trestle table to work around so long it could double up as a bowling lane when not in use by budding chefs.

But that’s a little aside from the main point of this article, although is a nice aside as many chefs who blog don’t often go to the extent of giving you a visual. So, who attended this cookery class with Kavey?

Well, first and foremost there is John, the aforementioned set-building half of the duo that run the school, whose background is obviously in construction. However, it is he who teaches the class Kavey has been invited to in order to get her blessing on the school’s new abode, along with an able assistant who (hopefully) won’t mind me saying this, was John’s skivvy for the day.

Then there’s Kavey herself, a renowned chef in her own rite turned pupil for the day.

Other students who joined her at the trestle table, in no particular order, were a professional food blogger whose written content was accompanied by a video review of a series cookery classes they were attending, in this case Food at 52, obviously.

There was then a Scottish mother and daughter team in London for a break who had taken the opportunity to top up their culinary skills. And another mother and offspring team were there, however this second particular team included a red-head mother-to-be and an infant in utero, who was not so many days away from announcing their arrival. She, likewise, was taking the opportunity to indulge in a cookery lesson before the little one came along, limiting this type of activity for the foreseeable future.

And finally, a recently graduated student (unfortunately, Kavey couldn’t recall whether it was physics or an engineering qualification the lad had attained) whose girlfriend had bought him the cookery class as a birthday treat.  Female logic prevailing, if ever their was evidence of its superiority.

So there you have it – a diverse cross section of the UK public enjoys the camaraderie and the satisfaction of partaking in cookery classes with no inhibitions or, if they had them beforehand, are soon dispersed.

So, what’s stopping you? Check out our hand-picked cookery courses or drop us a comment below if you have something to say – all comments will be replied to.

Categories
Cookery Courses News

A recipe for success on cookerycourses.co.uk

Do you know what we’re missing here on cookerycourses.co.uk?

It’s something so blindingly obvious but, in our urge to bring you the best news and trends from the world of food, fine dining and, more importantly where to go and learn to cook it, we’ve not brought a single recipe to you in all of that time.

Yes, we may have pontificated about the strides being made in the hospitality trade to overhaul the restaurant and pub trade menus to incorporate modern thinking about what’s healthy and their attempts to deliver just that.

We may have raved about the number of vegetarian cookery courses and the rise in the number of eateries where you can now go and be sure that the vegetables have not been prepared on the same kitchen work surface as a slab of meat.

In more recent times our focus on food recycling and the work that featured not-for-profit organisations like FoodCycle are doing to give young people experience of working in teams, learning to cook using fresh ingredients and fight food poverty in needy communities has received welcome comments from our readership.

And, of course, no decent site about food would overlook the struggle the Western World is fighting against obesity, derived from generations opting for a Big Mac, Kentucky or microwaved ‘healthy’ meal instead of preparing their own lunches from fresh ingredients.

What we’ve not done, in all this time, is offer recipes of our own – Lord knows, there are enough of them out there for us to adapt to our own special theme.

But what many recipes don’t do is give you the calorific and nutritional breakdown of what goes into each meal Yes, they give you the prep time, ingredients and method, but not a lot about what good the meal does you.

So don’t be surprised to find a few quick, easy recipes popping up between our news articles, starting tomorrow with an Aldo Zilli classic.

See you then.

oh – and a big p.s. – if there are any classics that you would like to see covered that you have cooked time and again or would like to try but you are not sure about what the meal constitutes in the way of calories, nutrition or how far they go towards your five-a-day, please feel free to drop a line in the comment box, below, and we will endeavour to bring you a recipe with the break-down of nutrition to go alongside.

Categories
Uncategorized

Cordon Vert Cookery School vegetarian cook-off final won

And so we approach the end of Vegetarian Week, which has been a huge success, by all accounts. And none would have felt success more than Gary Ashley, the winner of this year’s Chef of the Future award, announced by Cordon Vert, the Vegetarian Society’s cookery school earlier this month.

The criteria for the finalists was twofold. First and foremost, the competition entrants had to produce a three course menu that would be both appetising and palatable for vegetarians and/or vegans. Once the shortlist was drawn up for the final, the three savvy chefs chosen would then have to prepare those meals in a live cook-off event on the 9th May at The Vegetarian Society in Altrincham.

As Gary was from Southampton, he had to make sure that the trip up to Cheshire was worth while, especially having made the same journey to the cookery school last year, only to finish runner up on that occasion. Therefore, he knew the level of talent he’d be cooking against and that the ingredients he used would have to be wide ranging, complementary and enough to get even a hearty meat-eaters taste buds tingling.

The starter alone would have taken the layman a term of cookery courses to put together; it infused a mixture of tapas that you would be hard-pushed to find anything like, strolling along the coastline of Torviscas Playa, and was a galaxy of tastes, including wild mushroom and sweet potato beefed up with a sprinkle of cumin to name just two of the servings on offer. Certainly not your Spanish locale tapas, for sure.

The main course, however, did incorporate a taste of The Med. Vegetables from the region were combined with cous cous, spinach and roast pepper and even a coriander fritter alongside fruit and nuts to contrast the bitter tasting veg. Then he prepared not just one but three desserts, again combining tastes yet varying texture to wow the judges and cement his first prize.

After the event, Ashley said the award was “the most prestigious accolade of [his] career”, an award that was given based upon, according to Cordon Vert Cookery School’s principle tutor, Alex Connell, everything that the judges were looking for. Not only were the tastes and textures impressive, but also the “care, skill and attention to detail” Ashley put in only went to prove how exciting vegetarian meals can be and also how presentable they are, when imagination and experience come together to create such a winning dish.

For his pains, Ashley is now entitled to a cookery course at Cordon Vert to the tune of £1,500, which is taught up to the nationally recognised Professional Diploma standard. He also takes away his own set of Cordon Vert embroidered whites, the Chef of the Future 2012 title and a bottle of champagne to toast his success.

For the runners-up, Olivia West and Natasha Koncewicz, they now have the experience to go one better for the 2013 event. As Gary proved, knowledge is king and the girls now have an insight into just what it takes to win this coveted vegetarian cookery course award.

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

Categories
Cookery Courses News

Locally-sourced and foraged ingredients for your veggie bbq

No need to remind everyone that this week is Vegetarian Week, if you’ve been following the cookery courses blog, but for those who’ve just ambled across the site: it’s National Vegetarian Week! As such, we’ll be devoting the articles and advising of cookery schools that specialise in meat- (and fish-)free dishes.

In the UK alone, the Big Veggie Survey found that 3.8 million class themselves as ‘mainly’ vegetarian, the concession being that, to get a little flesh inside them (ooh, err!), they are not opposed to eating our water-dwelling friends. Half as many again, however, consider themselves ‘strictly vegetarian’, i.e. they eat no meat whatsoever, rather derive protein from soy and nuts and their iron and other vitamins and minerals from the common-or-garden vegetable.

This is a plight that can cause problems eating out, as we looked at earlier this week, as many restaurateurs and other eating establishments consider they’ve done their bit for the hoards of vegetarians wishing to eat socially by slapping a bit of cod or haddock on the menu. Uh-uh – catering sector, in the spirit of Eurovison, you score nil pwon. Yes, I know it’s spelt ‘points’, but it sort of loses the effect, innit?

How to serve vegetarian meals at home

Given that almost 2M strict veggies in the UK equates to one in thirty people, there’s a real good chance that, when throwing a dinner party or barbecue – yes, we have the weather for that at last! – at least one of the guests will be vegetarian or even vegan. What you don’t want to do is make the same mistake as the catering trade, rather, get the lowdown on what vegetarian cookery courses offer as part of their curriculum.

You really can’t go wrong by taking time out to pop along to one of the many UK cookery courses that have had a program designed by and for vegetarians. It’s a competitive business and reputation is everything in the industry; cookery courses are a growing market as UK citizens become more aware of the fact that ready meals off the shelf contain little in the way of nutrients and prefer to cook their meals from scratch.

The industry has recognised this and locally-sourced produce is one of the aspects that feature heavily in the modern day cookery class. And you can’t get more naturally cultured or foraged than UK vegetables or fruits and berries that can be plucked from many a winding country lane, a phenomenon that the UK is renowned for. What’s more, foraged ingredients are usually free, so what better excuse do you need to learn to incorporate vegetables and fruits into your dinner party spread?

So, over the remainder of the week, we’ll be taking a peep into what some of the most prolific chefs in the industry have to offer in the way of not only preparing a vegetarian feast, but also is rich in nutrients and is surprisingly cost-effective to prepare, as long as one has the know-how. If you can’t wait, our choice of the best cookery courses have plenty to offer in meat-free cookery classes, so why not take a gander, now, whilst we still have the weather to get the Grilletto out and make hay while the sun shines, as they say?

Categories
Cookery Courses News

Countdown on for entry into this year’s Chef of the Future

The Cordon Vert cookery school enters its thirtieth year, this year, since its inception back in 1982. Promoting vegetarian meals as a staple inclusive in any main pub or restaurant menu is one of the key drivers behind their raison d’etre and, for any like-minded budding chefs, they have a whole host of vegetarian cookery courses on site to choose from.

Not only does the cookery school offer a versatile range of cookery classes, from general workshops to cookery courses for young people, but they also offer a nationally recognised diploma, which incorporates many aspects of the professional chef’s trade and is designed, in its intensity, to bring anyone needing a vegetarian cooking qualification up to speed in a very short space of time.

It is this diploma that is part of the prize on offer as part of the competition for their annual ‘Chef of the Future 2012’ competition, welcome to vegetarian and meat-cooking chefs alike, however the menu for judging will be an entirely vegetarian or vegan three-course affair, which should be able to be cooked in a live cook-off environment, to be held in Cheshire at the Vegetarian Society HQ, w/c May 8th.

The judging panel, who it will ultimately be the ones to please with the menu, have now been announced. Cordon Vert Cookery School’s Alex Connell is this year joined by three instantly recognisable names in the field of vegetarian cooking, namely Jane Hughes, The Vegetarian magazine editor, Damien Davenport, Manchester’s Bistro 1847 vegetarian eatery director and one import from ‘the outside world’, Mike Haddow, who is the group executive chef from Thwaites Inns of Character and Shire Hotels.

As an extra sign of recognition for the eventual winner of this year’s contest, Damien will run the victorious three course offering as a special at Bistro 1847, alongside his already renowned menu.

Completing the prize on offer for this year’s competition, on top of the Bistro 1847 Special and £1,500’s worth of Cordon Vert Professional Diploma Cookery Course, the winner of 2012 Chef of the Future will also take away a complete set of cooking whites, which will have specifically tailored embroidery recognising the achievement and a bottle of champers. And, of course, the prestigious title.

So if you fancy being in with a chance to hone your art of vegetarian cooking through a foundation cookery course of national recognition, which not only highlights the range of ingredients and techniques used by professional vegetarian chefs but also goes on to cover nutritional aspects, avoidance of common pitfalls, menu planning and dietary restrictions, download an application form off Cordon Vert’s website and have it back before April 2nd to be in with a chance of the diploma and a shot at the title!