Whether you are a budding chef wanting to finesse your culinary skills or you just want to try something fun and different – a course at one of the UK’s best cookery schools is an absolute must.
From celebrity chef-led kitchens to stunning rural retreats, here are some of our favourite cookery schools that the UK has to offer….
MAHÉ – PADSTOW, CORNWALL
Adjoining the acclaimed Paul Ainsworth at No.6 in Padstow, Mahé is a new cookery school run by the Michelin-starred chef John Walton in conjunction with Paul and his wife Emma. It opened in May and runs from Thursday through to Saturday, providing an elegant and intimate space in which guests can discover how to create stunning dishes.
The cookery courses are completely tailored to each guest and are priced from £250 per person which includes breakfast, a behind-the-scenes tour, lunch in No.6’s private room and a goody bag.
PIED A TERRE MASTERCLASS KITCHEN EXPERIENCE – FITZROVIA, LONDON
If you have ever dreamt of working in a Michelin starred kitchen, then a culinary masterclass at London’s Pied a Terre is an absolute must. Every Friday, five aspiring chefs can enter the kitchen and work alongside the team; helping them create some of Pied a Terre’s most renowned dishes.
The class will demonstrate how the restaurant creates their exciting dishes and will give you the skills and expertise to take home and try out on your friends and family. Guests will also receive a goodie bag full of treats and can enjoy a 4-course lunch with paired wines.
THE KITCHEN – CHEWTON GLEN, NEW FOREST, HAMPSHIRE
The Kitchen, a standalone cookery school at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, is headed up by celebrity chef James Martin. It offers a range of courses, including baking, seafood and cocktail-making classes.
You can even cook alongside the chef himself. The ‘Cook with James Martin’ classes are held for a maximum of 12 guests over a morning or afternoon. Participants can watch James prepare two of his favourite dishes, such as lobster ravioli and funnel cake with blueberry and gin compote, and then will have the opportunity to try recreating it under his watchful eye.
Individual classes start from £95, while the ‘Cook with James’ class is priced at £350 per person.
THE WOODSPEEN RESTAURANT AND COOKERY SCHOOL – NEWBURY, BERKSHIRE
Run by acclaimed chef John Campbell, the Woodspeen cookery school runs a wide range of courses throughout the year. The courses are always based around seasonal ingredients cultivated from the school and restaurant’s vegetable plot. Participants can even go out into the plots to pick their produce of choice.
From simple summer dining to vegan focused courses, there is something for everyone and each course is very hands on, which helps develop the guest’s skills and learning.
RICK STEIN’S COOKERY SCHOOL, PADSTOW, CORNWALL
If you are a fan of seafood, you should head down to the delightful town of Padstow in Cornwall to Rick Stein’s Cookery School. Whilst the focus is on the preparation and cooking of fish, guests can also participate in classes in Indian, Far Eastern, Italian and Mexican cuisine.
The cookery school was initially started for the chefs working at the restaurant to undertake intense training in the preparation and cooking a fish and shellfish, but this was eventually offered out to the public who wanted to develop their skills in preparing seafood.
From lobster thermidor to Singapore chilli crab, there are ten different workshops to choose from and courses start at just £95 for an evening session
THE NORTHCOTE COOKERY SCHOOL, BLACKBURN, LANCASHIRE
Step into Northcote’s intimate Cookery School in the heart of Lancashire and you will soon feel at home. Whether you are just getting started when it comes to cooking or are a culinary whizz, a course at the Northcote Cookery School will provide you with the inspiration and tips that you need to create new dishes to enjoy at home.
Choose from fundamentals such as preparing meat and fish dishes, how to create the ideal dinner party menu as well as more specialist courses such as advanced cookery techniques. You can even undertake a course with Northcote’s own acclaimed Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen learning to create three of Lisa’s favourite dishes.
RAYMOND BLANC COOKERY SCHOOL, GREAT MILTON, OXFORDSHIRE
The Raymond Blanc Cookery School at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons hotel in Oxford runs a range of cookery courses in kitchens next door to those of its two-Michelin starred restaurant. Indeed, the two kitchens are only separated by a series of glass windows, so you’ll feel like a pro no matter what level of skills you have.
From half-day introductions to dinner party master classes, there are some great classes to choose from – many of which focus on recipes and dishes which have inspired Raymond Blanc himself.
Half day courses start from £185 per person and include all tuition, ingredients and refreshments, while full day courses are priced from £365, which also includes a working lunch.
HH&CO BACKSTAGE AT THE LIME WOOD, NEW FOREST, HAMPSHIRE
Drawing on Angela and Luke’s fresh, confident approach to cooking and eating and their signature home-cooked style, the Lime Wood’s cookery school HH&Co Backstage offers a unique, fun and informal way of learning how to cook delicious food!
The courses, which includes Italian cuisine, seafood, pastry and how to cook that all-important roast are suitable for everyone from complete beginners to aspiring master chefs. Their hands-on, relaxed style aims to improve participants’ culinary skills whilst giving the confidence and inspiration to go home and get cooking in their own kitchen.
OUTCOOK COOKERY SCHOOL, ALNWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND
Situated in the heart of Northumberland, the Outcook Home Cookery School takes an informal and fun approach towards cooking. From Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisine to fish and seafood, guests can either opt to take a regular course or to try a private bespoke session with one of the school’s chefs. Either way, you can expect to leave with a lasting appreciation of both the local Northumbrian produce and North East hospitality.
THE COOKERY SCHOOL AT DAYLESFORD, COTSWOLDS NEAR KINGHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
From beginners looking to learn new skills to more confident cooks who are looking for more inspiration in their own kitchens, the Daylesford Cookery School offers a superb selection of courses that will whet any appetite.
This unique place of culinary excellence is housed in a beautifully restored stone barn, surrounded by stunning Cotswold countryside and 2350 acres of working farmland. It will equip you with a range of techniques, recipes and principles to help you make the most of their delicious seasonal ingredients.
WORDS| EMMA HARRISON