Kitchen Confidential: Clare Major, Seasoned Cookery School

Seasoned Cookery School founder, Clare Major

Seasoned Cookery School founder, Clare Major

Clare is the founder of Seasoned Cookery School. She is passionate about inspiring people with food and creating memorable experiences for everyone who passes through the Seasoned door. Although she now concentrates on the marketing side of the business, she can always be relied on to be chief taster, tea and coffee maker and swaps her computer for her washing up gloves at the drop of a hat.

First food memory?

Finding (and devouring) a whole block of cheese in the fridge when I was a toddler… The love of cheese still remains!

First cookery skills?

When I was five or six I remember going on bread making classes in the holidays in a flour mill in Nottingham.  The bread wasn’t anything spectacular, but I can still recall the flavour of freshly baked bread made with wholemeal flour from the mill.

Favourite ingredients?

Indian and Thai spices – I love how you can transform basic ingredients into something remarkable with simple spices a little knowledge.

Recipes or improvise?

A little of both – recipes to get ingredient ideas and then I free-style depending on what I have in the cupboards and what feels right.

Most underrated dish?

Really fresh poached eggs. My husband is a farmer and we have free-range hens on the farm. When the hens are young they produce the most amazing quality eggs which, when poached are unbeatable.

Indispensable kitchen gadget or utensil?

A good knife and pan.

Tell us a top cookery tip?

I’m a fan of batch cooking – I double or triple most recipes and then freeze in individual portions.  This goes for cakes and biscuits – I make two or three and then pop some in the freezer.

Eat at home or eat out?

Eating in – almost always. Although there are a couple of superb restaurants in nearby Birmingham where we go for the occasional treat.

What’s Britain’s best kept food secret?

Ethically produced grass-fed beef. It is absolutely delicious and incomparable to mass produced grain-fed animals.

What are the key ingredients for a successful cookery class?

I believe that a passionate chef who is knowledgeable in their particular culinary sphere is absolutely essential. All of our courses are taught by different chefs who are passionate and knowledgeable about their chosen area of cuisine.

The other essential is a well-organised and friendly team. We put a lot of effort into planning and refining our courses so that customers get the most out of their experience – both in enjoyment and culinary skills.

What do students enjoy most about learning to cook?

The fact that it is a skill for life – if we teach people to make perfect pastry, bread or Thai food they can then recreate this in the forthcoming weeks, months and years for family and friends.  The skills they learn go far and beyond the day that they are with us and many of the dishes then become family favourites.

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Contact: Kitchen Confidential: Clare Major, Seasoned Cookery School

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