Cookery School Awards 2016

A cooking class in action at Bettys

A cooking class in action at Bettys

Following the success of the last cookery school awards, the original and only truly independent competition to find the very best cookery school in the country will launch soon in an exciting new format.

There are now hundreds of different types of cookery schools in the UK offering an impressive range of specialist classes and our competition aims to highlight and reward these. (View the 2014 winning cookery schools here.)

As the independent experts in the field and the only organisation that regularly reviews cookery schools, Looking to Cook is ideally placed to give recognition to those schools leading the way and offering something that little bit special.

Emma Wray, head of last year’s winner, Bettys Cookery School, said: “We are all so delighted to receive this national acclaim. We were being judged alongside famous names such as River Cottage, Daylesford and the Bertinet Kitchen…  It’s a real testimony to the expertise and skills of our tutors and to our philosophy of teaching cooking ‘the Bettys way’.”

The finalists will be competing for the 2016 Cookery School awards in the following categories:

Best cookery school (this will be the overall winner from a shortlist that will include the best school from each region on the Looking to Cook map: London, South-East, South-West, Central, East England, Wales, North-East, North-West, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Best cookery course (We’re looking for exceptional courses that pack in three hours  or less of fun and learning.)

Best day cookery course or food learning experience (This category is open to all food experience providers, including those who may not run a cookery school.)

Best ‘diploma’ cookery course (This category is open to providers of certified courses no shorter than one week long.)

Best community oriented cookery school (We’re looking for schools making a big impact in their local area.)

Best cookery school tutor (This could be a much loved veteran or a dedicated one-person operation.)Logo Pasquier 400px Wide

Back for 2016 is the Best Baking Course award sponsored by Brioche Pasquier.
The award has been introduced in recognition of the rise in popularity of baking among the British public and the vast number of specialist baking courses springing up.

Back for 2016 is the Most Sustainable Cookery School

Best cookery school website (We’re big fans of user-friendly websites and handsome design – there’s no need to submit an entry for this category, we will handpick a shortlist and allow the public to vote.)

HOW TO ENTER: Full details to follow. Entry to the awards is easy and FREE if you’re signed up to Looking to Cook (you can sign up here).
For non-members it costs £39 to enter the awards, which can be paid by using the PayPal button below, or by bank transfer or cheque (see below for payment details*).

If you’d like to enter your school or company please send us an email clearly stating which category you are entering in the subject box and a short statement highlighting why you think your school should win; each school/company can enter no more than three categories. Deadline: October 1st, 2016.

* You can pay by Paypal: or bank transfer: HSBC Looking to Cook account 40-02-16  22031019 – please drop me an email to notify me if you pay by bank transfer. Cheques made payable to ‘Looking to Cook’ can be posted to: 131 Chatham Road, London SW11 6HJ

LTC Awards Stamp 2013 WinnerJUDGES: The final stages of judging will take place in early October and the winners of each of the awards will be announced later in the year and featured in both national and local press. They will also be a winners’ certificate as well as special badges to display on their own websites (see an example here) and on their Looking to Cook profiles. The overall winner will win a six-month advertising slot on the Looking to Cook website, subject to terms and conditions.

The judging panel will include Henry Harris, former chef-patron at Racine restaurant in South Kensington, London,  and former graduate of Leiths School of Food and Wine


Nick Wyke, founder of Looking to Cook, and Celia Brooks, cookery author/tutor and founder of London’s Gastrotours.

Public votes and comments for a particular school, course or tutor can be made via the comments box at the bottom of a school’s profile on the Looking to Cook website, or via our TwitterFacebook or Pinterest pages, using the hash-tag #cookschoolawards. The quality and volume of what we consider to be authentic support for a candidate will be taken into consideration by the judges when reaching their final verdict.

Above all we are looking for evidence of infectious enthusiasm and fun in an open environment where students can learn and indulge their passion for food. We are also looking for consistency and creativity in the conception and execution of classes, and a capacity to share knowledge through compelling teaching. The winners will be the sort of school or course that people would like to return to again and again.

It’s simple to get involved, and there are excellent PR and marketing opportunities for participating schools. The looking to Cook Cookery School Awards are the ultimate showcase for the industry and we strongly recommend that the owners of all schools enter the competition.

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