Basic ingredients: “So much to learn!” exclaim the dynamic team at Season Cookery School. It’s a mantra supported by an impressive array of cookery classes, which include Thai and Malaysian Cooking, Inspirational and Instinctive Cooking, Classic Cake Making and Dishes from the Sea. Based in the idyllic grounds of Lainston House hotel, near Winchester, home for Season Cookery School is a renovated 17th-century well house complete with a 150ft well (covered by thick glass) and a pristine, fully-equipped kitchen. The high-end kitchen, which is used to train the hotel group’s own chefs, is roomy and full of clever touches: the demo hob has a digital touchscreen and the super-smooth Corian worktops have in-built circular waste slots. There’s also a spacious and thoughtfully furnished room next door for briefings, teas and coffees and lunch. There is a strong emphasis on culinary technique and so plenty of workshops, including knife skills, charcuterie and preserves taught by dedicated experts. The Art of French Cooking is led by Bordeaux born-and-raised school manager, Sylvain Gachot, who used to cook in the hotel’s kitchen. Full day classes run from 9.30am to 4.30pm and cost either £155 or £185. Half days are £75 and run from 9.30am to 1.30pm, or 2pm to 5.30pm.
They say: We opened our Exclusive Chefs’ Academy in 2014 to develop the talented and passionate chefs of the future. It was then the most natural step to launch our very own cookery school allowing us to share our dedication to the best restaurants, exquisite food and the finest and freshest ingredients. Our classes are open to everyone, whether you are an experienced chef or would like to try cookery for the first time. All you need is a keen interest in food!
We say: There is no shortage of expertise on hand at Season. The school boasts award-winning chefs from top-notch “academies” such as Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Students can expect the same degree of care and attention given to the food, which is locally sourced and seasonal. If you’re celebrating, stay over at the hotel and savour fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden at the 3 AA rosette Avenue Restaurant run by head chef and occasional cookery school tutor Olly Rouse.
01962 776088; https://www.exclusive.co.uk/cookery-school/the-cookery-school/