Basic ingredients: The Cooking Academy places health and nutrition at the heart of its teaching. Kumud Gandhi, who established the school in her homely kitchen in 2007, trained in food science and keenly extols the virtues of the full sensory and health benefits of what we eat. Each of the eclectic range of classes, including Vietnamese, Thai and Indian cookery, has a vegetarian alternative and starts with an introduction to the herbs and spices to be used during the day. Guest chefs add variety and colour to the calendar. A half day course costs £105 while a full day is £190. Day classes for teenagers cost £170 and £150 for children. Classes are kept to no more than six people to ensure individual attention for participants, with various skill levels catered for. There are two-day courses available at around £400 and bespoke one-to-one classes are priced at £699 for a full day.
They say: We want to teach you to cook in a way that is exciting to mind, joyful to the palate and satisfying to the soul. Having achieved this we also want to teach you to cook in a way that meets your dietary requirements and individual lifestyles and gets your ‘cooking Mo Jo’ back to high spirits.
We say: Classes with Kumud are down to earth, informative, chatty and hands-on, providing skills adaptable to the home kitchen. They also remember to factor in fun. Corporate classes include baking challenges and ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ style competitions, where participants have to replicate the dishes that have just been demonstrated, and children have their own playful cookery games.
01923 778880; www.thecookingacademy.co.uk