Our selection of courses from some of Britain’s best cookery schools range from serious cheffing and a shooting party to molecular gastronomy for kids and creative vegetarian cooking
Why not make next year the one where you (or one of your loved ones) finally master the art of sourdough baking or exploit the full potential of the Aga?
Vouchers are available for most of the cookery courses listed below.
Make your own Champagne afternoon tea
L’Atelier des Chefs
Let the masters of short culinary courses teach you some tantalising tea-time treats such as salted caramel macaroons, white chocolate and coconut truffles, crab and cucumber rye bread sandwiches, and the ever reliable butter scone cream tea.
When: Sat 14th Jan 2014, 15.30 to 17.30
Where: St Paul’s Branch, 10 Foster Lane London EC2V 6HR
How Much: £72
Contact: 0207 796 0110
The Complete Italian Cookery Course in 7 weeks
La Cucina Caldesi
This in-depth exploration of Italian food and wine is taught by Stefano Borella at Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi’s inimitable Marylebone school. Each of the 7 weeks focuses on a different aspect of Italian cuisine, such as antipasti, pizza, fish and desserts, with the course culminating in a three-course dinner prepared for the chef and student’s chosen guest of honour.
When: Mon 6th January 2014, 6.30pm to 10pm
Where: 4 Cross Keys Close, London W1U 2DG
How Much: £650
Contact: 0207 487 0750/6/8 / email@example.com
Foundation Cookery Week
Ashburton Cookery School
Culinary qualifications from this Devon based school are highly regarded, so a week dedicated to building confidence and providing culinary experience for the uninitiated would make a well received gift. Tuition is delivered steadily across the 5 days, with fundamental skills and techniques such as stocks, soups, salads, fish, meat and desserts among the many lessons included. Those who sign up for the January course receive a discount of £78
When: Mon 6th Jan to Fri10th Jan 2014 / Mon 3rd Feb toFri 7th Feb 2014, Mon to Thu: 9.30am to 6pm and Fri: 9.30am to 3.30pm
Where: Old Exeter Road, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7LG
How Much: £875
Contact: 01364 652784 ; ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk
The Shooting Experience – two-day course
Vale House Kitchen
Invaluable ‘country skills’ are what Vale House is all about and they’re in abundance across this 48-hour foray into game. Lunch is provided to help sustain energy levels on a course that includes clay pigeon shooting and genuine ‘game drives’ courtesy of resident expert Frank Shellard; followed by lessons from Tim Maddams in plucking, skinning, gutting, hanging, boning, cooking and smoking your acquisitions.
When: Sat 25th Jan to Sun 26th Jan 2014, 10am to 5pm
Where: Vale House, Loves Hill, Timsbury Bath BA2 0EU
How Much: £400
Contact: 01761 470401 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Set up a home bakery
Juniper & Rose Kitchen Garden School
One for Great British Bake Off addicts, this six-hour workshop focuses on the practicalities of a bakery start-up such as day-to-day techniques, costs, supplies, cost-effective marketing and maximising profits. Everything is provided on the day, including a freshly baked breakfast, lunch and local wines to stimulate the synapses.
When: Fri 14th Feb 2014, 10am to 4pm
Where: Pitsford, Northamptonshire
How Much: £95
Contact: 07813 308 301 / email@example.com
Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School
Transform the humble lentil through techniques such as spherification, vegetarian jellies, salt baking and sugar work. The course promises to be thoroughly hands-on and includes a light lunch, three-course meal and wine to finish, as well as step by step instructions to take home, allowing students to wow guests with their newfound culinary wizardry.
When: Sat 15th Feb 2014, 10am to 4.30 pm
Where: 6 Terrace Walk, Bath BA1 1LN
How Much: £150
Contact: 01225 427938 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Aga: The Beginner’s Guide
This course aims to demonstrate all the basics to students such as grilling, roasting, baking, frying, simmering and braising, regardless of whether they are completely new to this coveted cooker or go utterly gaga for the Aga. Much like the oven itself, Deborah Miller promises to cram a lot into this hot two-hour tutorial.
When: Thu 27th Feb 2014, 11am to 1.30pm
Where: 227-229 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP
How Much: £40
Contact: 020 7486 8020 / email@example.com
Cinnamon Square Cookery School
No prior experience is necessary for anyone looking to learn more about the King of Breads. This hands-on masterclass will see students bake wheat and rye sourdough, rustic baguettes, Stilton and raisin loaves and learn about Poolish, Biga and pate fermentee. Recipes to take home and further reading – including how to start and preserve a sourdough culture – aim to demystify the process, while the day itself will include plenty of food and wine.
When: Fri14th March 2014, 4pm to 9.30pm
Where: 7-9 Church St, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 1BX
How Much: £140
Contact: 01923 778353 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Splattastic Molecular Gastronomy Party
Splat Cookery School
Splat’s celebrated cooking parties can be tailored toward those knee-high hopeful Hestons, and make a yuletide gift that will ensure the merriment doesn’t have to end after the Christmas tree has come down. In fact there’ll be fun in droves for kids, aged 8 and above, as they cook pizza, cinder toffee to take home, instant sparkly tagliatelle jelly and caviar pearls using spherification techniques. Everything is provided on the day, including mad scientist goggles and lab coats.
When: Contact to arrange a booking
Where: Park Mill House, Summerleys Rd, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 9QB
How Much: £27
Contact: 0870 766 8290 / email@example.com
Culbone Cookery School
These Exmoor food tours are for those who care about the provenance of local produce and the passionate people behind it. The two-night course includes comfortable accommodation, breakfast, packed lunches and dinner. Day one – ‘Catch it, cook it, eat it!’ – is centred around the day’s haul, while day two, ‘Life through the eyes of an Exmoor Farmer’, culminates in a beef masterclass. Technical demonstrations transform the gathered produce from source to sauce and there will be time to enjoy the tranquillity of the local countryside as well as experience the stunning South West Coast Path.
When: The last weekend of every month
Where: The Culbone, Porlock, Minehead TA24 8JW
How Much: £430
Contact: 01643 862 259 / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com