Basic ingredients: The 163-year-old Vegetarian Society’s dedicated cookery school was established in 1982 and is located in Victorian mansion house, Parkdale. The “home of vegetarian cuisine” opens its doors to all abilities but more experienced cooks can enrol on the Cordon Vert Chef’s Diploma. This “5-day intensive training programme” is part of a comprehensive calendar that includes full-day international cuisine courses – anyone for Cuban tostones or Egyptian kushari? – and workshops on vegan dining, breadmaking and edible presents. There’s even a gluten-free vegan class. Those seeking to develop key skills and techniques can opt for two-day workshops that teach a diverse repertoire of dishes or three-hour evening classes that build confidence in beginners across a five week period. Fully funded by the Vegetarian Charity, the one-day Vegan Venture workshop sees school tutor, Mo Hall, introduce 16-25 year olds to tasty fare, free of meat and free of charge. For a more “hands-off” experience, Watch and Learn courses treat participants to a slap-up lunch, dinner or foraging session.
They say: We have an unrivalled reputation for excellent, imaginative and innovative vegetarian cuisine, drawing on the variety of international flavours and ingredients reflecting current trends in world cuisine with fresh and imaginative ideas. A relaxed, friendly approach ensures an atmosphere where individual talent and creativity are positively encouraged.
We say: A gem on the outskirts of Manchester, the Vegetarian Society Cookery School is every bit as pioneering today as its namesake must have been back in industrial Victorian times. It’s proof, too, that the absence of meat or fish need not result in boring, bland or masochistic meals. If, over the years, you’ve grown complacent cooking curry try the regular Regional Indian Cuisine course.
0161 9252014; www.vegsoccookeryschool.org