If you are the culprit of one too many soggy bottoms, overcooked roasts or uninspiring curries, why not stir things up a bit in the gastronomic department and embark on a culinary adventure with a cookery class? London is home to some of the world’s greatest chefs and cookery schools and we have chosen five of our favourite places to perfect your skills, whether you are a home cook or a budding Michelin-starred chef...
Le Cordon Bleu
As with most of the big name cookery schools in the city, this is a gourmet destination for diploma courses and the making of pros. But Le Cordon Bleu also offers short courses for home cooks, ideal for those in the city for a weekend break or week-long holiday.
One-day workshops include ‘Making Macaroons’, ‘Fish and shellfish’ and ‘Artisan Italian Bread’, and in preparation for 25th December, a ‘Christmas Dinner workshop’, while the four and five-day classes tackle techniques such as ‘Patisserie Technique Essentials’ and mastering ‘Tastes of Asia’.
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Leiths School of Food and Wine
Whether you are looking for a one-day course in gluten-free cake baking or a long-term professional course to take you to Michelin-starred culinary heights, Leiths offers it all. Opened in 1975 by restaurateur and writer Prue Leith and attended by the Duchess of Cambridge as well as many amateurs who have gone on to chef ‘stardom’, you don’t get much better than this.
In celebration of Leiths 40th birthday, the cookery school will also be hosting a range of talks with industry experts. On 24th September 2015 Prue Leith, Tim Hayward, Rick Stein, Yotam Ottolenghi and Gizzi Erskine will come together to discuss our relationship and attitudes to food, techniques and trends over the last 40 years, followed by a champagne reception.
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Mark Hix Carving Masterclass
If you are fed up of meat carnage every time you are given the job of carving, it is time to take the knife by the handle and get carving, the proper way, the chef’s way and well, the Mark Hix way. The famed restaurateur runs his monthly carving masterclasses in the Byron private dining room at London’s Brown’s Hotel, the location of his HIX Mayfair restaurant.
But there is more to this carving class than just getting to grips with the right way to slice smoked salmon, a leg of lamb, a chicken and rack of pork ribs. It is an intimate, fun and interactive private dinner style evening, complete with a feast of a five-course dinner including the carved meats, wine, coffee and the crackling on the side, cooking tips on tap from Mark Hix himself. The next class is Wednesday 30th September.
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Cookery School at Little Portland Street
If the idea of exposing yourself in a cookery class leaves you a little nervous, then the Cookery School might just be the place for you as here they get back to basics, ditch the jargon, use every day at home utensils and focus on good home cooking skills.
As well as their most popular ‘A meal at a time’ classes, this September there are some fab classes/courses on offer including ‘Knife skills – slice and dice’ and ‘Enticing Spices of the Middle East’ both on Saturday 12th September, “Make your own traditional afternoon tea’ on Friday 25th September, and an ‘All Day Thai’ course on Saturday 26th September.
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Master Classes at Claridge’s
A destination synonymous with fine British heritage, this is a great place to refine your cooking skills and become adept with some of Britain’s finer gourmet delicacies.
As well as afternoon tea, British puddings and Sunday roast classes, on 10th October, Claridge’s is hosting a Game Masterclass in celebration of the British game season. Their culinary experts offer a practical tutorial on the best ways to prepare and cook grouse, partridge and venison. This is followed by a grouse pie lunch in Claridge’s kitchens.
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