Spring has sprung and as we embrace new beginnings and growth, it’s time to start utilising all the fresh British ingredients available to produce spring on a plate. At SCRUBD HQ, not only have we been taking advantage of the great outdoors by foraging, to become closer to nature, we’ve also been on a quest to find the top five cooking classes to master our culinary skills this season.
1. Lime Wood Cookery School, Hampshire. Half-day course from £65
Go green and spend a day feeling full of vegetables (yes, it’s possible) with this ‘Veg Out’ cooking course where individuals are encouraged to create colourful, humble, meatless meals. You don’t have to be a veggie to explore the delights of the onsite roof garden and greenhouse… You will be welcomed into the kitchen, as the main event, and surprise yourself with how inventive vegetarian cuisine can be. Discover laid-back luxury at Lime Wood, set in the New Forest National Park that also boasts Herb House Spa and yoga on the roof for an all-round healthy, culinary and chilling retreat.
2. Rick Stein’s Cookery School, Padstow. Four-day course from £780
For those seaside lovers, this fine dining school specialises in seafood; offering ‘The Ultimate Fish and Shellfish’ four-day course led by an expert chef. Each day students will learn the art of seafood cookery using the freshest Cornish seafood from Looe and Newlyn’s local fish markets. Prepare to be transported on an aquatic journey, learning everything from scaling and skinning fish to preparing and cooking mussels, oysters and clams so you feel confident enough to serve a memorable catch of the day, the Rick Stein way.
3. Leiths School of Food and Wine, London. One-day courses from £155
Taste your way to kitchen success as a beginner, or even as professional, with courses to suit everyone’s skillset and inspiration from former students, Matt Tebbutt and Alan Rosenthal (who is also a guest chef at Leiths). Perfect your steak cooking skills in a day of comprehensive introduction to different types of steak and beef cuts. The Leiths chefs will teach meat lovers how to sear their favourite cut of steak and make the most popular sauces, ranging from classics such as béarnaise and peppercorn, to the modern favourite, chimichurri. All this of course wouldn’t be complete without homemade triple cooked chips and caramelised shallots for good measure.
4. Ballymaloe Cookery School Organic Farm and Gardens, Ireland. One-week course from £1,445
Dine in an Irish country house at the privately run Ballymaloe Cookery School located in Shanagarry, County Cork. Spend a week exploring the gardens and luxury house, where you can pick your own ingredients from the outdoor vegetable patch and get acquainted with their 100-acre organic farm. This award-winning cookery school is world renowned for its diverse range of cuisines and invites many distinguished guest chefs including Antony Worrall Thompson and Rachel Allen to showcase their expertise. This school offers a truly special experience and is the ideal choice for master chefs in the making.
5. The Orchards School of Cookery, Worcestershire. Two-day course from £295
This family-run cookery school is described as one of Britain’s favourite schools, with a homely and welcoming atmosphere providing intimate class sizes (8 per kitchen) for more one-on-one time between staff and students. Our top pick here is the intensive two-day course allowing participants to prepare a four course lunch, bake cakes for afternoon tea followed by getting a six course meal ready for the dinner party in the evening. This overnight stay is an indulgent one, but thankfully students can walk off the food around the garden (there’s even a gym), before taking leftovers home with them!