Christmas gift guides 2013: Cookery courses
Need a gift for a budding chef? Treat them to a specialist short course taught by industry experts.
Across the UK there are numerous food courses that cover all manner of bases and skillsets. They make a thoughtful and memorable gift choice, whether you’re buying for an experienced home cook with gaps in their repertoire, or a novice wanting to venture down an unexplored avenue. Here's a round up of nationwide classes for the new year.
Nationwide baking classes cater for all skillsets and most areas of the flour world. Bread courses are ideal for those who want to grapple with hands-on everyday baking, but patisserie, macaron and icing classes offer a chance to learn more refined, niche skills.
- Betty's Cookery School, Harrogate. Various courses from £170.
- E5 bakehouse, London. Bread-making day and evening classes from £50.
- The Jo Wheatley cookery school, Essex. Cake courses from £150.
- Different Breid, Glasgow. Sourdough evening classes £45.
- Angel Food Kitchen, Brighton. Cupcake baking and decorating class £50.
Beyond the basic knife skills, butchery classes also cover curing and sausage making. Once you've harvested your own prime cut, many classes also show you how to expertly cook it, throwing in a spot of supper for good measure.
- The Ginger Pig, London. Butchery class gift token £135
- The Empire Farm, Somerset. Various courses from £100.
- Emma's Pigs, Herefordshire. Day courses £125.
Covering not only traditional scaling, filleting and cooking skills, fish courses also offer guidance on picking the finest specimens and sometimes cover shellfish and more unconventional fruits of the waterworld. Some of them will even net you a professional qualification.
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- Billingsgate Market, South East London. Traditional courses from £185.
Enter the wonderful world of whey with a trip to a cheesemaker. These courses are often rural as the workshops are close to dairy farms, but despite being in the heart of the countryside they aren't all about traditional British cheeses - expect to learn how to make mozzarella, feta and halloumi, too.
- Moorlands Cheesemakers, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Devon, Hampshire, Derbyshire and Dorset. 'Cutting the Curd' classes, £65 a session.
- Mandy Nolan’s Cheesemaking Workshop, Sussex. Six-hour interactive session, £95.
- Cwmcrwth Farm, Carmarthenshire, Wales. Day cheese courses, £90.
Many breweries across the UK offer courses and tours, however Brewlab runs several industry-respected practical courses. Based at the University of Sunderland, a daylong introduction course costs £265.
It's harder than you think to feed fresh pasta through a wringer - enroll on a class to teach you the basic dough-making, rolling and cutting skills.
- Jamie Oliver Cookery School pasta master classes, London. Classes from £64.
Offering a wide selection of courses from foraging to professional qualifications, it’s worth seeking out a professional cookery school to suit your bespoke needs. Plus, a lot of them are remote, so you get a mini-break out of it too!
Leiths School of Food and Wine, London
Food Safari, Ipswich
River Cottage, Axminster, Devon
Italian Secrets, Beaconsfield
Have you attended a really great cookery course? Share your experiences with us below...
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