Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Hartingtons Baslow Food Fair Dates 2011 - just released

Hartingtons have just released their dates for their 2011 Baslow Food Fairs.

After the disappointment of having to cancel our Christmas Food Fair we are already getting excited at putting on our Spring Food Fair and Mothers Day celebration.

We will have a whole host of fascinating artisan food producers from in and around the Peak District.

Make sure you put the dates of the 2nd and 3rd of April in your diary now.

If you want to find out more about Hartingtons including a list of next years food fairs please visit our website.

Friday, 3 December 2010

SO SORRY but the Baslow Food Fair nr Chatsworth is OFF!

With massive regret Hartingtons have had to concede defeat to the unprecedented weather conditions in the Peak District. I can't tell you personally how deeply upsetting this is. Julie and I have had one of the most stressful weeks of our life as we have hoped against hope that the weather would eventually improve; but alas it hasn't.

Late last night after taking advice from respected local sources; it appears that the main car park in Baslow is under several feet of snow and is effectively closed. More worrying is the fact that the local routes from Sheffield have not been cleared and are icy and extremely dangerous. We do not feel that we can ask our exhibitors to put their lives at risk to put on our food event nor do we want to encourage members of the public to do the same.

A fantastic success

We know that the first Christmas Food Fair in Baslow would have been a marvellous event for Baslow and a great way for our local food heroes to exhibit the fantastic food produced in and around the Peak District. The event in the short time we have been promoting it has got coverage in the Sheffield Telegraph, Derbyshire Times and the Peak Advertiser. Not only that but through our internet campaigns anybody searching in Google for Chatsworth House or Baslow would have come across the details of Hartingtons Baslow Food Fair. We know from the level of enquiries we were getting that our food event would have received thousands of visitors and have been a massive success.

Thank you all so much!

All it remains for me to say is thank you to every one of the exhibitors who have supported us in putting together this food fair. We hope that we will see you at some of the ten food fairs we are putting on next year in Baslow which we can guarantee will be bigger and better than our cancelled Christmas Food Fair. Have a look at the dates for our 2011 food fairs. I would also like to extend special thanks to Jayne and Baslow Hall who have been unceasing in their efforts to enable us to put together this event.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and I really do hope that you can come along to our Baslow Food Fairs next year. We still won't be able to guarantee the weather; but we can guarantee that there will be some of the most amazing food heroes on show!

Julie and Chris

Monday, 29 November 2010

Hartingtons Baslow Food Fair - media storm!

Hartingtons' first ever food fair in Baslow is blowing up quite a storm in the local media.

Not only has an article about it been spotted in the Sheffield Telegraph but it has got a full spread in the Peak Districts most widely read paper the Peak Advertiser.  In case you have not seen it the piece runs like this:

Baslow finally gets a food event to call their own!

After years of trying to get a food market off the ground and being in the shadow of
the likes of Bakewell Farmers Market and Chatsworth; Baslow has finally secured the
food event it has always wanted. The Baslow Christmas Food Fair with over 20 local
food heroes will rival any taking place within the Peak District.

Commenting on behalf of the Trustees of Baslow Village Hall; Helen White,
Marketing Officer said:

"We are delighted that Hartingtons have chosen Baslow to stage their first food fair
and have also committed to putting on another ten events next year. The people in
Baslow and from the surrounding villages can look forward to a having a local food
market to call their own. I'm sure it's going to be a great Christmas event for families
and foodies alike."

The event promises to be a great day with a hog roast, roasted chestnuts and mulled
wine being some of the warming treats. The Baslow Christmas Food Fair will run
from the 4th to the 5th of December with free admission on both days.

Exhibitors include: Peak Ales, Bradfield Brewery, artisan chocolatier Personally
Yours, new venture the Hassop Station Café, Peak District Dairy and Tindalls of
Tideswell will be bringing along their award winning Christmas Cakes. As well as
buying tasty treats and presents visitors will be able to order their Christmas turkey
through Sheffield favourite Roneys or Derbyshire Dales Organics.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Hey pesto!

If you love fresh pesto why not come along to Hartingtons Christmas Food Fair at Baslow nr Chatsworth.

We have a fantastic artisan pesto maker coming along on the Saturday.  So if you like home prepared pesto that taste of fresh basil, pine nuts and fresh tomatoes come along and spoil yourself.

There is much more than just fresh pesto at our food fair on the 4th and 5th of December.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Baslow Christmas food fair is now FULL!

Hartingtons have had an overwhelming response to our first ever Christmas Food Fair to be held at Baslow near Chatsworth on the 4th and 5th December.

We are now full, which is great news.

The line up for the food fair with over 20 exhibitors is as follows:

If you've got a sweet tooth there is plenty to titivate your taste buds. Local artisan chocolatier Personally Yours will be there. We also have award winning cake producer Tindalls from Tideswell bring a selection of Christmas cakes and puddings and for those that love cheesecake, Heavenly Cheesecakes will be along on the Saturday. If you can't resist cup cakes and who can? You need to sample the delights fromYummylicious.

For those with a more savoury palate how about some fantastic artisan cheeses? We have the Cheddar Gorge bringing an array of tantalising local flavours and Delishas can provide the perfect gold medal winning red pepper relish to go with them.

Locally sourced vegetables will be available from some inspirational local retailers in the form of Scotts Gardens based in Riber near Matlock.

Liquid refreshment of the alcoholic kind will be provided by Peak Ales, Bradfield Brewery and John Hattersley Wines. Those looking to order their seasonal turkey can do so with Roneys and Derbyshire Dales Organics.

Those that can't resist the simple delights of fresh bread wont be disappointed. On Saturday the Welbeck Bakehouse will have on display some of the finest locally produced artisan breads. On Sunday local favourite Butlers from Dronfield will be along. I'm told their Parkin is irresistible. Having brought your bread you want a mouth tingling preserve to put on it. Marmalady aka Lynn will be along on both days to showcase her array of marmalade and preserves.

Any food fair focused on the Peak District would not be complete without a local food hero of the stature of the Peak District Dairy.

We love traditional foods but we also love the way new cultures are bring variety and interest to our local foods. Spice up your pasta dishes with genuine italian sauces produced by local producers Lambarellis. Keeping to the italian theme Marco Zerboni of taste will be bringing some of his home prepared italian treats all prepared with love and a smile.

Do you think vegetarian food boring? Let local producer Yum change your mind. Some of the most colourful and flavoursome vegetarian cooking I've ever tasted will blow you away on Sunday.

If you are looking for some Christmas gifts Hassop Station Cafe will be bringing some great foodie gifts for you to buy and tea and tisanes will be provided on the Saturday only by award winning Sheffield young entrepreneur Caroline Thompson aka the girl with the golden cup.

On the day there will be an array of hot food including: A hog roast with seasonal flavoured sauces, bacon sandwiches, roasted chestnuts, donuts and mulled wine.

There's no chance of anybody going hungry and it will be a great day out for all. Even better it's free entry all day from 9.30 - 4.30 so come along and celebrate great seasonal food with our local food heroes.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Chicken feed............

Well I have to say Hartington's first ever event........Our Christmas Food Fair at Baslow Village Hall on 4th and 5th December is really starting to take shape now. Nearly every stall is taken now and we are way ahead of schedule on the marketing....which is very good news.

The Village Hall right by the Chatsworth Estate has proved extremely popular with stallholders and we have been inundated with people wanting to know more about our "foodie" event.

I don't know if you remember in the early days but my sidekick and very hard working Editor thought it would be a fantastic idea for one of us to dress up as a chicken and run through the Chatsworth Estate to promote our event.

Well I'm afraid to report that the Editor is still keen on our chicken marketing you've guessed it......yes today I went for my first chicken suit fitting.............and here is the result!! What do you think?.............. comments most welcome!!


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Order your Christmas turkey

Anybody trying to decide where to order there Christmas turkey from should come along to Hartingtons Christmas Food Fair in Baslow nr Chatsworth on the 4th and 5th of December.

We have two of the Peak Districts finest turkey producers in attendance.

Roneys are the areas only local stockist of Delias favourite turkey the Norfolk Bronze.  Roneys are attending on the Sunday whilst you can get your Christmas turkey from Derbyshire Dales Organics on the Saturday.

As well a being able to pick up your turkey, you will be able to buy a great range of Christmas food and food gifts from the likes of: Peak Ales, Tindalls of Tideswell, the Welbeck Bakehouse, John Hattersley Wines.

It really is going to be a great couple of days and a great food event.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Peak district farmers market

Hartingtons food fair is more than just another Peak District farmer market it will be a complete food experience.

Not only will you be able to meet each of the food exhibitors and hear their fascinating back story on how they came to be in the artisan food business.  But also you will be able to taste the fantastic array of artisan food from in and around the Peak District on the 4th and 5th of December at Hartingtons first food fair.

Where else could you order your Christmas turkey, buy your Christmas pudding and wines in a seasonal one stop Christmas food shop.

Farmer markets in the Peak District offer some great local food produce but we will offer a total Christmas food experience so why not come along and enjoy?!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Food Fair - Peak District - (nr Chatsworth)

Preparations are well under way for the first Hartingtons food fair (nr Chatsworth) in the Peak District.

We have already signed up most of the stalls.

On the weekend of the 4th & 5th December you will be able taste the delights of artisan cheesecakes, mulled wine, chocolates, Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, organic locally sourced vegetables, relishes, locally produced sausages, breads.

The stalls will cater for your food needs as well as providing an opportunity for you to buy unique Christmas presents for friends and family at the Hartingtons food fair in the Peak District.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Real Food Market

What is a real food market?  It's one that allows it's visitors to buy direct from the producers in a way that you wouldn't get from your local supermarket.  Talk to the real food producers.  Hear their real story.  And believe me there will be a story.  How the real food producer set up.  What motivated the real producer to do what they do?  Where the recipes for the food that they produce comes from.  Ask them and you'd be amazed.

The real food festival takes place on the South Bank in London on the first weekend every month with over 40 real food producers.  If you don't live in London.  You could come to Hartingtons real food festival.  This real food event takes place in Baslow nr Chatsworth in the heart of the Peak District.

The first real food market takes place on the 4th & 5th December.  Already you will be able to get the real food story from: Heavenly Cheesecakes, Delishas red pepper relish and Peak Ales a fantastic local real ale producer.

Each of these real food producers is passionate about their food and what they do.  So come along and join the real food movement.


Monday, 11 October 2010

Greek cookery courses

There are lots of Italian cookery courses out there and who wouldn't want to be able to cook the perfect Italian food.  But how about learning to cook authentic Greek food instead?
Well if you are in London you want to check out the Greek cookery courses run by Elisavet Sotiriadou

These cooking class will show you how to rustle up some authentic Greek food and then be able to take the left overs back to share with friends and family.

Elisavet was a recent contestant in ITV's Britains Best Dish and was commended on her Lagana bread.

She recently held a Greek Cookery Course at the renown Divertimenti Cookery School

Here mission according to her facebook page is to:

"teach food lovers how to make delicious home-cooked Greek food and at the same time give all the participants of each session the opportunity to cook and dine."

Sounds great where do I sign up?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Food fair nr Chatsworth, Baslow

Hartingtons can announce that Heavenly Cheesecakes will be one of the local food heroes attending our Christmas Food Fair taking place nr Chatsworth in the picturesque peak district village of Baslow.

Heavenly Cheesecakes was set up in 2009 by Alison Foster.  We can confirm that her cheesecakes are indeed heavenly.  Especially her blueberry cheesecake.

Why don't you treat yourself by coming along to our  Christmas Food Fair on the 4th & 5th December in Baslow nr Chatsworth to come and sample some of Alison's 'slices of heaven'.  Demand for her cheesecakes is so strong that she will only be attending on the 4th December. So make sure you get your orders in quick!

Hartingtons Food Events

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Historical Cookery Courses in Cumbria

A small seventeenth century farmhouse in Cumbria, frequently used as a television kitchen, is the location for a fascinating historical cookery school called Historic Food. 

Group sizes are limited to six participants per course, which means you get plenty of individual attention. You will cook your own lunches, but will get to experience a Saturday night dinner of period dishes cooked by Ivan.

Ivan has an international reputation for his research on British and European culinary history. As well as a scholar, broadcaster and writer, he is also a gifted professional cook and confectioner, noted in particular for his re-creations of meals and table settings. His work has been exhibited in many museums, including the Paul Getty Research Institute, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of London, Fairfax House, the Bowes Museum and the Rothschild Collection.  

All two day cookery courses cost £280 which includes:
  • all tuition
  • printed materials/recipes
  • lunches (cooked by you, of course)
  • Saturday evening Historic Food dinner

These fascinating cookery courses include Tudor and Early Stuart Cooking, Georgian Cooking, Victorian Cooking and Italian Renaissance Cooking.

Most of the courses before Christmas are already fully booked so if you are interested in a course in 2011 may I suggest you book it now

Food festivals - October

Any foodies wanting to indulge their love of food have a number of food festivals to look forward to in October.

Up coming in October is the second annual celebration of London's restaurant scene the London Restaurant Festival.  The event takes place from October 4-18 and is designed to celebrate the diverse restaurant scene in the capital with food events and special menus.

Those foodies that love watching a good chef in action should check out the Love Cooking Festival coming to a city near you.  The event includes top celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein & Gary Rhodes demonstrate some of those cooking skills that have made them household names.  These food events are taking country wide right up to Christmas.

Christmas Food festival - nr Chatsworth, Baslow

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Cookery school at Billingsgate

Billingsgate Market in London has always been synonymous with fish but I wonder how many people realise there is a fantastic Seafood Cookery School at the market!

The school is run as a charity and not only do they have an amazing selection of specialist courses for people in the trade but they also have a host of really interesting cooking classes for amateur enthusiasts.

Courses include Fish Preparation Knife Skills, Shellfish Courses, a fascinating Sushi Masterclass called Feng Sushi, various evening classes, a Passionate About Fish course ........but what really caught my eye was their 'Catch of the Day' cookery course.

On this course you arrive at 6.15 a.m. when you are taken on a guided tour round the market identifying the different species of seafood which are on offer that day followed by breakfast.

After breakfast the first session is fish preparation, where you cover the many aspects of fishmongering and are shown how to prepare a number of different fish and make a rich fish stock to use for lunch.

The second session covers how to cook fish with a number of the fish demonstrations being served as part of the lunch along with fish you cook on the day. Wine is served with the lunch and the course finishes around 2.15 p.m. with everyone attending taking home 6 species of seafood.

The cost is £185 and it is a measure of how popular this course is that a number of dates before Christmas are already fully booked.

The testimonials on the website for all the courses are full of praise so if fish interests you check the cookery school out at

Monday, 4 October 2010

Food Fairs nr Chatsworth, Baslow

This weekend has been very exciting.

Hartingtons have just signed up to put on over ten food fairs in Baslow Village Hall nr Chatsworth.

The first food fair is taking place just before Christmas over the weekend of the 4/5th December.

There will be 16 stalls exhibiting local food heroes. This food fair will definitely have a festive theme with artisan food to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for some festive food treats or presents for foodie friends and family come along.

The great thing is that entry is FREE. Come along and join us for a real celebration of local food producers and retailers located within the magnificent Peak District.

For more info go to Hartingtons facebook page

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The best Italian cookery courses

I love Italian food. Rich comforting risottos. Wholesome pasta dishes and what about some of those fantastic warming Italian stews.

Italian food is like many forms of cookery is intensely regional. The north of Italy is dominated by the hearty meat based food with lashings of rich cheese sauces. Down in the south in places like Puglia the food is based around olive oil, fish and tomatoes.

The reality is that anybody can boil up a bowl of pasta and add a cooking sauce. But how do you learn to cook real Italian food. Italian food with a heart, just like mama used to make?

The chances are if you want to cook up some really authentic tasting Italian food you will have to book yourself on a Italian cookery course.

Don't worry there are plenty. Here a selection of Italian cookery courses in the UK.

Caldesi in London has an extensive range of Italian cookery courses allowing you to learn how to cook everything from the perfect Italian pizza, to advance courses on how to prepare Italian recipes using game.

If you want to learn how to cook the perfect risotto then the Gables School of Cookery in the Cotswolds puts on a series of Italian cookery courses.

If you are curious about making the perfect Italian pasta or Italian breads or classics like gnochi then the award winning Ashburton Cookery School in Devon holds regular Italien cookery courses.

If you really fancy pushing the boat out what about a 7 day cookery course and gastro tour in Tuscany. As part of that tour you get to go to the central market 'Mercato Centrale' in Florence to check out the fantastic locale produce. The highlight for me has got to be to learn to cook the 'Tirimisu tradizionale' – Traditional Tiramisu. What a way to finish.

After learning to cook proper Italien food you life will never be quite the same again.

Check out Hartingtons Food Fair - Baslow, Peak District

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pudding Pie Cookery School - innovative childrens cooking class

Pudding Pie Cookery School based in the Heart of England are offering fantastic childrens parties in the comfort of your own home, school, village hall; basically any location with kitchen facilities.
Childen of all ages love cooking with their friends and with Pudding Pie they can make tasty delights ranging from cupcakes to pizzas and pasta.They also get to learn important nutritional cooking tips.
At their own Pudding Pie cooking class children can eat their own creations. They also get to take home some of their home made goodies in a party bag as well as some cookery gifts, recipes and their very own chef’s hat.

A novel idea which is worth checking out at Pudding Pie website.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cookery courses using fresh herbs

If you want to learn how to grow herbs and cook wonderful dishes with them then look no further than Judith Hann's Herb Cookery School called Hann's Herbs.

From a derelict pig yard on her small Cotswolds farm, the tv personality has created a beautiful walled herb garden, which has become the inspiration for a Cookery School.

Learn how to grow herbs, design a herb garden and prepare original herb recipes at Judith's delightful events. Not only do you get to taste many herbs but Judith serves a lavish herb lunch with wine and fresh herb teas in an elegant, listed stone barn.

Her recipes have been developed over four decades of cooking. She is now President of the Herb Society and was one of Rick Stein’s 'Food Heroes' when he filmed in her herb garden and ate food she cooked for him in her kitchen.

Each one day course, from 10am to late afternoon, costs £125 per person including lunch, wine, herb teas and at the end of the cookery course fresh herbs, seeds and the day's recipes to take home.

Check out Judith's website for dates of the next cookery courses.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Celebrity cooking class at sea

P&O cruise ships are now offering you not only the chance to enjoy a relaxing cruise but also enjoy top notch dining on board their cruise ships.

They have teamed up with renowned figures from the world of gastronomy - Atul Kochhar, Gary Rhodes and the ebullient Marco Pierre White to give you the chance to enjoy their signature dishes at sea.

Very nice........but P&O have taken this one stage further by having a number of dates in 2011 when Atul, Gary and Marco will welcome guests on board, hold talks, give cookery demonstrations and sign books.

So if you want to meet the star of "Hell's Kitchen" join Marco on the Ventura next year on selected cruises in March, April and September. He will be on the Aurora in June and on the Oceana in August and November.

If you are, however, a big Gary or Atul fan, check out their dates at sea on the P&O website

What could be better to look forward to in 2011 than sun, sea and chefs...........well I don't know about you but I'm saving up already!!

Sourdough Masterclass with Dan Lepard at the Cookery School at Little Portland Street

Famous artisan baker, Dan Lepard, is returning to Cookery School for a 'hands on' Sourdough cooking class.

Dan will show you how to create a healthy leaven (or 'starter') as well as giving expert tips on mixing, kneading and shaping the dough.

Pick up a host of tips and tricks on the day which will enable you to get the perfect crust, texture and most important of all.......... the perfect taste!

Because class numbers are limited to 14 Dan is able to work with each of you individually throughout the day.

The next Sourdough Masterclass is on Sunday 27 November from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. priced at £215.

Check out Cookery School website at for full details.

Mushroom cookery courses

Looking out from kitchen window at a dark damp day, you know we are getting into mushroom season.

It could be just the time of year for aspirant cooks to don their water proofs and go foraging for mushrooms to use to cook up a treat.

There are a number of cookery schools that do mushroom foraging and cooking courses who will help you identify which mushrooms are good to cook and which might potentially kill you!

I've found a selection of cookery schools from around the country that do so called foraging courses.

Taste the wild - Yorkshire
Food Safari - Suffolk
Fat Hen - Cornwall
Fungi to be with - London

So what could be better? A bit of fresh air. Some great fresh produce and new cooking skills to cook up the ultimate wild mushroom risotto!

Hartingtons - check out our Facebook page & like us!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

50 Cookery School places to be won

Foodies looking at doing a cookery course for FREE now have the chance to win 50 cookery course places at top cookery schools around the UK.

All they need to do is ask for an entry form from a retailer selling a range of cookery equipment sold by Henckels such as:

Zwilling knives and accessories, Staub cast iron cookware and Demeyere stainless steel cookware brands - each at a special discounted price.

Matthew Dennison, who heads up the Zwilling J A Henckels UK operation, says: "Whilst we only launched our cookery course competition a few days ago at the Autumn Fair, the response has more than exceeded our expectations."

The promotion runs until December 31 this year.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

How to choose a cookery course?

Firstly, choose a cookery course that interests you.

There are literally hundreds of different cookery courses out there catering for those interested in anything from macrobiotic cookery to people who want to be able to prepare their own sushi.

Pick a type of food that you really enjoy. Perhaps one that you love to eat but wouldn't have a clue about cooking. For example, a lot of people love a good curry. But how many of us would have a clue about how to start making one from the raw ingredients? Cookery courses can also be a way of getting guidance from experts in a specific cookery field. For instance, Indian food is more than just about curries. It is heavily regional and by choosing a chef that specialises in a particular region or style of food will increase your knowledge and also improve your cooking skills.

What level should I do my cookery course at?

There are numerous levels of cookery course available to the budding food student. Cookery courses that will take you from literally not being able to cook an egg to those which will train you up to a professional standard. Where do you think the likes of Gary Rhodes and Thomisina Miers learnt to cook? These two well known chefs are probably a good example of how cookery schools are changing the way many professionals learn to cook. Gary was educated the traditional way by going straight from school to catering college & then through varies apprenticeships by cooking in commercial outlets

Thomasina on the other hand was one of those people who took a passion for cooking & then successfully turned this passion into a new lively hood by retraining as a full time chef. Thomasina Miers subsequently went on to win Masterchef in 2005 but only after first taking a cooking course at Ballymaloe Cookery School near Cork. She has now set up a very successful Mexican restaurant Wahaca cooking food based on Mexican street food.

Professional cookery schools

The increasing interest in cooking as as career has spawned a whole range of cookery schools where budding chefs can improve their cooking skills to a professional level. Take for example
Tante Marie which will enable you to a full time cookery course leading to a Cordon Bleu diploma a cooking qualification with international recognition. As well as high end professional cookery courses there are more niche cookery schools such as the Artisan Cookery School located in Nottinghamshire.

I had the pleasure of visiting this establishment recently which is set in the spectacular setting of the Welbeck Estate in the estates former fire station. This cookery school aims to teach it students some of the lost skills of artisan food preparation. The facilities are superb. There are several wood fired brick ovens for artisan bread making. They have a separate facility for artisan cheese making. The cookery school is very well equipped and they have there own demonstration lecture theatre. The advance diploma in artisan food production covers 4 main food areas: bakery, cheese making, brewing and butchery. The full time year long course isn't cheap at £14,000 but students should then be equipped to set up either their own artisan food business or work within a related part of the food industry.

Shorter cooking courses

The cooking courses I referred to above relate to a serious financial and time commitment from a student. However, most people just want to learn a bit, improve their cooking skill and most of all have some fun. In which case there are loads of cookery courses out there for you.

Cookery courses can start from anything from a couple of hour demonstration where the student just basically watches the chef prepare the food. This allows the cookery student to prepare notes and study an expert cooking. Then at the end most cooking demonstration sessions will allow the cookery student to taste the food. Some cookery courses actually allow the student to take the food home as well. Frequently, the cookery school will also supply the cookery student with notes and recipes to take home.

If this all seems a bit passive & you are the kind of person who likes hands on learning. Don't worry, there are plenty of cookery courses where the cookery student gets to practice their cookery skills as well as watching the chef demonstrate new techniques or recipes. These type of cookery courses tend to take place over half or full day sessions with the cookery student getting to eat or take home the finished product.

Longer cookery courses are often available and these should be in depth enough to allow you to build up some serious cookery skills.

Where are cookery courses held?

In the last few years there has been an explosion of purpose built cookery schools. These cookery schools are often set in converted barns or industrial premises. The level of facilities they have can vary considerably so make sure you check them out thoroughly before you sign up for the cookery course. These style of cookery schools are on a much larger and professional scale compared to the traditional home spun cookery school which take place in the cooks farmhouse kitchen. You may like the more professional approach or prefer the intimacy of the homely location to take your cookery class. It's all about personal taste!

What do I need to bring to my cookery course?

Most cookery courses will provide their cookery students with everything they need. This means that the cookery school will provide the student with: aprons, the raw ingredients, knives and other equipment required to prepare the food. This means that the cookery student just needs to bring their enthusiasm to the course and they are then ready to go.

How many people will be on my cookery course?

Numbers vary on cookery courses but really there shouldn't be more than 12 students to each cookery teacher. Less students can be better, depending on the type of food being prepared. However, where you are going on a cookery demonstration numbers of students are likely to be much higher. Expect up to 30+ students depending on the layout of the cookery school. Some well equipped cookery schools like the artisan school of cookery actually have demonstration theatres with there own TV screens and cameras so that students can observe up close what the cookery teacher is doing.

How much will a cookery class cost?

Cookery courses aren't cheap. However, what you get for your money is expert tuition and a life skill and experience. For a full days cookery course you should budget on between £100-200. If you are just looking to do a half day which might be perfectly adequate to cover the cooking of certain dishes or types of food then expect to pay between £75-100.

If you opt instead for a cookery demonstration then you will pay less because you are not paying for the food or other equipment. A full days demonstration may cost as little as £45 and up to £75 depending on the chef who is demonstrating and the cookery school.

There are longer cookery courses which consist of a number of separate cooking classes spread over several days or weeks. These tend to work out cheaper per cooking class but can still represent a considerable outlay. For a weekend course budget on about £250. If a full week or series of cooking classes over several weeks then you might be talking of a thousand plus.

The advantage with the longer classes is that you should start to get into serious cooking and developing a specialist knowledge of the subject you are studying.

If you are lucky your cookery course might not cost you anything at all. Many of the cookery schools will offer vouchers suitable for birthdays or other gifts. You might therefore not have to pay a penny for your cookery course if you have a very generous partner or family.

Food, culture and history are all linked

When you start on a cookery course you will often find that you will end up learning much more than basic cooking skills. Learning about a countries food often reveals much about it's history and it's culture. This means that often a cookery student will end up with much more than just a serious of recipes to take home.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Gluten free cookery courses

Lucy Cooks Cookery School in Kendal in the Lake District has a fresh and vibrant approach to cooking.

All the usual cooking classes are available but what caught my eye and sets them apart from many other cookery schools are the gluten free cookery courses designed for gourmets who as a result of medical diagnosis have had to adapt their cooking.

Lucy Cooks courses show that you can still enjoy tasty food whilst ensuring your diet is gluten free.

The courses are £125 per day and are definitely worth checking out.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Amazing interest in Indian Cooking Class

Madhu Choudhry who runs Ethnic Fusion is planning to open an Indian Cookery School in a Norfolk Barn.

Amazingly after the news spread 50 people signed up for Madhu's cooking classes even though change of use of the barn has not been approved yet!

Watch this they say!!

The chicken has raised it's head again!

Well... The Editor is busy putting together a planning application for our cookery school and I am doing some work on our first event......a Local Food Heroes Christmas Fair in Baslow. The aim is to make it a showcase for local food producers and a really interesting event for "foodies".

Unfortunately this morning The Editor has raised the subject of the promotional chicken again........and despite my valiant efforts to persuade him otherwise he is clearly "eggcited" about the idea and is insisting the chicken makes an appearance.

From a marketing point of view I have to concede that it is a "cracking" idea but there's no way I'm running round Baslow dressed as a pantomime or not !!!!

So........underhand tactics are required. When I see The Editor later today I'm going to suggest we toss a coin to see who plays chicken. Luckily I've got a two headed coin from my Junior Magician's Set my Grandad gave me years ago. It's come in very useful on many occasions and I think it could have a starring role tonight!! I just hope The Editor doesn't suspect "fowl play" from the Gastronome!!

Heads it is then and I'm in a win - win situation. I just need to remain calm at the big moment. Mustn't panic, blurt out "tails" and find myself being measured up for a bloomin' chicken outfit!!

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bloomin planners could dash our dream cookery school

Well there is a huge sense of irony in it all.

Our dream location for a cookery school could be scuppered because of the planners. I had a chat to a young planner in the Peak Park planning department who was helpful but cautionary.

Apparently, there is planning policy relating to the building that we want to put our cookery school in that seeks to retain it for employment use. This in planning terms means bods, sitting at desks with computer. Not loads of people learning to cook in our fantastic cookery school.

The reality is that the survey that the planners did which showed a shortage of offices in the town was prepared years ago. Since then there has been the biggest world wide recession since the 2nd world war. Planning policy doesn't apparently take that into account.

The irony of our problems with the planners over our cookery school is that I used to be a planner myself. I therefore earned my first pay checks by telling other people NO.

However, neither of us is disheartened by the initial feedback. We are hoping that local enthusiasm for our cookery school will push the bureaucrats back into their boxes and let truth, justice and good cooking prevail!

Food event in Baslow

Despite this small set back, me & the Gastrognome are not resting on our heals. We are already planning a Christmas food event in Baslow. It's going to be great and we are getting really excited about all the potential local food heroes that we can invite. There are so many little food producers in the Peak District that produce great food and have fascinating stories to tell!

Hartingtons 'food experience'

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Cooking class at home

Fancy learning to cook without leaving the comfort of your home?........well Thyme and Plaice Mobile Cookery School could have the solution! Cooking classes at home!!

The Cookery School has been set up by Paul Ellis who has an impressive track record working with the likes of Fay Olinsky and Marco Pierre White.

Surprisingly affordable Paul will bring everything to your house and teach you how to make perfect dishes. You can even get a group of friends together and have a cooking session together.

Paul's contact details are on the Thyme and Plaice website at

Sunday, 19 September 2010

TV star reveals love for cookery courses

TV star Blake Lively has revealed that her favourite hobby is baking.

The star of 'Gossip Girl' has revealed that she loves taking cookery courses.

"I take a cooking class everywhere I travel. I find it's the best way to get to know a culture."

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

"Cocky" turns up but...

Well we had our meet with "Cocky" finally on Sunday. A week late but how weird.

The premises we viewed a couple a weeks ago as perfect for our new cookery school suddenly looked rather small, uninspiring. We were both left quite underwhelmed. If for one felt quite embarrassed by my obvious lack of enthusiasm for the place despite it's fantastic setting and beautiful architecture. "Cocky" has done a great job in refurbishing the listed building but both of us new deep down, the property, despite it's visual qualities wasn't right

So we are focused on premises two for our cookery school.

The location is great right next to a bustling market town and even the gas situation is looking promising.

So it's all looking good & we soon could be cooking on gas. The Gastronome is doing great work on putting together a local food heroes event. One of the things we have yet to decide on is who dresses up as the pantomime chicken (free range off course) to publicise it. I think she would luck really cute as a chick but she insists I have the legs for it!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Ashburton voted best cookery school

Good Food magazine has voted Ashburton the best cookery school for skills.

Located on the edge of Dartmoor Ashburton offers a range of 40 cookery courses ranging from Bread making to catering for dinner parties.

Emphasis is on local, organic produce and teaching takes place in two well equipped kitchens.

To find out more go to the Ashburton Cookery School website.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Coghlans cookery school announces 50% discount

Coghlans cookery school based near Chesterfield has announced a 50% discount on all it's cookery courses (excludes 8 Week General Cookery Course) that are booked before 30th September. This means the cookery courses are just £75 instead of the usual £150 daily rate.

Coghlans over a range of over 30 cookery courses from chocolate making to dinner party cookery.

It is particularly well known for its chocolate cookery courses taken by Janet Coghlans who survived a horrific attack by a Bengal Tiger to go on to develop a passion for chocolate making and then help to protect the very animals that almost led to here death.

She is famous for here Tiger J chocolate brand.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Cooking up a Thai feast in Manchester?

I love Thai food. It's one of my favourites. In recent years there has been an explosion in interest in Thai food and how to cook it.

The great think is you don't have to go to Bangkok to learn how to prepare genuinely authentic Thai food. How about Manchester?

The Sawaddee Authentic Thai Cookery courses can be tailored for your needs but as a sampler:

The Thai cookery courses lasts for about 3 hours and is £95. Here is a selection of the menus that you can cook.

Set A
Starter Savoury Minced Chicken Salad (Larb-Kai)
Soup Tom Yum
Main Course Green Curry with Chicken (Gang Keowan Gai)

Set B
Starter Fried Noodle Thai Style (Phat-Thai)
Soup Seafood Soup (Tom Yum Kung)
Main Course Massamein Curry with Beef or Chicken (Massamein)

Set C
Starter Squid Salad (Yam Parmuuk)
Soup Thai Vegetable Soup (Tom Yum Pak)
Main Course Red Curry with Duck or Pork (Gang Deng Ped | Moo)

Set D
Starter Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
Soup Seafood Soup (Tom Yum Kung)
Main Course Green Curry with Chicken (Gang Keowan Gai)

Set E
Starter Fried Rice Thai Style (Khaow-Phat)
Soup Thai Vegetable Soup (Tom Yum Pak)
Main Course Red Curry with Duck or Pork or beef (Gang Deng Ped | Moo)

If that wets your appetite then for more information on learning to cook Thai food go here

Location location location

Well how exciting is all this??........ VERY exciting I have to say!

I'm off this morning to view the riverside premises which I'm hoping are going to be perfect for our cookery school.

Location! location! location! as they say..........and this location certainly has the Wow factor!
Top floor in a converted mill by the river in a very busy tourist town. I've got a very good feeling as it seems to be ticking all the right boxes and has already got a big thumbs up from my partner in crime.

Talking of my partner in crime.........the diligent Editor has been straining his brain cells and burning the midnight oil working on our branding.

He's very keen on what our branding says about I'm intrigued to see how his Paul Smith meets Upmarket Deli meets Artisan Baker style pans out................and talking of pans.........the list of equipment we need for our cookery courses is growing by the minute ........fridges, freezers, cookers, chopping boards, professional knives and of course pots and pans!
Bloomin eck it's not cheap being a cooking class act is it????

Well must dash now as I'm due to view the premises in less than an hour.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cocky fails to turn up!

Well can you believe it 'cocky' failed to turn up for our vital meeting about our new cookery school.

But as my business & 'real' partner commented "it could be for the best"

Why? Because the very next day we viewed a fantastic premises that would make an ideal cookery school. Its set in a prime spot with fantastic views over a river.

Not only could the 'non show' be a turn of fate me and the Terrier turned the whole event to our advantage by using our unexpected free Sunday morning to scout for some potential venues for food events.

We managed to find a couple of excellent potential venues that are ideal for food talks and events & were much cheaper than we expected.

So....'cocky' is booked in for next weekend but it's already looking that price and a better alternative is going to win out. It's all very exciting!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Cookery school - critical meeting - with coffee chaser!

Big weekend coming up for our cookery school.

A meeting with our prospective landlord Mr S. We've nick named him 'cocky'. One day I may explain. It's not what you might think!

The critical issue is gas. Can we get it to our cookery school and who pays?

I've also had a rethink about the building/s that we want to occupy. We need expansion space & the original building has none. So can we persuade old 'cocky' to allow us to knock two of his recently built units to be knocked into one. I suspect he may so NO! But we will see.

On Monday I'm meeting a guy about coffee. I love the stuff, especially the smell of freshly ground coffee. Did you know that there are two main types of coffee bean Robusta and the Arabica bean. Arabica is the smoother, subtler generally favoured in coffee shops in the UK. I prefer the stronger, beefy Robusta. The reality is the best coffee is normally a blend.

We are hoping to put on barrista courses in our cookery school as well as providing decent coffee to our students as part of their cookery course.

The guy is an expert coffee roaster so the experience and the coffee aroma should be an assault on my senses. It may take some time for me to come down from the ceiling but what a way to go!


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Sushi cookery courses

I've recently comes across this fantastic looking cookery class for sushi making.

I don't know about you but the art of sushi has alluded me. I'm not great with raw fish. Could it be those eyes staring back at you?

However, over the last few years the taste of delicately sliced raw tuna with a little bit of soya sauce and wasabi paste is possible one of my favourite meats.

The chance of being able to prepare this delicacey by my own fair hands by going to a cookery school seems a great opportunity to expand my cooking skills.

Has anybody been on a sushi cookery class that they rate? I'd be interested to know.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Cookery courses everywhere!

I'm new to world of cookery courses. It's amazing once you start looking the number of cookery schools that have lept to life in the last few years.

It seems that the rise of the celebrity chef has stirred something in the nations phsyche!

The UK is keen to get cooking. "Cooking on gas" as they say.

This is one of our first stumbling blocks in finding new premises for our cookery school. We've found some ideal premises ....views...setting....even next to a listed hall. But can you believe it. No bloomin gas! To connect is going to cost £7000.

The reality is that no cookery school can exist with gas and gas hobs......can you imagine the students trying flash fry a steak on an electric hob.

Time to talk nicely to the prospective landlord of our cookery school.