ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS COOKING COURSE
Our beginners cooking course will take you from novice to good home cook and teach you the skills you need to cook with confidence. Over the eight sessions of this course, we’ll teach you how to cook different styles of food, giving you a great repertoire of recipes and techniques to use every day. You’ll pick up tips and tricks like how to use your knife to best effect and how to make everyday cooking easier than ever. At the end of each class you will sit down and try everything you have made, as well as recap the recipes with the chefs.
This version of the Absolute Beginners cooking course runs one evening a week for eight weeks. If you would like a more intensive version of this course, see our Absolute Beginners Intensive, which runs intensively over four days. Vegetarian? See our Essential Vegetarian Course.
We are happy for students to pay for this course in up to three instalments, with the final payment made at least one week before the course starts. If you would like to do this then please call us to book your place.
“A really great course and Stefan the teacher is fantastic. I did the 8-week absolute beginners course and left there with much more confidence cooking and a few dishes I feel very comfortable with, alongside a 70 page recipe book, which we worked our way through.” – Edwyn
In this beginners cooking course, you will learn:
Session 1 – Soups
Delicious and nutritious, soups are the ultimate comfort food and great to whip up for a simple lunch or a dinner party starter. We will start this class with a demonstration on how to make stock before you learn to make minestrone, borscht (beetroot soup), green pea and mint soup and mushroom soup. You’ll also learn herby tomato soup, vichyssoise (leek and potato) and butternut squash soup. Once you can make one soup, the possibilities are endless.
Session 2 – Stews
You will be amazed at how many dishes are based on the principle of a basic stew. You will learn how to make a classic Bolognese, a lamb tagine, a chicken cacciatore, a beef Bourguignon and a mixed bean ragout.
Session 3 – Roasts
Once you have mastered a classic roast, your Sundays will never be the same! Crispy roast chicken, herby roast lamb, a traditional roast beef, roast root vegetables and roast potatoes will all be on the menu.
Session 4 – Breads
We bust the myth that breadmaking is tricky. In this lesson you will learn to make a granary or brown loaf, rustic rolls, a homemade baguette, flat bread and pizza and will leave us feeling confident in understanding how to make, shape and bake a good basic bread which can be extended to other recipes.
Session 5 – Fish and Accompaniments
Never be intimidated by cooking fish again. In this introduction to fish, you will learn how to make grilled plaice and sauce vierge, goujons and tartare sauce, steamed fish and parsley sauce, mashed potatoes and dauphinoise potatoes, mackerel pate and a simple fish soup with prawns and mussels.
Session 6 – Salads and dressings
Delicious salads and dressings will become part of your repertoire. Learn how to make delicious dressings – balsamic, mustard, Asian and herbed. You will also learn how to make potato salad, watercress, pear & stilton salad with walnut dressing, mixed bean salad, baked aubergine with chilli and coriander, grated carrot salad, tabbouleh and a mozzarella and tomato salad with basil dressing.
Session 7 – Vegetables
With the emphasis on ‘5 a day’ and being encouraged to eat a diet filled with pulses and green, leafy veg this class showcases our favourite vegetable recipes using seasonal veg. You will learn to steam, boil, braise, roast and sauté vegetables in the following recipes – steamed green beans in summer or cauliflower or broccoli in winter; roast butternut squash with red onions and herbs in winter or baked tomatoes in summer; braised fennel; glazed parsnips or carrots; spinach – wilted with browned butter; platter of leeks, courgettes and mushrooms with fresh green herbs marinated in a perfect vinaigrette; leeks baked in a cheesy sauce; and oven roast potato cakes.
Session 8 – Sweets
Learn how to make perfect chocolate brownies, a basic sponge cake, mini meringues, apple crumble and creme caramel. Making delicious desserts is so much easier than you think and you can wow your friends with your new baking skills!
We try to accommodate dietary requirements as best we can and do our best to provide alternatives where possible. However, some classes are simply not designed to accommodate special dietary requirements, for example, we can not make entire baking classes gluten free or make croissants without butter.
If you have any questions about what we can provide, please call us before making your booking on 0207 631 4590. Please put a note in the “dietary requirements” box at the checkout if you have any requirements or allergies at all, even if you do not think it it is relevent!
We do not have individual hobs for every person but rather a group of hobs at one end of the kitchen. In most classes you will be working in small groups to create the recipes. As a whole class you will make everything listed on the website but the only way we can cover the huge variety of dishes listed is by dividing the class into smaller groups. When there are key skills that need to be learned by the whole class, the teacher will pause the group and gather everyone together to explain/show it so by the end of the class everyone understands how each dish was made.
We are happy for anyone of any age to attend. If they are very young, an adult needs to work with them, in which case we would only charge for one space. We aren’t a creche service though so no dump-and-runs while you go shopping! Teenagers may like to join our Summer Cooking Camp where they will be with other kids the same age.
Sustainability has always been part of our ethos which is why we made the decision not to print recipes for students to take home with them, except when printed recipes are specifically requested. Instead, we email the recipes to students shortly after the class.
You may transfer to an alternative class if you give us notice not less than 21 days before the date of the class. In this case, we will rebook you on to your selected class or issue a voucher valid for one year from date of issue. Transfers or issuing of a voucher will be subject to an administration fee of £15. Confirmed bookings are not eligible for refunds or cancellations under any circumstances. If you cannot attend a class you may send someone else in your place, just let us know the name of the attendee in advance of the class, where possible.
At the end of most classes you will sit down around the Cookery School table and enjoy the food that you have made. Any food that is leftover from this is kept for staff lunches so nothing goes to waste
The exception to this is that you are welcome to take home the chicken that you de-bone in the meat & poultry class provided you bring a chiller bag with you and we provide you with a freezer block. Additionally, many of the items in our baking classes and courses are low risk and safe to take home so you will need a carrier bag of some sort.
We have very little waste as we order based on the number of people in the class. We generally do not allow people to take food home because we have found that many people come into central London, do a class at Cookery School and then go off to the theatre, cinema, clubbing or shopping. During that time the food that left Cookery School in good condition, deteriorates and can cause illness.
Absolutely! If you have been cooking a bit already at home then you are welcome to skip the Beginners course.
Our six week professional cooking course, Cook’s Certificate, is the only accredited course we run. You will receive a Cook’s Level 3 Training certificate from OCN London at the end of this course.
If you would like a certificate of attendance from any other class or course, we are happy to provide one. Just make a note of this in the ‘notes’ section at the checkout.
You do not need to bring anything with you to most classes. However, if you are taking the Ultimate Meat & Poultry Class you should bring a chiller bag for your de-boned chicken and for any baking class or course, please bring a carrier bag to take home some of the items you make.
Please make sure you are wearing closed toe shoes.
Not at all! The majority of our students come alone. We pride ourselves on having friendly staff and our kitchen is very un-intimidating and relaxed so you don’t need to feel scared of attending alone.
Induction hobs use electromagnetic technology which may interfere with cardiac pacemakers or electrical implants, such as insulin pumps. We use induction hobs in our kitchen so recommend that if you use a cardiac pacemaker or electrical implant you remain a safe distance from the hobs.
- At Cookery School London
near Oxford Circus