To celebrate our 15th birthday this February, we wanted to compile a list of 15 of our favourite Cookery School facts – but we got carried away!
Did you know…
1. We make sure that our suppliers deliver our produce in containers that we use again and again so to eliminate one-use plastics. We store all our food in glass containers and never use cling film!
2. We also always buy our oil in big tins as opposed to plastic bottles so that they can be reused and to prevent the dioxins in the plastics from reacting with the liquid.
3. We recycle all of our oil, avoid plastic at all cost, opting for metal and glass containers, and use recycled foil. To further improve, we have committed to composting all of our food waste so that 0% goes into landfill.
4. We use Delphis Eco ecological cleaning products because they are 100% environmentally friendly, non-toxic and not tested on animals.
5. Our kitchens run on Good Energy which comes from over 1,000 different locations across the UK, harnessing local, natural sources like sunshine, wind, rain and biofuels.
6. We only use quality, ethical and sustainable fish. Most of our fish is sourced from Sole of Discretion.
7. We only cook with seasonal ingredients, so our menus are always changing.
8. We only work with suppliers who share our ethos of sustainability and planet love. When we find an ethical supplier with great products we stick with them. For example, our relationship with Brindisa (who provides us with our olive oil and Spanish ingredients) has been since the inception of Cookery School – that’s 15 years! We’ve also been using Shipton Mill since day one as we love their organic flour!
9. Over 75% of our ingredients are sourced locally and more than three quarters of our fresh produce and meat are organic.
10. We cater for all dietary requirements. If you’ve been on any of our classes you’ll have seen that there’s often someone who is allergic to dairy, or doesn’t eat meat, or maybe they’d like to avoid coriander… we can cater for all these needs as long as we have advance notice. We supply kosher and halal products at no extra cost to the student.
11. Our principal, Rosalind Rathouse, founded Cookery School at Little Portland Street 15 years ago when she was at the ripe age of 59! We won’t tell you how old she is now…
12. Rosalind has been teaching for over 50 years! Originally in South Africa, Rosalind illicitly taught people during the Apartheid era and paid off the neighbour who was a member of the secret police with food that was cooked during the lessons.
13. Our kitchen manager, Marcela, HR administrator, Maureen, and maintenance manager, Edwin, have all been here for 11 years! Two of our teachers, Kay and Kimiko, have been with us since day one!
14. The cooks who lead the lessons are all excellent teachers – it’s about home cooks teaching well, it’s not chefs just demonstrating.
15. We have regular team breakfasts (plus the occasional glass of fizz) and are proud to work in a culture of trust. This is incredibly important to us.
16. We teach good home cooking – no fads! In our classes, our students come away with an excellent understanding as to how they can recreate excellent dishes in their own kitchens at home.
17. We have an ongoing partnership with Magic Breakfast, a charity raising funds to provide hungry children with a nutritious breakfast. Over half a million children arrive at school in the UK too hungry to learn.
18. On the occasion that we have spaces left over in a class, we like to offer them to charities. We have recently worked with the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and Spear, a charity who have supported over 4,000 unemployed young people in the past decade
19. We try to make learning as accessible as possible. We see making mistakes as an important part of this process. A mature student on our professional Cook’s Certificate course expressed his thanks for teaching him that making mistakes makes for good learning. He said he spent the happiest 6 weeks of his life at Cookery School!
20. In 2017 we ran over 500 classes! Can you name them all? (We can’t either).
21. We worked with 125 companies in the past 12 months to create bespoke corporate events for unforgettable experiences.
22. Every month, we welcome 400 students through our doors!
23. We offer classes on every day of the week – including Sundays which are growing in popularity!
24. If you come along with your child only 1 space needs to be paid for as you’ll work together. It’s a great bonding exercise and there’s always so much food to enjoy, neither of you will leave hungry!