As children return to school for the last term before the summer holidays, once again parents recognise the value of teaching and the unique skills teachers have. All this made us think of the particular role that cookery schools have. So we looked back over the past almost twenty years and discovered that our original values still hold good at Cookery School at Little Portland Street.
Good Home Cooking
Our most important aim is to teach good home cooking. This is our core value. We do not do ‘trendy’ and follow the fads that are taking over social media. We stick to a well trodden path, follow the science and from that emerges some of our classes. We know that great home cooking can be transferred into a professional kitchen – look how many good home cooks have become our best loved chefs – Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver are just three examples.
Not Precious but Delicious
Our food is not precious but delicious! We use the best ingredients that we can find and cook them as simply as we can so that the resulting food is more than delicious. We not do ‘entertainment’ food where ingredients are cut into shapes that are not identifiable. One needs to be able to taste and identify ingredients and enjoy them for their own sake. That is what good food exemplifies.
Sustainability is at our heart
Since the start we have tried to use ingredients that are as locally sourced as possible.. Sustainability has been at the heart of all that we have done. In 2003 being sustainable was not considered to be cool. We used to have to search out organic fruit and veg. Interestingly, back then, one of the first supermarkets that was able to help us more than most others was Waitrose. All of our root vegetables have always had to be organic with the same holding true now.
No fusion food
We do not do fusion food ever. The easiest way to learn to cook is to learn how to cook the food of one country at a time. If our students want to go off and ‘fuse’ their ingredients after they have left us, that is fine. Our mantra to help understand ‘what goes with what’, a question we are always being asked, is that ‘what grows together, goes together’ is a good starting point. Cookery School’s food is devoid of fusion as we believe that there are sufficient wonderful dishes to cook in the world without having to resort to testing new combinations for jaded palates.
Having fun pushes skills further
We choose teachers who know how to make learning fun. Speak to anyone who has been on Dan Lepard’s sourdough classes or Jon Hogan’s chocolate making sessions and you will discover what we mean. In all of our classes and courses, our students come away with an excellent understanding as to how they can recreate wonderful dishes in their own kitchens at home. They gain knowledge that will last a lifetime.
Teaching by numbers
Cookery School founder, Rosalind Rathouse, has been teaching for the past 55 years so all that we teach is based on sound educational principles – as well as being fun. Not only that but our ratio of chefs to students is high, for optimum learning – in larger classes we double the number of teachers and assistants.
Attention to detail
We list all details about all of our classes, courses and events so that people can make informed decisions, really understand the value they are getting and what exactly they will make, do and learn on the day. As with traceability across the supply chain, we find this the most sustainable way to operate.