It’s been nearly a decade since I first opened Cookery School at Little Portland Street in London and my what an exciting, busy and delicious decade it’s been. As we enter into 2012, I’ve been reflecting on the qualities of Cookery School that have kept it going so well over the years. These are the things that keep new students coming in, and old students coming back. I hope to keep these strengths alive for many years to come. Happy 2012 everyone!
What Makes Cookery School Different from Other Cookery Schools
- We have been an established London cookery school for nine years and are a small, niche school with a very strong ethos of providing a good learning environment and producing great food based on using best possible ingredients – and a teaching style that really works.
- Rosalind’s teaching background – 40 years of teaching – prior to starting Cookery School means that people are taught in a way that makes it easy to understand and absorb new ideas and techniques.
- Our teaching is based on solid teaching principles rather than being demonstrated by chefs who have worked in restaurants rather than having a domestic background.
- The recipes that we teach from are user friendly. They have been used by hundreds of pupils over the time that we have been running. Many of them have been passed down through the generations (Rosalind’s mother and grandmother) so are well tried and tested. Ashamedly some of them are still in cups, pounds and ounces.
- Our recipes are ‘pure’ in that they are straightforward and reflect a particular cuisine. They are not ‘fusion food’ recipes. The latter can be confusing and only really successful in the hands of a few expert chefs.
- We like to ensure that our pupils leave us having built cooking confidence whilst at Cookery School, so are able to cook on their own at home. Hands on practice – doing rather than watching – aids this.
- As well as all of the above, we feel that it is our duty as a progressive school to teach about environmental issues. We use organic meat, poultry, eggs, citrus and root vegetables – none of the ingredients that we use contain any preservatives or nasty and harmful chemical additives.
- We have signed up to Sustainable Fish City but had stopped using tuna a number of years ago anyway. We use sustainable fish like Pollock extensively as well as mackerel, herring, sardines, gurnard, whiting and mussels. Pupils are surprised at how imaginatively these can be used to produce economic and very tasty meals.
- We have joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association and despite having been recycling our waste, not buying ingredients in plastic, buying in recyclable tin or glass for some years, we love the way that we are being encouraged by the SRA to move even further forward in our endeavour to be as sustainable as we possibly can.
- We run a sustainable cookery course called Scrumptious and Sustainable in which we teach about how people can enjoy delicious food that helps in sustaining the valuable food resources that we have. Many people are keen on cooking sustainably but do not understand the simple principles involved. The four sessions that make up this course – Eat Your Greens, Perfect Pulses (and grains), More From Your Meat and Know Your Fish have proved to be popular ones within our ‘curriculum’ or repertoire as we prefer to call it.We have also run corporate events with a sustainability theme.
- Most of all we have become known for the quality of the delicious food that we produce and the fun that is involved in preparing it. We do an equal number of cookery classes in London and corporate cookery events and each year a few thousand people enjoy their time at Cookery School.
For more information about Cookery School, visit our website: http://www.cookeryschool.co.uk/