Cooking Experience Days Out

For those who like to cook (or just eat)

Books for Cooks (London) — I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume and variety of cookbooks on display at this Notting Hill bookstore. Tucked in the back of the store is an on-site test kitchen where recipes are put to the test daily Tuesday - Saturday. The day we visited the featured menu was vegetarian. We were treated to celeriac mustard soup, lentil with beans and sweet potato and a choice of white chocolate raspberry, lemon cake or apple and cranberry crumble. The three-course meal featuring recipes from Books for Cooks own cookbook and the Happy Pear came to £7. The tables were full by noon - arrive by 11:45 am to guarantee a seat and food is served until it is gone.
Ginger Pumpkin Chocolate Fish (Walton on Thames) — For seasonal cooking demonstration done in style, visit Burvale House, a beautiful Regency home in Surrey. The proprietor and chef, Shelagh Klein, has brought her theatrical background into the kitchen. Our private class included instruction for six dishes followed by a sit down lunch complete with wine and dessert. The sticky toffee pudding made in a bundt cake pan was a standout and I learned how easy it is to make fancy parmesan crisps and smoked trout pate. Book early since dates are limited. Sit back and enjoy the show of food being made with such fun!
Jamie Oliver Cookery School (London) — While I am not much of a cook (regrettably), I find myself drawn to classes where I am surprisingly cooking, though with welcome help. At our Vietnamese street food class, someone has bought the ingredients, laid them out pre-measured, along with the required kitchen utensils. I was also partnered with someone who would check my work and the staff did the cleanup. Under these ideal circumstances, their motto that ‘anyone can learn to cook and make great food’ while still somewhat far-fetched in my case, encourages me to keep trying.
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