Whether you are already a competent cook or have almost no experience in the kitchen, the four-week foundation cookery course can transform your cooking skills as well as your entire perception of what good food can be, and the enjoyment that learning to cook can bring. Run by Lou Hutton, the course is packed with a vast amount of knowledge, practical experience and fun into the shortest possible time. Whatever you are looking for Lou will give you the time and expertise to take you from where you are to where you want to be. There will also be a series of garden master classes given by Wendy Wright, international garden designer and lecturer.
Accommodation is in fabulous comfy bedrooms nearly all with en-suite bathrooms. There is a sitting room for downtime, with a huge sofa for curling up in front of the TV or for catching up with friends through our wireless internet connection. All accommodation, including sheets and towels, and of course food, is provided as though you were staying in an excellent country house hotel, so all you need to bring is yourself.
During the four-week foundation cookery course, students start off with simple techniques, but move through a cleverly structured program which continually builds confidence and skill whilst producing increasingly challenging and imaginative menus.
Starting with methods and techniques such as chopping, baking, sauting, steaming, you quickly move on, not only to more varied techniques, but also more complex flavors. Presentation is also a skill that you will begin to master.
A fish day, an Italian day and an Indian day all add fun to the learning process, and will show you the huge variety of great tastes from different regions. You will visit local markets and suppliers to discover how to recognize quality and then choose the freshest seasonal ingredients.
Whenever possible, local organic produce is used, with regular visits to local producers. A recipe file is also provided, together with a host of useful food charts and tips. As well as classic and modern dishes, you will also prepare food for special diets. Students will be given tuition and examination for the level 2 food safety in catering whilst on the course.
Planning, preparing, cooking and serving a meal of your choice for a number of guests, whilst working to a budget, is an integral part of the cookery course. This is a chance for you to test your own ability whilst professional and friendly advice is on hand.
While on the cookery course we will work with you to ensure your CV gives you the best chance of getting the job you want. Upon completing the cookery course, we can put you in touch with ski companies and employment agencies, and please remember that once youve left, you can always contact us for advice and support at any time.
Working in groups of up to six students, a typical day begins with a morning of demonstrations and practical sessions, before you enjoy a relaxed and informal lunch. This is followed by afternoon sessions preparing for dinner, giving you practice at more complex food preparation, organizing the kitchen and presenting and serving a meal.
At the end of the day, you can relax and enjoy the canaps youve made with a pre-dinner drink, or an evenings wine lecture in front of a roaring fire during winter, or in the garden in summer, before experiencing the fabulous food that you have been creating.
The residential cookery school is based at Middle Farm House in Somerset, in a beautiful 16th century thatched Long House. The Hutton family originally farmed here in the 18th century, and the house has been superbly renovated by Lou and Roger Hutton, retaining much of its original character.
The large farmhouse kitchen, with views over the gardens, provides a relaxed and informal atmosphere in which students can develop their new found cooking skills and confidence. The kitchen has been thoughtfully designed and equipped, and includes an Aga as well as all modern cooking appliances.
The nearby rail station on the UK network at Castle Cary has fast links to London Paddington, as well as to the West Country and Cornwall, north to Bath and Bristol, and south west to the Jurassic Coast.