I spent 5 days this month at Ashburton Cookery School attending their Intermediate Course. A real treat to myself after the house moves, building work etc of the past months since returning home. I picked this school because it wasn’t fronted by some big name chef but came well recommended in various blog posts I read and had won accolades as such Best Cookery School in 2012 and 2013. I was not disappointed. We spent one day on poultry, one on pork, one on lamb, one on beef and one on fish. All the staff were enthusiastic and friendly from reception staff to the caretaker, from the chef tutor’s to kitchen helpers. The kitchen we used for the 10 people on the course was fitted with an overhead mirror situated above the tutors stove top and work surface. Here Rob, our chef tutor for the first 3 days, and Tom, our chef tutor for the final 2 days, demoed various skills and techniques before we went to our workstations and begun cooking ourselves and in pairs. Everything we made we ate. The ratio between theory, demo and doing was great with us doing about 90% of the dishes. Other than the skills and recipes it was the little titbits of tips that were brilliant to get from the experts. The tutors were great, Tom was particularly good re explaining the science of food, Tom was quite simply one of the best tutors for any subject I have ever encountered or worked with. In summary I am really glad I went and would consider doing another course, perhaps their 2 day Thai Plus or Fish & Seafood Plus course. If you know an enthusiastic home cook who needs a treat of a present this is a good idea.
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