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Classes

Classes

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Creativity and expression are the cornerstone to any great meal, but having the confidence and knowledge to play around with the recipe is the gateway to success. How ingredients express themselves in reaction to their changing environment before coming together in harmony is the essence of Terroir. 

Teaching has been an integral part of my professional career in both professional kitchens and formal training environments, such as Oxford Brookes University and Leith's School of Food and Wine.  

I am endlessly fascinated and enthusiastic about the fact that a group of people given the same guidance and ingredients will invariably arrive at such varied end results. This has given rise to my passion for teaching, passing on what I have experienced and learnt throughout my culinary journey. 

My public facing classes are not the typical cookery class. I prefer to engage with the subject, providing knowledge and understanding to encourage experimentation, giving the confidence to break free from following recipes to the letter. Cooking is an organic process where creativity is free to roam.

For the most part the classes I run last 3 hours, with a hands on practical approach, a conversation for everyone to participate in, culminating in sharing the creations together. 

Creating new classes is as much fun as running them! If there is anything you would like to learn that you cannot see here please get in touch.

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Cooking On Fire

You won’t find heavy marinades, thick rich sauces or extravagant ingredients here, masks what cooking on fire truly has to offer. The real skill comes from embracing this method of cooking, showcase what it really has to offer … FLAVOUR! Cooking with fire is all about going back to basics, a raw unbridled simplicity, making a connection between environment and food to create terroir. Cooking with fire extends far beyond simply thinking in terms of direct and indirect heat, and charcoal or wood. There are many combinations and nuances to be discovered, each resulting in its own flavour and texture. I see using fire as a seasoning, enhancing but not overpowering. My cooking on fire classes offer the knowledge and skills to explore this world for your selves with whatever means you choose to use.

Fire
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Spice

Spice, Seasoning Mastery

Seasoning is so much more than a sprinkling of salt and a quick couple of grinds of a pepper mill… seasoning is the subtle art of intensifying the inherent flavour & characteristics of an ingredient. Spices are the gateway to mastering this artform with a plethora of flavour & textures from the tame and serene to the flamboyant & aggressive. Spices should never be banished to the dark recesses of a kitchen to only see the light of day periodically, but to be enjoyed every day! Taking the simplest of ingredients and elevating them to new dizzy heights of flavour & texture!

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Preserve

Preserve the Seasons

Peculiar pickles, curious cures, fabulous ferments & creative condiments!

Eating seasonally is more than simply using the very best fresh produce available at the time. Seasonal eating is taking everything that season has to offer and letting nothing go to waste, stretching out the enjoyment for the following months. This goes beyond simply dealing with a glut or 100 ways to use a carrot, this class is an introduction to pickling, curing, fermenting and preserving by means more familiar (jams, jellies & chutneys).

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Chicken

Chicken, the Next Steps

Chicken is Britain’s favourite meat and a staple for many throughout the week. More often than not it is just thought of as a whole roast, pieces for the BBQ or breast fillets. The vast majority of chicken comes pre-prepared in packets. While convenient this is expensive and limiting for the adventurous cook. Buying a whole chicken brings variation to those who may be stuck in a rut and would like to explore more ways to use the meat, while at the same time saving a bit of money and reducing waste. Most importantly though, buying a whole chicken gives a more ethical and environmental approach. Firstly, by greatly reducing the mechanised food production element and reducing plastic packaging. Secondly buying a whole bird brings choice. The vast majority of farms that prioritise animal welfare and biodynamic farming, among other positive approaches, will not supply the supermarkets or do not have the funds to process their meat, so sadly eliminating them as a choice.  This course will pass on the knowledge and craft skills to break down a whole chicken and make the most of every part of the animal, broadening skill and opening up choice.

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Enriched Dough

Enriched Dough

Donuts, Kanelbullar & Cinnamon Buns

Coffee shop culture has quickly become such an integral part of life, everyone has their favourite treat from their local haunt. The most popular of these sweet treats, donuts, cinnamon buns & Kanelbullar to name but a few, are simply enriched doughs. With a little tweak here and a smidgen or something special there, a basic enriched dough can effortlessly be transformed from a cinnamon bun to a donut to a Kanelbullar or a donut. Then it is down to how the dough is treated, cooked or even filled to determine its destiny. This class goes through making an enriched dough and the effects of the ‘enriching’ ingredients, bringing the knowledge and confidence to bake your favourites at home. There will be no shop brought fillings either, so some simple jam and Crème Pâtissière making to give that final flourish and personality to the bakes. 

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Seasonal Meats

Seasonal Meats, British Game

Seasonality, when it comes to food, it is often only thought about with regards to fruits and vegetables, especially when shopping locally. While this is certainly a great way to start a journey towards sustainable eating habits the natural environment has far more to offer. Industrialisation of the food industry has taken ‘seasonality’ out of the meat market, to the detriment of the physical and social environment at large but also on a local scale. Eating seasonally offers our bodies tailor made nourishment without the inconvenience of following a specific diet or spending hours of research with Google. While the warmer spring and summer months are on the whole reserved for a lighter diet with fish and shellfish taking centre stage, the Autumn and Winter months are perhaps the perfect month to introduce seasonal meats. Game!  British ‘wild meats’ are sustainable, ethical and readily available through local producers. This class aims to take the mystery out of preparing and cooking some of the more popular wild meats, giving the confidence to introduce them into your diet. Not only will the time be spent dealing with meat, but also seasonal pairings of vegetables, fruits and nuts, as well as seasonings and cooking methods.

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Less Waste, More Taste

Explore the parts of vegetables discarded as ‘waste’ or ‘inedible’. Uncovering hidden flavours, textures & uses of the overlooked. It can be hard to justify the extra face value cost associated with buying fresh produce direct from a farm or producer, especially in the current climate. There are so many producers offering box schemes, often delivered to your door, that it would be a tragedy not to support these passionate souls. However, this can be more affordable than the face value monetary cost! The hidden extras and benefits can reduce waste while offering added nutritional value and fresh discovery. All of this with the invaluable benefit to our personal wellbeing, the economy and environment, of eating seasonally and shopping locally!  There is a lot of hidden and flavour waiting to be discovered.

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HotXBuns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns, without question, have the royal throne when it comes to dried fruit and mixed spice. Mixing the dough begins to build an aroma that later envelops the whole house during the bake, only easing off once the golden buns are cool. Cut in half then gently toasted, so the melting butter doesn’t soak in too quickly, reliving that heady unctuous aroma trickling out of the toaster. Gooey, sticky and fruity. Perfecting a hot crossed bun recipe is a never ending joy. Minor variations, tweaks here and there, and changing tastes all bring about personality that build a recipe. This class explores the components of what makes a bun a Hot Cross Bun, bringing the confidence to put your personal stamp on these fabulous buns.

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Cheaper Cuts

Cheaper Cuts

Cheaper cuts of meat are a largely misunderstood food group, destined for wintery stews, rich casseroles or mince. With a few basic techniques and a little background knowledge, compromising on budget does not mean compromising on flavour or style. Making stews, casseroles and roasting meat are familiar skills most are comfortable with. This class explores the cheaper cuts in different ways to give alternatives to some old carnivorous favourites and quick meals for busy lives. This class will showcase the best these cuts have to offer, showing that they are every bit as delectable as their high price tag counter parts.

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Venues

Venues

I am very fortunate to be invited to some incredible venues to run classes. Perhaps the most beautiful is the barn at Honesty Cookery School. Nestled in the countryside not far from Newbury, the barn oozes intimate charm with a well equipped modern kitchen and cozy seating. Draped around the barn are a series of herb and vegetable gardens from which to gather inspiration and of course delicious fresh, seasonal produce used in the classes.

Find out more...

A venue for these classes can be as informal as a village hall, for larger groups, or your own kitchen for a smaller personal groups.

If you would like to discuss hosting a class or finding a venue near you for me to run a class in please get in touch. 

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