Things To Consider
Unfortunately, not all of us live within a stone’s throw of a fantastic cookery class, especially if you’re wanting a really upmarket experience from a particular restaurant. For fun and casual cookery events for friend’s parties or a date night, you should find it relatively easy to find a pizza or pasta making class somewhere near you, but serious cookery courses tend to vary depending on your geographical location.
Are you looking for a great solo gift for the wannabe chef in your life, or do you need to mix up your weekend activities with a fun experience for two? Cookery course packages tend to come in one of either of these options, so if you’re looking to entertain a large party of people, you may have to contact your chosen cookery course to request more places.
If you’re after a relaxed and casual event, it’s probably not wise to choose something with well over a three-hour duration, as you’ll likely tire and get bored well before the end. However, if it’s an intense and serious cooking course you’re after, there are plenty of half-day and full-day cooking courses with experienced chefs out there, with some offering a full 14 hour day in the kitchen!
When choosing a cookery course, try and pick a cuisine you want to refine your skills at or cuisine you love but have no experience within the kitchen.
Unless you’re just out to have fun, never pick a class just because it sounds unusual or different – as if you don’t end up eventually making the dishes, it’s going to be a big waste of your time and money.
If you read the descriptions of certain cookery courses, you’ll see the differences in tone vary greatly. For those who fancy themselves as a would-be chef, there are many intense classes which will put you through your paces and elevate your understanding of cooking, however, this is probably the completely wrong atmosphere for casuals looking for a laugh!
Always read the description on what the course entails to work out whether it’s serious and educational or a fun, social event. And of course, sometimes they can be a mixture of both!
As many of these classes take place in busy restaurants and are taught by hard-working, busy cooks, they won’t always offer the most convenient timings.
In general, cookery courses run by restaurants and companies tend to take part on a certain day of a week or on select occasions throughout the year to ensure the lessons do not conflict with their normal working day.
Be sure to check what kind of dates your chosen course can offer and whether it fits your timetable.
Similar to the above, most cooking lessons run by restaurants and companies need to be fitted around a working day and away from busy periods. This means they are often unusually not held at weekends and can often be held in evening weekday hours.
Again, be sure to check your chosen course offers timeslots to match up with your schedule.
If you know your Nigella Lawsons from your Nigel Slaters, then having your cookery course run by a certified cookbook legend or well-regarded chef is always going to be a huge plus point.
Be careful though, as going to particular cookery schools or events under the name of a celebrity chef may not actually feature an appearance from them unless it specifically says so!
By and large, most cookery classes are exclusively for adults of 18 and over, however, if you are looking to gift an experience for a younger person who is getting into cooking, there are some available to lower age groups (usually provided they have an adult guardian with them)
Cookery classes tend to be on the expensive side – especially if run by highly trained chefs. For Michelin star courses or well-regarded cookery schools, you can expect to pay up to £200, sometimes for as little as just a 3 hour day.
However, if you want something more fun and relaxed, your best bet is to choose a lesson which focuses on a particular cuisine or dish that’s fun or educational to make. These are often the cheapest options, ranging from around £30-60 per person.