To gain knowledge and skills on cooking. Suitable for anyone interested in cooking.
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Rosie trained at Oxford for three years in Catering and Hotel Management. Before she came to teaching her wide ranging career took in cooking in a number of restaurants, running her own catering business and writing and editing recipes for publication. Her teaching career spans more than 20 years, during which she was head of cookery at Redlynch Park College and later senior tutor at Cookery at the Grange. She has been running her own cookery courses from her home, Penny's Mill for over ten years.
Why Cooking with Rosie is Different
There are lots of cookery schools out there, but I pride myself on being different.
I teach no more than five students at a time in the relaxed atmosphere of my home, Penny's Mill. We concentrate on building your practical knowledge and skills through learning fundamental culinary techniques, until by the end of the course you are capable and confident enough to tackle any recipe.
A Hands-on Approach
While we do spend some time discussing theory, you'll spend the vast majority of your time preparing and cooking fantastic food - after all the best way to learn is by doing.
You'll work hard but learn more than you can imagine - and have a lot of fun too!
Taught in Small Groups
This allows plenty of opportunity for 1-to-1 tuition as well as the flexibility to focus on particular interests or questions you might have, and generates a friendly, informal, learning atmosphere.
Focused on Methods & Techniques, Not Just Recipes
Knowing how to cook isn't about having a stock of recipes in your repertoire. It's about understanding your ingredients, and knowing how to apply fundamental skills to get fantastic results.
Cooking with Rosie will give you a comprehensive grounding in both basic and advanced culinary methods and techniques, building your confidence and ability so that you're ready to tackle any recipe you wish.
A Typical Day on the Course
Describing a typical day on the course is tough because every day is so different.
The common thread is that we cook what we eat and eat what we cook. So each day is structured around working to produce lunch and dinner.
For the ‘duty chefs’ the working day begins at 8 a.m. making bread. Occasionally we start with an early visit to the local market.
The Morning Session
The teaching proper begins at 9.a.m when we’ll talk for about 40 minutes. We’ll discuss what we’re going to be doing and I will allocate recipes that we will be covering that day. I try to avoid long sessions on theory; however I may demonstrate a technique – with a maximum of just five students you’ll get to practice just about every technique at some point in the course, though you won’t all be cooking the same thing at the same time.
We work until about 1.p.m, .when we stop for lunch: dishes are lighter and a little simpler than the food we prepare for dinner.
The Afternoon & Evening
After lunch we cook again until around 4.30 p.m., building on the morning’s work and fitting in biscuits, cakes and any technique or recipe that a student may feel the need to repeat. Final preparation for dinner starts at 6.p.m. Working in pairs students take it in turn to be in charge, making a plan of work and supervising the service of the food. Once a week we have an informal wine tasting. We seem to always have a glass of wine in our hands by about 7.p.m!
We serve dinner at around 8 p.m. and are usually finished around 9.30.p.m.
We do work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. We listen to music in the kitchen and are pretty laid back. I believe that in order to learn you must be able to relax and enjoy what you are doing, and I like to think that we achieve the right atmosphere and balance between hard work and enjoyment.
We cover a huge variety of dishes and styles of cooking during the course, including:
- Tian of Avocado, Tomato and Crab, with Lemon Oil and Basil
- Seared Pepper and Goats Cheese Tartlets
- Cannelloni of Prawns with Tarragon Hollandaise
- Gratin of Summer Vegetables
- Butterfly Leg of Lamb marinated with Juniper and Red Wine with Roasted Vegetable Stacks
- Spatchcocked Persian Chicken with Jewelled Rice and Pomegranates
- Fillet of Beef with Cabbage Parcels and Chocolate Sauce
- Thai Beef Salad with Grapes, Coriander and Sesame
- Sparkling Fruit Terrine
- Milles Feuilles with Raspberry Parfait
- Tarte Tatin with Calvados Sauce Anglaise
More About the Course
Hours of tuition are from Monday morning to Friday afternoon, in addition to which pairs of students alternately take responsibility for preparing the evening meal under my supervision. The days are long, but rewarding and there’s always time to relax too.
I believe in teaching cooking by teaching methods and techniques, not just recipes. Learning to cook this way equips you with the tools to adapt and prepare any recipe you choose. We start with essential skills such as basic techniques for recipes and preparing soups and sauces, meat and fish, vegetables and vegetarian dishes, desserts and canapés.
From Field to Plate
As your knowledge and confidence grow, we introduce more techniques: jointing, filleting and boning, as well as yeast cookery, advanced pastries and sauces. You’ll cover all aspects of cooking from field to plate. In addition to preparation and presentation, we make visits to the markets to shop for fresh meat, fish and vegetables, and look at precautions for food hygiene and storage.
Tips & Tricks of the Trade
We’ll also work together to solve some of the common problems you’ll come across while producing top-class food under pressure, often coping in cramped and under-equipped conditions and away from your home base. You’ll learn how to adapt recipes for special dietary requirements to use locally available produce.
Other Things to know
Among the things we’ll talk about are:
- Menu planning
- Canapé and hors d’ouvres
- Mediterranean and Eastern influences
- Purchasing and provisioning
- How to buy and store fresh food
- Adapting recipes to available ingredients
- Presentation and garnishing
- Catering for special diets
- Selecting and caring for your equipment
Also Included in Your Course Fee:
- Weekly informal wine tastings
- Regular market visits with advice on what to look for when selecting produce
- Tuition and Examination for the Level 1 Award in Food Safety in Hygiene
- My comprehensive course file with recipes, notes, conversion tables, and glossary of cookery terms
- All meals and accommodation for the duration of the course, including weekend accommodation if required
Students per class: 5