Answers to common questions
We offer courses to suit all skill levels, from absolute beginners, to advanced cooks. The majority of our courses are aimed at the enthusiastic home cook who can follow a recipe and cook a meal.
We will teach you everything you need to know to approach all areas of cookery with confidence. We are dependent on you to make an accurate assessment of your own skill level and have graded the skill level required to enter a course.View the skill levels here
On all courses the general minimum age to attended a course is 18 years old.
However, on our cook-to-go, half-day or one-day classes, we will accept a teenager over the age of 14 years if accompanied by a parent/guardian. (Please note: each young person needs to be accompanied by an adult. So two young people would require 2 adults.)
The short answer is yes!. However, our kitchens are in use 7 days a week for a variety of different courses, and although they are deep cleaned nightly, we cannot offer a nut/shellfish/etc free environment.
However, most people with severe food allergies are able to self medicate and carry their own medication such as an epipen in case of emergencies. In most cases we can accommodate students with such allergies, but it is important that you call us to discuss your requirements before booking a course. Whilst we will always try to accommodate wherever possible, we won't be able to restructure the course. However we are very familiar with intolerances and allergies and regularly welcome coeliacs, vegetarians and those with gluten-free and dairy-free diets on our courses where possible. Please contact the Customer Service team who will be able to advise you further.
So for example, if you are Lactose intolerant, it may be relatively easy to accommodate a change to the course content, whereas a vegetarian (willing to work with meat) may not find the courses suitable unless they were prepared to adjust their lunch and dinner menus since the course content would not change. On our courses you eat the food that you prepare yourself so you can adjust your recipes to suit. If you wish to use alternative or specialist ingredients in place of ours you are welcome to bring them if you can let us know in advance.
In all cases please call us and we will endevour to accommodate you on all courses.
All of our courses are totally hands-on - it's one of the most important factors in what we do. And when we say hands-on, we mean it - on a normal day you will be involved in cooking almost from the moment of your arrival until you sit down to eat what you have prepared.
Our courses are approximately 90% practical work which means chopping, peeling, kneading, frying, rolling, boning, filleting and all the other things that make cooking so interesting.
Within a days cookery training there will be Chef Demonstrations where you learn from the chef, followed by working individually to learn skills to complete dishes.
Lunch is part of the course for courses that are 1-day or longer which will be made up of dishes you have prepared yourself as part of the course.
The exception to this are specialist days such as Patisserie, Breadmaking or Chocolate when we will provide a delicious buffet - please check individual courses for the specific information.
On the weekend and 5 day courses, in addition to lunch, at around 5pm at the end of the course you will take-away the delicious dinner menu you have been working on to enjoy at home and eco-containers are provided for this.
On Half-day and Cook-To-Go courses there is no meal and you take away everything you cook. On all of our courses you will take away the evening meals you prepare at the end of the course. In fact on some courses such as Patisserie and Breadmaking you will leave with bags full.
We provide recyclable containers for this, but if you would like to brinh your own please do.
We welcome lots of students training to cook in ski-chalets or on yachts, either as a career or a gap year. We recommend the following options:
- Intermediate Cookery - this 5 day course will give you a mastery of meat and fish and a solid repertoire of recipes.
- Yacht Chef - this is a two-week course designed to inspire working yacht chefs with new skills and ideas for the season ahead.
- Certificate in Culinary Arts - our popular foundation course for chefs will teach you to cook to a professional standard.
These fast-paced 3 hour cooking classes are all about cooking an authentic meal with the freshest ingredients and taking home a delicious meal for two to enjoy at home. The best take-away ever.
These fun morning or afternoon courses are focussed on teaching you an achievable skill-for-life. They are a popular gift-voucher choice as they make a perfect gift for foodies.
A full day to work on a chosen cuisine or cookery skill. One day classes are the ideal way to build your skills. You will enjoy a lunch with wine featuring dishes you have prepared yourself from the course menu.
Take a deep dive into a cuisine and with extra exploration of culinary techniques with your chef tutor. Enjoy a relaxing stay at Ashburton Court B&B on the Friday and Saturday nights.
Our week long courses are all about taking your current cookery up a level. By the end of the week you will have covered a huge amount of new skills and confidence in the kitchen.
Go from home cook to qualified chef with our Chefs Academy courses in the Culinary Arts and Patisserie.