It’s fair to say that staying in is the new going out, which in turn has led to a surge in home cooking. Popular programmes such as BBC’s MasterChef and the Great British Menu and Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off have piqued our viewing appetite. But do you know your béchamel from your bavarois, and how do you successfully create a Gregg Wallace ‘great plate of food’?
If you’re not sure, why not learn at one of Scotland’s amazing cooking schools? Or is there a loved one in your life, in the nicest possible way, that deserves a cookery course as a gift? Many schools offer gift vouchers and experiences, so if you’re looking for a ‘win-win’ here’s a round-up of welcoming cooking schools across Scotland that can help.
Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye
The kitchens at Kinloch Lodge were originally set up by renowned cookery writer Lady Claire Macdonald. She and her husband Godfrey (High Chief of Clan Macdonald) ran this wonderful hotel for 40 years. Today, the kitchens are supervised by Marcello Tully who also leads cookery classes. Choose from an express 45-minute cookery course or a longer bespoke class.
Oakwood Cookery School, Moray Speyside
Oakwood Cookery School in Elgin is relatively new and is already proving popular. Classes are friendly, informal and intimate (up to 12 students only) and are led by chefs who work in local businesses as well as Oakwood itself. The school also uses many local suppliers who provide some outstanding local produce, for that real taste of the area.
Ballintaggart Farm, by Grandtully
Beautifully situated in Highland Perthshire and with stunning views over the Tay Valley, Ballintaggart Farm, is carving out an enviable reputation as a wonderful place to stay, to eat and to cook. Run by Chris, Rachel and Andrew Rowley and their team, in The Cook School you’ll cook with some of Scotland’s finest produce, whilst developing your culinary skills and confidence.
Airds Hotel, Argyll
Airds Hotel in Appin is the lovely setting for Head Chef Chris Stanley’s ‘Come Cook With Me’. This amazing two night experience begins with a five course dinner, followed by a relaxing breakfast next morning. Chris then presents you with a basket of ingredients and guides you through creating your own menu and dishes. In the evening, Chris personally prepares the same dish you made earlier, for your dinner. Can you taste the difference between yours and a 3 Rosette chef?
Praveen Kumar’s Indian Cook School, Perth
If you want to learn the secrets of authentic Indian cooking, then look no further than the Indian Cook School. Praveen Kumar and his wife Swarna run the very popular Tabla restaurant in the city and want to share the delights of Indian food through hands-on cookery lessons, using top quality produce and inspirational teaching. There’s usually plenty of delicious food to take home too!
Let’s Cook, Abernethy
Join Sarah Mellersh at Let’s Cook for a range of cookery courses where you’ll learn new skills, techniques, hints and tips. Located around 7 miles south of Perth, Sarah established her cookery school in 2009, after working as a private chef. Join a one-day course, or take a two week complete cookery course.
Nick Nairn Cook School, Stirlingshire
Popular and well-known TV chef Nick Nairn opened his Cook School in Port of Menteith in 2000. The school offers the very best in tuition, ingredients and facilities in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and there’s a great variety of courses to choose from. If you’re just after great grub, don’t miss his Pizza at the Port pop-up restaurant, open 12 – 9pm Friday to Sunday.
Christopher Trotter, Upper Largo
Christopher Trotter has worked in the hospitality industry for many years, undertaking many roles including running a Michelin-starred kitchen. One of his many talents is leading cooking classes and workshops either in his kitchen in Fife or he can even come to yours! Prepare a three course lunch, join a seafood masterclass or discuss more bespoke options with him. Where possible, Christopher uses local ingredients from Fife farm shops and markets.
Edinburgh New Town Cookery School
You’ll find a huge range of professional and amateur cookery courses on offer at the award-winning Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, which is led by highly experienced cook, food writer and consultant Fiona Burrell – the school’s Principal. If you’re looking for classic and creative cookery courses, delivered in a professional but informal atmosphere, then this is the school for you.
Edinburgh School of Food & Wine, by Kirkliston
Just a hurled haggis from Edinburgh Airport and located in a beautiful rural setting is the award-winning Edinburgh School of Food & Wine. The school caters for all, offering courses for aspiring professional chefs, amateurs honing their skills, even master chef courses for kids. Founded in 1986, it’s the longest-established cookery school in Scotland.
Coulston Cookery School, East Lothian
Based on the Coulston Estate, Coulston Cookery School focuses on fun lessons in an informal setting in their cottage kitchen. They offer a great range of day courses for small groups of up to five, as well as a number of residential courses. Don’t miss the amazing recipes, cookery demos, and articles on their Cookery School blog.
The Larder Cook School, Livingston
Delivering a range of culinary activites for grown-ups, kids and corporate clients The Larder Cook School opened in October 2014 and is a great success. This cooking school has a very laudable aim to improve the social well-being and economic future of West Lothian communities and they also opened four new community cafés in 2018.
Cook School Scotland, Kilmarnock
The Cook School Scotland, part of Braehead Foods who specialise in the supply of game and other fine Scottish ingredients, offers possibly the ultimate in cookery experiences from their 5-star rated venue in Ayrshire. There are over 15 different themes to choose from including cookery classes, demo and dine evenings and corporate events.
Home Cook School, Maybole
Staying in Ayrshire, an area renowned for its amazing produce, join Lindsay Guidi and create some amazing dishes for your family and friends. Choose from an all-inclusive cookery lesson at the Home Cook School kitchens, or if you prefer, Lindsay can visit your home and provide one-on-one tuition or a class for a small group of up to four.
Station House Café & Cookery School, Dumfries & Galloway
Our final stop is at the Station House Café & Cookery School in the pretty fishing village of Kirkcudbright. There’s a wide range of classes for all available here and a strong focus on using the finest seasonally available local produce where possible. Join Nick Morris and his team and cook up a storm, or if you prefer, simply try something delicious from their café.
Why not visit our food and drink section to find out more about Scotland’s amazing produce, passionate chefs, restaurants and pubs, events and much more besides? It’s sure to inspire you to start planning your next foodie adventures.