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is cooking an art or a science? no, it’s passion and instinct  

Food of Course

A Typical Day

No two days are the same, and we always try to make sure we have some fun and laughter along the way. But we need some structure to the day, or we would get nowhere. So if we’re not out, say, at a local market or the butcher, a typical day would be as follows: (despite appearances, it is not a regimented timetable!) .


We gather round the large dining table with mugs of tea or coffee to discuss what we learnt from the previous night’s supper, and to plan the day. What worked well? What went wrong, and how do we stop it happening again? Who wants to cook what today? I will demonstrate a few techniques and methods, and then it’s into the kitchen to get your sleeves rolled up, and start doing it for real. By the time we have had a mid morning break, some of the team will be working on the recipes for lunch which will be ready at about 1.00pm. Lunch is a team affair, and once everything is washed up, you will have a break before the afternoon session.


After another group discussion, we will talk through the menu, recipes and plans for the evening dinner. We will be looking at what can be done in advance, what tips and tricks you can use, and how to really understand not only the recipe, but also how to get everything onto the table as seamlessly as possible. After more time in the kitchen, we try to get all the advance preparation completed by 5.00pm, when many people escape for a country walk, head for the tennis court or the garden, or just relax in front of the log fire.


Each evening, two of the students come back to the kitchen at 6.00pm to do all the final preparations for dinner, including that all-important time plan. They then invite everyone else into the kitchen for drinks and canapés at about 7.30pm, before serving their fantastic 3-course dinner. We often find ourselves lingering at the table after dinner, enjoying involved and amusing conversations; but if not, there’s always the pub, the movie library – or simply bed!

Days can be action packed, and quite long, but I get so many comments from people about how fast the days go, how we are always busy and finding great new things on which to focus, no matter what your previous experience, that a day on Food of Course truly is a case of “time flying when you’re enjoying yourself!”

The routine is also broken up by a half-day session tutorial on wine, or with guest cooks from India and Italy, whose styles are quite different, both in the food they cook and in their teaching style.

I believe that confidence is the key to comfortable cooking, and so I make sure that everyone can go at their own pace, and that everyone gets to master anything they find hard in their own time. For those that get truly taken by a certain method or taste, there is time and space to explore it in any direction you want.
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