If you follow me on social media, specifically Instagram, then you will probably have noticed that I enjoy food. More specifically, I enjoy cooking food. However, I have never had any formal instruction in cookery. I know, hard to believe, isn’t it!
So, when The Cookery School at The Grand York got in touch and invited me and Delilah along to one of their course I jumped at the opportunity.
A brand new cookery school
The cookery school at the Grand is brand spanking new. Back in October, the 5000 sq. ft. basement space was just an empty shell. And now it’s a fully kitted out cookery school with fantastic facilities.
The Instagram post above shows just how far the school came in a very short space of time.
The cookery school is led by Head Chef Tutor, Andrew Dixon, and he has a great team working with him. On speaking to Andrew, his passion for food is clear and he has grand plans for this cookery school.
The school officially opens in March 2019.
We accessed the cookery school from the main entrance to the Grand. It’s a five-star hotel, so there were doormen with bowler hats and concierge once inside. Very impressive.
We were directed to the cookery school which is actually in the basement of the newer building of the hotel, rather than the beautiful Edwardian one we entered through. It was a bit of a trek, and we only later realised that the cookery school has street level access from the other side!
Walking into the cookery school you are immediately struck by the impressive surroundings.
The cookery school is part of a £15-million expansion and redevelopment of the hotel and it’s clear when you walk in that the facilities are top class.
I forgot to take my “big” camera so all these photos are from my Galaxy S7. However, I’m not sure any photo can really do justice to have fantastic the kitchens look.
There was complimentary tea, coffee and fresh juice in plentiful supply as well as some tasty treats too. This wasn’t just for us there to preview the school, paying customers will get the same experience.
First, a demonstration
The format of our parent and child class was really relaxed. We started by sitting around the tutor’s station while he demonstrated the first part of our recipe. We were making Italian meatballs in tomato sauce.
As well as showing us the techniques for this recipe, Andrew also imparted other snippets of his wealth of knowledge. His philosophy is that he’s teaching techniques that are transferable to other recipes rather than just teaching us to make one meal.
Once he’d explained the meatballs, and run through the health and safety stuff, it was then our turn to head to our workstations and get creating.
Getting hands on
The bulk of the ingredients for the recipe were pre-prepared for us. But I did have to use one of their super sharp knives to smash some garlic.
Then it was Delilah’s turn to get her hands, literally, with the ingredients.
I do make some awesome meatballs myself that the family really love. So seeing this different recipe did have me intrigued how they would taste. This recipe used 2 parts ground beef, 1 part ground pork and 1 part ground gammon. It was the gammon bit that intrigued me. Andrew said this was to keep the meatballs light, as beef on its own can make dense meatballs.
There is plenty of room at the stations for two people to work together. All the stations have induction hobs that are really safe to use for the little one. The heights of the counters are just right too. Delilah really liked getting to work freely.
Let’s get saucy
After part-cooking the meatballs it was time to return to the tutor’s station to see a demonstration of making the tomato sauce.
Once again, the ingredients were already prepared for us but you do get to take away the recipe to try at home too. This is great for the children, keeping the course to a nice length helps to keep their attention. With the adult courses, I think there will be a bit more preparation involved.
It was really nice to work together in this space. I have to admit I am a bit of a control freak in the kitchen at home and don’t work too well with the girls around. That might be because space is tight, but not so at the cookery school.
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting
After preparing the meal it was time to go and sit with our fellow cooks and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
I have to say, these meatballs tasted delicious and I cleared my bowl. Delilah had some leftovers, but the cookery school chefs were quickly on hand with a takeaway container (environmentally friendly cardboard of course).
Delilah thoroughly enjoyed this class. The one we were invited along to was 2 hours long. The actual parent and child class will be 3 hours, and as well as the main course you will get to make a dessert too (or pudding, for us Yorkshire folk).
The chefs had kindly pre-prepared vanilla ice screen with a salted caramel sauce for our pudding!
Value for money
The parent and child classes are just £45 per pair. For a 3 hour class, with professional chefs, in a state-of-the-art kitchen and a 2-course meal – I think this is amazingly exceptional value for money. Coming from the master of tightarsedness, I would pay double that!
I did look up a similar parent and child class another local cookery school to compare. They do a 1.5-hour class for one adult and up to 2 children and that’s £45. So, this really puts into perspective the value you are getting at The Grand.
The range of classes they will be offering is extremely varied and covers many tastes. I did ask about vegetarian classes and Andrew did say that these are being planned, as well as some vegan classes too. I think that is fantastic.
Attending a cookery school was something new to me as I’ve never tried anything like this before.
We both thoroughly enjoyed both our time, the chefs and the food and we will be back!
To find out more, visit the Cookery School and the Grand, York website.
Thanks for reading.
This experience was kindly gifted by The Cookery School at the Grand, York. However, this review and my opinions are completely my own.