There are plenty of ways to learn to cook. Whether you want to cook lamb, scallops, or something vegetarian, you can easily learn how to.
There are plenty of specialised cooking classes for those wanting to learn to bake or learn a particular international style of cooking. Gluten-free cooking is also becoming increasingly popular.
Whether you're a bit of a nightmare in the kitchen or just need to refine your cooking techniques, there are plenty of interesting options available to you.
Since you can find almost any type of cooking class, you just have to choose which one you want to attend.
Cooking Lessons from Famous Chefs
What's better than attending a cooking school run by a famous chef where you can learn how to prepare their signature dishes?
A number of famous chefs have their own cooking schools and cooking lessons. Of course, these lessons are rarely taught by the chefs themselves (they have restaurants and TV shows keeping them busy). However, you will get a demonstration on preparing the recipes from an experienced culinary instructor or chef.
A lot of these lessons are offered as experience days offered by companies such as Virgin Experience Days and Red Letter Days. Of course, this means that these courses are better as an enjoyable hands on gourmet experience than attending a culinary school and taking a course in the art of cookery. That's not to say that they wouldn't make a great gift for someone who likes cooking homemade food from scratch and could do with a little more help than their cookbook can offer them.
If you run an office, these kinds of experiences can also make for entertaining team building days out.
Learn to Cook like a Professional Chef
Looking for one of the best cooking courses in the country?
If you're beyond basic cooking and are looking at a career in cooking, there are culinary schools, universities, and colleges around the country offering chef training. Here are some of the best options for those that aspire to be the very best when it comes to cooking, catering, or managing restaurants.
Le Cordon Bleu London
This is a culinary arts, wine and management school that was founded in 1931 and focuses on French cooking techniques. Cuisine, pâtisserie, boulangerie, and gastronomy and nutrition are the main specialisations taught.
The longer courses (such as the Grand Diplôme) run for an academic year (9 months) and cost upwards of £30,000. On this course, you can learn all about the art of cooking, specialist techniques, and the cooking methods used by the world's best chefs. You'll be expected to handle seafood, veal (amongst other meats), and alcohol. Unfortunately, if you have allergies or dietary requirements, this mightn't be the course for you.
Le Cordon Bleu also offers courses on various techniques, summer cooking courses, wine tasting, and cake decorating. These courses are between two hours and three weeks longs. These options are better for those who want to get better at preparing pastry and baking or gain some fundamental knife skills (in the kitchen, of course!).
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
Since 1980, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts promotes best practises, better culinary knowledge, and quality ingredients. The only course they offer themselves is a Master's degree in Culinary Arts. This is a highly selective course and only for those with at least 10 years of experience as a chef, pastry chef, or in restaurant management and service. Three of these years need to be at a senior level!
There are also apprenticeships offered by the academy. This is the option for very serious chefs.
Tante Marie Culinary Academy
You can find this culinary school in Woking (20 minutes from central London). The Cordon Bleu Diploma is the best qualification they offer and they've been teaching students how to prepare the finest cuisine since the programme sarted in 1954. This course will cost you between £17,950 and £21,850.
If you're looking for something less serious and just want someone to teach you how to make a tasty homemade dish, there are also cooking classes with professional chefs where you can you improve your cooking skills. There are also lessons for kids and teens learning how to cook.
University of West London
The University of West London offers a variety of different culinary degrees and diplomas such as the BSc (Hons) in Culinary Arts Management, MA in Food Business Management, Diploma in Chefs Apprenticeship, and Certificate in General Patisserie and Confectionary.
While this university offers a broader range of levels for those wanting to cook professionally, there aren't many options for amateur chefs. Those who just want to improve their cooking with a hands on demonstration (like a cooking class) should consider other options.
Westminster Kingsway College
This is the college Jamie Oliver attended to get his NVQ and Professional Chef Diploma. Selin Kiazim, Antony Worrall Thompson, Sophie Wright, and Ainsley Harriott also attended this college.
Their Professional Chef Diploma is the UK's first professional cooking qualification. There are three main options for students to focus on when they reach their third year of study: cuisine, patisserie and confectionary, or restaurant management.
In addition to the focused pathways available in the third year, students get instruction in butchery and fishmongery, practical cuisine, pâtisserie and bakery, health, safety, and food hygiene, etc.
While all of these options are in and around London, you can learn to cook no matter where you live.
Learning to Cook for Vegetarians
Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular and this can be seen in terms of the cooking classes available.
So how can you cook without using meat?
There are plenty of chefs using vegetables, grains, soy, and wheat gluten to make delicious recipes.
You can find plenty of vegetarian recipes on cooking blogs and animal rights websites. This type of cooking sites are often also useful for those looking for new flavours or those with dietary requirements. Even if you're not a vegetarian, you'll soon see that vegetarian cooking can be really tasty.
Baking and Pastry Classes for those with a Sweet Tooth
Whether you want something to do on rainy days or impress your guests on special occasions, learning to bake is a great idea and is really popular amongst home cooks at the moment (you can thank The Great British Bake Off for the resurgence).
While there are plenty of recipes, it can be difficult for amateur bakers to learn certain techniques online. This often results in burnt butter, poorly whipped egg whites and hard chocolate fondants.
On Superprof, you can also learn how to make original birthday cakes, Asian pastries, and New York cheesecake with the help of skilled cooking tutors.
Take Your Taste Buds on a World Tour
In an increasingly globalised world, we have greater access to world cuisine.
Do you dream of making Thai food?
Would you like to master Italian cuisine?
Fancy some Chinese cooking?
You can take a cooking class in almost every style of food. Most cooking teachers and tutors focus on a particular style of cooking. In fact, it's probably better to opt for a teacher with a focus as you probably don't want a Jack of all trades.
There are several options for those who want to learn how to cook foreign food. There are plenty of places where you can learn how to cook.
Whether you want to cook Italian food, Thai food, Chinese food, or any other type of food, you’ll be able to find a specialist offering classes. Of course, the bigger your city, the more options you’ll tend to have.
If you want to make a lentil curry or chicken tandoori, then you should probably look for a tutor specialising in Indian cuisine. It's even better if you can find a chef or tutor who's originally from India if you want authentic tuition.
Whether you love sweet or savoury dishes, traditional or modern, you’re bound to find a cooking class that whets your appetite.
The Advantages of Learning to Cook with Private Tutors
When you learn with a private tutor, they can adapt every session to your needs. Before you start working with your tutor, sit down with them and talk about what you want to get out of your tutorials. Good tutors will put together a learning plan that focuses on you.
Additionally, if you have any dietary requirements, allergies, or are vegetarian or vegan, a tutor can make sure that the recipes you're making meet your needs.
Tutors are also flexible. If you lead a busy life, a tutor can work around your schedule.
Find out all about the history of cooking.
Which are the most prestigious cooking classes in UK?