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Why learn how to cook in Birmingham?

A recent survey that took a look at the cooking habits of about 4,000 UK households found that British adults spend about half as much time cooking in the evening than they did in the 1980s, with the average time spent preparing a meal being 30 minutes.

Instead, the most popular meal in the UK has become a sandwich, with about 6.4 billion consumed every year. Ready meals seem to be the second most-popular option.

And yet, the UK is home to a myriad of delicious dishes, such as the classic Sunday roast, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, as well as great chefs, such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. If they can do it, then why not you? Especially in Birmingham, an area with a rich culinary background.

Some traditional local dishes include:

  • Faggots: a traditional dish made of meat coated in breadcrumbs and onions, served with peas and gravy
  • Balti: a type of curry that is cooked and served in a special two-handled steel bowl, invented by chef Mohammed Arif
  • Pigs trotters: quite literally, pig’s feet
  • Brummie bacon cakes: cheese and bacon scones
  • Groaty pudding (or groaty dick): a hearty stew made from a rich stock, cereals, beef, onions and leeks that are all cooked together overnight
  • Pork scratchings: deep fried pig skins
  • Birmingham soup: a beef and vegetable broth, served with a slice of bread

Learning how to cook seasonal products to prepare small dishes is a great way to do something nice for your loved ones. And taking cooking lessons will help you develop a love of cooking. You’ll discover that food is, indeed, a great way to connect with those you love and to meet new people.

Meals that you share with your family are very important. Learning to cook the Birmingham way will also allow you to immerse yourself in local culture. Take some time to walk around the city, making a point to stop by all of the different neighbourhoods. And make sure to observe what’s happening around you, on street corners, in restaurants, and what people are doing and eating.

Traditional cuisine, professional cooking, food and wine, starters, entrées, dissect all of the different recipes. That’ll help you find some inspiration.

And to find even more, cooking lessons provide a large variety of recipes to suit all tastes. Plus, you’ll get to meet new people while indulging in small treats!

Where to find cooking classes in Birmingham?

As the second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham is brimming with activities to fight your boredom. Dance, music, theatre, football, and even cooking lessons!

With a population of over 1 million people, the Venice of the North offers a number of different cooking classes. From cookery schools to private lessons with a professional chef, or even with a Michelin-starred chef, all types of lessons are possible.

So, instead of staying at home with Heston Blumenthal’s latest cooking book, why not choose to take cooking lessons with a private instructor, or even group cooking classes at a school?

You can learn how to perfectly cook a scotch egg during one of your cooking workshops, or make a shepherd’s pie from scratch, following the traditional recipe, to blow away your children or friends. Anything is possible!

But what are the best places in Birmingham to learn how to cook?

  • The Jewellery Quarter
  • Bullring shopping centre
  • Moseley
  • York Road in King’s Heath
  • Harborne

Cooking lessons can be found pretty much anywhere around the city. You can even learn how to cook with renowned chefs at the Michelin-starred restaurant Simpsons, where you can prepare and enjoy your own three-course meal.

Throughout the city, you can find cookery schools that specialise in traditional British recipes, baked goods, or even international cuisine, such as Indian- or Japanese-style cooking. The advantage of a private instructor is that you can choose a class near you -- a huge advantage when you don’t have the time to commute too far.

And while an experienced chef may not have the same approach as a passionate amateur cook, the lessons themselves are actually quite similar. You’ll be learning basic cooking techniques by practicing some of the chefs’ best recipes.

Certain lessons even teach you how to pair wines to the different recipes.

Enough to make you a wine pairing pro and to start mastering oenology.

And, to find the lessons nearest to you, all you have to do is type the keywords “cooking lessons” on your favourite search bar. Your browser’s geo-location technology will take care of the rest.

How to learn how to cook in Birmingham

Traditional cuisine, beef stews, haute cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Anglo-Indian cuisine, spices, sushi, Sunday roast, bread and crumpets, make sure you consult the lesson programme to ensure the classes proposed match your interests and needs.

Cooking workshops, cookery schools, baking classes, chef workshops, if you want to start cooking, you can do so in many different ways. Depending on the type of instructor you’re looking for, the lesson structure may vary.

Even so, the knowledge acquired is often passed on directly from chef to amateur like a family secret.

So, you’re probably wondering how you can become the next Jamie Oliver. First of all, you should know that the basics of cooking are taught pretty much everywhere. Whether you’re learning with a private instructor, at your own home, or in a group lesson with a professional chef, you’ll likely begin your lessons by learning how to cook pasta and preparing a variety of sauces.

Another important point in the kitchen is, of course, cooking time.

All of these, important steps in recipe preparation. However, cookery lessons aren’t exclusively destined to transforming ingredients into different dishes. The chefs can also spend some time and even several hours explaining to their students how to identify and choose good, fresh produce.

These teachings are hard to acquire and work on on your own. Which is why it’s important to call on a cooking professional’s experience. Experienced chefs can also teach you how to associate different flavours, for example. A skill that isn’t necessarily innate and which is hard to acquire when you start out in the kitchen.

Cookery lessons are pretty similar from one urban area to the next, or even from one instructor to another. Even so, personal instructors do offer some advantages.

In order to perfect your cooking skills in local cuisine, vegetarian cuisine, or even Indian or Mediterranean cuisine, a private tutor is more likely to adjust to your level and give you specific advice to help you cook your favourite dishes. Also, a professional chef often has access to more sophisticated kitchen equipment, different from what you will then find in your own home.

What’s more, personal instructors often come from the area, so they’re more likely to share the little secrets of local cuisine, and may even teach you their grandmother’s secret recipes. In any event, what will really be effective in teaching you how to cook is practice.

So, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely have to practice several times before you finally master your first Sunday roast.

How to choose your personal cooking instructor in Birmingham

To make fast and smooth progress in pretty much any field, it’s important to feel comfortable with your instructor and to make sure you choose the right one.

And cooking is no exception. Apprentice cooks learn a lot faster when the instructor adapts to their level. Needless to say, it’s useless to go searching for the best Michelin-starred chef in Birmingham if you’re just a beginner. The level will be so advanced that the class will discourage you from cooking, more than anything else.

In any case, when you see an ad for cookery lessons, it’s important that you look at several things. First of all, make sure you identify the instructor’s cooking level, as well as what their specialties are.

Are they more into traditional British cuisine, or rather more sophisticated haute cuisine? Do they cook as a hobby, or are they a professional chef?

Their rates will vary accordingly. So, don’t spend a fortune on a top-class cookery lesson taught by a Michelin-starred chef, when a passionate cook can teach you their favourite local Birmingham dishes and satisfy your needs just as well.

You must also keep in mind the time it will take you to get to class. Or the extra charges you’ll incur if your instructor needs to come to you. Finally, don’t forget to properly dissect the content of your lesson.

British cuisine, Indian spices, culinary workshops, oenology, Japanese cuisine, haute cuisine, wine pairing, workshops for kids, Italian cuisine, organic products, creating your own cookbook, elaborating a menu, learning kitchen basics, meat-based stews and other traditional recipes… there are countless different ways to cook!

Private cooking instructors create their lesson programmes based on their students’ interested, especially when it comes to individual or small group lessons. This is why it’s sometimes important to choose this type of cooking lesson, for a more personalised learning environment. It’s also important to choose a good teacher.

At Superprof, our students can take advantage of a free hour-long lesson before committing to a more regular class schedule. A great way to test whether or not the teacher is a good fit for you. This is an important condition if you want to make quick progress. You can, of course, also take a look at the different courses offered by the Kitchen School or at Harborne Food School.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to become an expert in British cuisine - or whatever cooking style you prefer - in no time!

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