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The restaurant industry in the UK has been steadily increasing for the last several years, with the arrival of new restaurants and cafes. British people spent around £88 billion in 2017 on eating out, making the restaurant industry the most lucrative leisure sector in the country.
While the UK isn’t necessarily known for its gastronomy, British chefs are helping to change the world’s opinion by re-centering British cuisine around locally-sourced ingredients.
Chefs’ recipes, creative workshops and custom-made cooking classes, there is no shortage of culinary opportunities in London.
The British capital is definitely not left out when it comes to cooking classes, whether you want to simply learn how to cook at home or train to make it a living.
So let’s get cooking and dive into British cuisine!
If you’re looking to train to become a chef one day, London is the perfect place to be.
There isn’t just one renowned cooking school, but at least ten or twelve!
The greatest British chefs have all migrated to London to pass on their art to the most motivated students.
With schools like Leiths, where the Duchess of Cambridge recently took a cooking course, or Le Cordon Bleu, the cooking schools in London allow you to train as a chef by offering several different programs of study. Some schools offer two-term or three-term diplomas, while others concentrate their courses into 12-week certificates or even 4- or 5-day residential courses.
Courses at these prestigious schools will, of course, teach you how to cook, but also how to commercialise your restaurant, the organisation surrounding restaurant production, culinary culture and restaurant management techniques, among other things.
Some programs require an interview before enrolling, while others don’t require any prior culinary experience, accepting any students who have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, requirements vary from school to school. The cost of a term at one of these prestigious schools can vary from £7,000 to £28,000, depending on the program of study you choose.
There are many different job opportunities for culinary school graduates, from becoming a restaurant manager to being head chef or head pastry chef.
The Leiths School of Food and Wine offers three-term or two-term diplomas in food and wine, as well as different cooking certificates that range from 10-week courses to daytime or evening courses.
For the beginners out there, who aren’t necessarily looking for a cooking diploma, the school also offers one-week, evening and other short intensive courses, as well as independent classes that focus on different cuisines or themes. The school’s philosophy shines through its varied curriculum, and students follow an individual learning path, no matter what course they choose.
Since 1931, Le Cordon Bleu London offers comprehensive food and hospitality training programmes. Excellence, passion, and a desire to convey knowledge are at the heart of the school’s values. Students are trained in the well-renowned French culinary techniques, and Cordon Bleu Master Chefs have trained in some of the best hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.
The school’s lecturers have also gained substantial experience throughout their years in education and within the hospitality industry.
All of it to provide the best pastry lessons, culinary workshops and job opportunities to work in the best restaurants in London after graduation from the programme.
The Vegetarian Society Cookery School opened in 1982 and has been recognised as one of the world’s best vegetarian cooking schools. The school offers a couple of different courses for professionals, including an intensive week-long diploma in vegetarian and vegan cooking, as well as a vegan pastry and dessert course and a vegan cheese course, among others.
Without necessarily aspiring to become a Michelin-starred chef, you can opt to develop your culinary skills by learning how to create the perfect shortbread, how to elaborate different types of sushi rolls with Japanese cuisine lessons, or even how to pair food and wine.
Learning how to cook for yourself or to impress your guests, it’s not only possible, but easy to do in London. The basics of cooking are accessible to all, provided that you take the time to learn!
From beginners to experienced chefs, you’ll learn how to properly cut vegetables, whether it’s julienne or brunoise, or even chiffonade, how to cook a whole fish and how to make fresh pasta.
Many cooking schools also offer the possibility of offering cooking classes to your loved ones - a great way to ensure that the next dinner party you’re invited to will surely be a success.
World cuisine, traditional cooking, vegetarian cuisine, vegan cuisine, cooking with or without gluten, you can also find a large number of recipes online to satisfy your - and your friends’ - cravings.
Extensive day-long training classes, for professionals or amateurs alike, are possible for all our food lovers, bakers, and wine fans out there. Let your creativity run free and make up new, personalised dishes to perfect your skills and cook like a true chef!
The cooking lessons at Borough Kitchen, for example, are incredibly varied:
Borough Kitchen also offers the possibility of booking a private class for a group of 6-10 people, for an original team-building exercise, for example. Timeout rated Borough Kitchen one of the top 17 cooking classes in London. There’s got be a good reason, so are you ready to find out?
As London’s most sustainable cooking school in 2014, the Cookery School offers courses for all levels, both in the mornings and in the evenings, so that everyone can join. Their website is very user-friendly and intuitive. You can view courses by level (beginner, intermediate, summer camp, etc.) or by time of day (morning or evening), and check which classes are available.
The British supermarket chain, Waitrose, also offers cooking classes through its three Waitrose Cookery School locations, two of which are in London. From beginner to more seasoned professionals, everyone is welcome to join their hour-long, evening or full-day workshops. With classes that range from the art of bread-making, pastry, and Italian fine dining, to courses focused on more modern cooking (Mexican street food, Japanese favourites and wine pairing lessons), there really is something for everyone (even children!).
Learning how to cook in London can quickly become a nightmare, what with balancing a job, some leisure activities, kids, life, and everything else that comes with having a hectic life in London. Turning to a private instructor for an at-home cooking class can be a great solution. And you have plenty to choose from in London!
There’s no need to call the Naked Chef, or even last year’s Top Chef winner. You’ll quickly find what you’re looking for, no matter what type of cuisine you’re trying to master or what your next dinner party theme will be. Sushi, curry, banoffee pie, shepherd’s pie, fresh pasta, Scotch eggs… There are so many recipes - both sweet and savoury - waiting to be discovered. It’s up to you to choose among the many cooking instructors that are itching to help you become a great chef.
About 35 cooking instructors are at your disposal via our website to teach you how to bake a pie from scratch (pie crust and everything!), how to sear a steak, or how to choose the right Indian spices to make the world’s best homemade curry.
Whether you’re a beginner, have some experience, or are looking to become a professional chef, individual lessons cost about £24 an hour, on average.
Keep in mind that, on top of all that, a vast majority of our tutors offer the first lesson for free, to ensure that your instructor’s teaching method and approach work for you. Because you might as well have a great time while you’re learning these life-lasting skills. You definitely didn’t come to suffer, in any case!
No matter the reason that leads you to your new cooking class, what’s important is that you enjoy it and learn some useful skills that you can then employ in your daily life. If, after your lesson, you still haven’t become a world-renowned chef, then there’s really nothing else we can do! Oh yeah, maybe just take another lesson or two.