Last week I spent a wonderful day at Fennel Cookery School in Wetherby. In the morning we created ‘Impressive Starters’ and after lunch we followed with ‘Fabulous Mains’.
I’ve attended one of Lionel Strub, Chef /Proprietor courses before – Afternoon Tea, but this time I wanted to broaden my cooking skills.
After being greeted by Kate Sharp, the cookery school co-ordinator, I was given a locker where I could safely leave my bags etc. I was then shown to another room where I had the chance to meet my fellow students. They were a mix of ages, but all had one thing in common and that was food.
As soon as everyone arrived, we were taken to the school Kitchen upstairs where Kate introduced us to Lionel.
Up first was the Whitby Crab & Smoked Salmon Avocado & Cucumber Salad. Very easy to make and delicious to eat.
This was followed by Wild Truffle & Mushroom Risotto and finally Caramelised Red Onion & Parma Ham Tartlet finished with Goats Cheese.
After a delicious lunch of our choice, taken in Fennel Restaurant, which was included in the cost of the day course, we returned to our fully equipped classroom/kitchen to tackle our main courses of Moroccan Lamb Tagine, Spicy Couscous and Flat Bread followed by Thai Yellow Curry with Coriander Rice. And finally Wild Sea Bream fillet with crushed Jersey potatoes & Smoked Salmon with Broad Beans beurre blanc.
At each stage we were given a demonstration by Lionel himself, afterwards it was our turn to have a go. Lionel was always on hand to help out if we needed it, giving advise on taste, timings etc, watching out for the odd pan of milk that was about to boil over from one of his students.
Whenever you go to one of Lionel’s classes at Fennel’s you not only come away knowing a great deal about the food you’ve cooked but also about other foods as well. With passion, he answers every food question thrown at him, and this never affects the timing of the day’s event.
There is no additional charge for the entertainment that Lionel brings to his classes. Such as the time a wasp hovered at the side of his face, only to disappear down his collar! Then reappear seconds later without having being stung. He said we all saved his life that day by bringing it to his attention. I don’t know who was more shocked at the sight of the wasp reappearing, Lionel or we students.
Each course that I’ve attended have been so much fun, and you come away with all the food that you make. If you attend a full day course you also come away with the prestigious Fennel Apron.
The courses are easy to book and Kate Sharp, the Cookery School co-ordinator, sends you all the details you need when booking.
I can’t recommend this Cookery School highly enough, Lionel and Kate are so friendly and welcoming, it’s great value for money and you meet some wonderful, like minded people.