I don’t have time to cook. I say I don’t have time, but I actually mean I hate cooking. I love food, don’t get me wrong. One of the SHOs (SHO is the a term for a Senior House Officer, basically, a doctor who’s completed both foundation years but haven’t specialised just yet. Technically they’re not called SHOs in a professional capacity, but the name’s stuck) brought in a 24 pack of Krispy Kreme doughnuts last week and I honestly nearly cried. If you want to make a nurse cry, bring them a box of doughnuts. Seriously.
David is the cook of the house, purely because he’s good at cooking and likes it. So when an invite to a cookery class hosted by Curry’s PC World x AEG popped up in the team inbox, he was adamant we’d be going. Forgetting the fact I had a 5am start the following day, of course I said I’d go with him. After a disastrous taxi journey in which a child was very nearly run down, we arrived at The Cookery School in Hertfordshire an hour late, where we donned aprons, downed prosecco and gave some complex recipes a try.
First up was a Veggie Wellington. After filling our pastry parcels with deliciously sweet roasted peppers, mushrooms and onions, into the oh-so-amazing ovens they went. The cookery school uses a wall of super high tech AEG ovens, and the team gave us a proper demonstration of just how they handle everything from steam-cooked meat to delicate pastries. I’m guessing the reason my roasts end up so awful is due to the cheap rental oven our landlord plumped for. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Next was mince pies, and although I’m not a fan of anything raisin-y, I gave it a good go. Spooning mincemeat into delicate pastry cases, these were next to be cooked. Finally, we got a good look at the gorgeous joint of beef that had been simmering away in the ovens.
Lashings of gravy and bowlfuls of veggies were laid out ready for us to tuck in. And why not, after such hard work, who doesn’t deserve a treat? Leaving the other guests to head home for an early night, we said our goodbyes with the promise to book another session next year. Perhaps something more chocolate-based, next time.
As someone who thinks cooking is a chore rather than a treat, I was super hesitant at giving it a go myself. I thought I’d be hopeless, but I’m actually really proud of my creations. David enjoyed the mince pies, and we left with lots of smiles. Thinking about booking a cookery class, or giving a session as a gift to a loved one? Well, we’ve got five reasons it’s a great itea.
1. It gives you confidence
I hate cooking because, for me, it’s too big a risk. If it all goes Pete Tong, there’s nothing left for dinner aside from baked beans and a jacket potato. Cooking with experts helped me feel like actually, I can do this! And my Wellington turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself.
2. You get step-by-step live instructions
Rather than getting confused with recipe books and wondering why your steak is more chewy than juicy, the team is there to point wannabe chefs in the right direction. From step 1 to the end, someone’s available to help you out with the directions, even if you’re fairly confident in the kitchen.
3. You learn tips and tricks
We were told how to stop the pastry from sticking, how to make a decent jus, and loads of other little tips we’re trying out. It’s all in the name of fun, too, as each recipe we know we’ve made before. Speaking of which…
4. It’s really fun!
Whether you’re going solo or taking a group of friends, it’s such a fun way to spend an afternoon. The school had a really nice layout meaning we could have a chat with some of the other bloggers who attended. We compared floppy pastries and celebrated out successes too.
5. It’s perfect for seasoned pros and novices alike
Ok so a professional chef probably doesn’t need to bother with a lesson, but even for those who are super confident in the kitchen, there’s always something new to learn from the team. Plus, it means those who do know how to boil an egg can show off their skills and help the hopeless, such as me.