How excited was I to open a voucher for The Cook School Scotland on Christmas Day? Brownie points to Mr GvF! Located in Kilmarnock, The Cook School Scotland offers an ever-changing range of half-day, full-day and evening classes where you can learn to cook anything from Italian cuisine to Thai street food. Since one of our favourite things is entertaining, we chose the Friends for Dinner course.
We arrived just before 10am to tea, coffee and warm scones. The group of 18 was a mixture of couples, friends and some people on their own. They were a sociable bunch and everyone was in good spirits and looking forward to the day ahead.
After being issued with a rather fetching orange apron it was time to get started. We were looked after by Head Chef Andy Beattie, Chef Bobby and a magical behind the scenes team who whipped away our dirty dishes and tidied up during the day. No washing up! Best news ever!
The recipes were broken down into manageable chunks which were demonstrated to the group, before we each went off to our kitchen stations and recreated the steps. There were some laughs along the way as a few people managed to interpret the recipes slightly wrong, but the chefs were on hand to rescue their dishes. During the demos, the chefs shared anecdotes and helpful tips and techniques. They were also happy to answer any food related questions from the class.
During the course of the day we made a fantastic three course meal which included ham hock, lentil and porcini soup, slow roasted duck legs with smashed root vegetables for the main and a dessert of an ice cream sandwich with salted caramel sauce. The chefs also demonstrated fresh bread making and created a side dish of cauliflower and macaroni cheese with a herby crust.
The day went surprisingly quickly and before I knew it, it was 3pm and time to sit down, relax and enjoy our delicious meal over a glass of wine. The course was informative but also loads of fun and whatever your level of experience, I would highly recommend a day out at The Cook School Scotland.