BBC Good Food Magazine - - WHAT'S COOKING -

Dud­well Cook­ery School, near Bath ( dud­wellschool.com) Few cook­ery schools are in lo­ca­tions as beau­ti­ful as Dud­well, or have teach­ers as qual­i­fied as Caro­line Walde­grave, its owner and the for­mer prin­ci­pal of Lei­ths.

Caro­line (above left), who has writ­ten more than 20 cook­books, is pa­tient, en­cour­ag­ing and knowl­edge­able. The classes in­clude one-day, week­end and five-day cour­ses. They take place in a fully equipped con­verted barn for a max­i­mum of eight stu­dents, and are very hands-on.

Her spe­cialty is teach­ing teenagers. On the five-day course, she takes them through the ba­sics – omelettes, br­uschetta and ‘proper’ roasts – while en­sur­ing they learn such ba­sics as knife skills, how to clean fish and how to read a recipe prop­erly. Stu­dents pre­pare their lunch and sup­per daily, and on the fi­nal night, par­ents are in­vited to come for sup­per and en­joy dishes such as souf­flés or home­made pasta.

I saw stu­dents ac­quire skills and be­come com­pe­tent, con­fi­dent cooks while hav­ing a good time. I also learned that pre­par­ing ev­ery­thing – equip­ment, in­gre­di­ents, space – be­fore you start makes cook­ing less stress­ful. Cost £900 for a five-day course, in­clud­ing food and ac­com­mo­da­tion. Ver­dict Caro­line is a fab­u­lous teacher, and Dud­well is a re­laxed yet pro­fes­sional haven. This course will make you more con­fi­dent and equip you with great recipes. Hen­ri­etta Green

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