L’Atelier Des Chefs
If you want a safe bet for a cookery class gift, this is the place to be looking at. You can be sure these people really know what they’re doing – with over 30,000 people taking their courses last year! With locations in St Paul’s and Oxford Circus, they’re perfectly placed to combine a class with a trip to the Big City. If you buy one of these classes as a Christmas gift for someone special, you can be sure they are going to thank you for the experience!
Although they’ve seen an awful lot of would-be cooks through the doors, they still maintain the personal touch, so you’ll never feel as if you’re part of a production line – at busy times the classes can be up to 20 people, but at quieter times you might be working alongside just one or two other people.
One of the great advantages is that some of the courses are as short as 30 minutes, so you can even nip in on your lunch break, do a course, meet some lovely like-minded people, then eat the delicious meal you’ve made – beats a sandwich from M and S any day! If you don’t have time to cook and eat, they’ll even package your meal up as a takeaway, to allow the cook to savour it at the end of your work day, possibly along with a little glass of vino – maybe they’ll even share it with you if you treat them to the course! At only £15 for the class (and of course the food), this makes a perfect stocking filler – why not get one for each of the family and have great fun together? For those who aren’t so pushed for time, there are courses that run up to four hours.
Whether they want to learn a specific skill, such as using knives properly, or are interested in a certain cuisine (anything from sushi to French, with lots of choice in between), there are courses to interest any cook or wannabe-cook, and their gift vouchers can be used against any of the courses. Prices run between the previously mentioned £15 up to £156 for the four hour course, with various very reasonable prices in between – something for everyone here.
L’atelier des Chefs Oxford Circus 19 Wigmore Street London W1U 1PH.
Telephone: 0207 499 6580
L’atelier des Chefs St Paul’s 10 Foster Lane London EC2V 6HR.
Telephone: 0207 796 0110
Does your special someone love watching cooking on TV, and the famous faces that go with that? If so, they’re going to just love gift vouchers for the Cactus kitchen! A lovely country style kitchen setting in a beautifully converted church just off Clapham high street is the venue for this cookery school that is the baby of the famous, and charming, Michel Roux Jr. With 12 individual “work stations” in the kitchen, you can be sure there’s going to be plenty of space for all the cooks – no chance of “too many cooks” here.
Cactus Kitchens offers the chance to learn skills from the maestro himself, Roux, or from the nearly as famous (and we’re sure equally as charming) Monica Galetti, of Masterchef: the Professionals fame. Alternatively, courses are available with some of Roux’s rising stars from the kitchens of his Michelin restaurant, so whoever is leading the course you’ll know they are at the top of their game.
An exciting alternative opportunity for those who love the whole “cooking on TV” experience is a visit to the “Saturday Kitchen” set, where they’ll get a chance to meet the celebrity chefs from the programme (still warm from being under the lights), quaff a glass of wine with the show’s producers, and be treated to a Masterclass of some of the cooking, as well as a tour of the set. They’ll even get to cook by taking “the omelette challenge”. For obvious reasons, this all takes place on a Saturday afternoon! This would be a great Christmas gift not only for aspiring cooks but for TV lovers too, and costs £175 – not bad for the experience of a lifetime!
Cactus Studios 1 St Luke’s Avenue London SW4 7LG/
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 020 7091 4800
Food at 52
With a relaxed environment and funky lounge area, Food at 52 is perfect for cooks who don’t take themselves too seriously and would make a great Christmas gift for a student or a cook who thinks cooking should above all be fun! Food preparing is done round an expansive central table in the kitchen, which makes for a friendly social gathering alongside all the learning that takes place. In 2007 the chef John Benbow set up the school in response to requests from friends that he share his skills, and it still has that same ambience of friends cooking and sharing a meal together now. Courses can teach the basics of kitchen skills, or show how to prepare a complete dinner party. If the recipient of your lovely gift wants to extend their cooking skills for a particular type of cuisine, such as Malaysian or Italian, there are courses to cover all these too. Or if they’re running out of ideas (or haven’t started cooking so have no ideas anyway) a class in seasonal suppers can increase their repertoire considerably.
Food at 52 supplies gift vouchers in multiples of £50, so if you want to treat someone but don’t know which course they’d love most, you simply buy the voucher and let them do the rest. And if you’ve left your present buying really late, the vouchers are downloadable, so you don’t have to worry about getting them in time. Courses start at £115 for a 3 ½ hour course – they’re going to learn a lot in that time!
96 Central Street London EC1V 8AJ
Email: email@example.com Call: 07814027067
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