Now this will definitely get you in the mood for food! We all know how delicious the eating part can be, but what exactly goes into the preparation and organisation of those mouth-watering meals? The Avenue Cookery School have kindly answered a few of our questions so we can find out a little more from behind the scenes.
1. What is the history behind the establishment of The Avenue Cookery School?
The Avenue is a family run school that has been around for 14 years. Diana the mother always had visions of opening a Cookery School, so in ’97 she applied for a job at the Grange in Frome working in the back of the kitchen, which she planned to do for a couple of months in order to get a feel for the business. However, instead, she got offered the main teaching position and ended up there for 7 years teaching classes of up to 24 students!
One day, her other half spotted Mary Forde (the founder of The Avenue) on the internet. After a meeting they became partners, and she finally was able to teach and run her own Cookery School as she had always dreamed.
Mary & Diana worked together for 10 years before Mary retired. Diana took over the business with her son Richard, shortly followed by her daughter Sophie. The school is ever expanding both its classes and its locations. So far they are in The City and plans to continue with a school in North London.
2. What makes your cookery classes unique to others?
In Diana’s words: “It needs to be fun, which makes it easy to learn, and teaching people to understand food - not to just follow recipes”. The place has a fantastic family vibe with a beautiful kitchen and amazing food. It is totally different to any other cookery school. You can let your hair down in a unique, upbeat environment that you wouldn’t usually expect at a cookery school!
3. What is your favourite dish to create?
Ravioli, which is believe it or not, quick to make!
4. Do you have any funny or memorable cookery experiences?
On an evening course, a student turned up an hour early and Richard thought she was the washer upper, having said she was here for the course (despite the fact she was wearing a pair of high heels and was all made up!) Richard set her to work washing up at the back kitchen. I came along and saw her, and said she could use my best velvet lined gloves to help her on the way. After about 20 minutes chatting and washing up I suddenly realised she was a student coming on the course, and not the washer upper!! A good ending though was she carried on and helped us clear up until the class started.
5.Which cookery experience would you highly recommend and why?
Knife Skills Course as everyone who wants to cook needs to know how to handle a knife, and therefore will speed up their preparation in cooking
6. What are your top tips for beginner cooks?
-Taste your food to check for seasoning and make sure it looks as good as it can on the plate.
-Try and clean up as you go along... it will save so much time in the end
7.Do you have any future plans for The Avenue Cookery School?
Last year The Avenue branched out into pop-ups in The City, expanding their brand and getting their name out to more and more people. The school has plans to expand to further locations over the next few years.
Huge thank you to The Avenue House for taking part in an Expert Interview! Very interesting facts which have definitely left me with a hungry stomach!