Listed here are answers to common questions to help you choose a cookery course.
'Plus' is our way of differentiating between a one-day course and a weekend course. Obviously you will receive a lot more training in your chosen subject over a weekend than in one-day, hence the 'Plus'.
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The minimum age required to take any course is 18. You may be asked for identity to prove your age upon arrival if there is any doubt.
We offer courses to suit all skill levels, from absolute beginners, to advanced cooks. The majority of our courses are aimed at the enthusiastic home cook who can follow a recipe and cook a meal. We will teach you everything you need to know to approach all areas of cookery with confidence. We are dependant on you to make an accurate assessment of your own skill level and have graded the skill level required to enter a course Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. You can view the skill levels here.
Even professional chefs will get great value out of many of the Intermediate level courses. Whilst they may posses good cooking skills already, they are interested in the wide array of new recipe and presentaiton ideas that they can take back into their workplace.
Our kitchens are in use 7 days a week for a variety of different courses, and although they are deep cleaned nightly, we cannot guarantee a nut/shellfish/etc environment.
However, most people with severe food allergies are able to self medicate and carry their own medication such as an epipen in case of emergencies. In most cases we can accommodate students with such allergies, but it is important that you call us to discuss your requirements before booking a course. Whilst we will always try to accommodate wherever possible, we won't be able to restructure the course. However we are very familiar with intolerances and allergies and regularly welcome coeliacs, vegetarians and those with gluten-free and dairy-free diets on our courses.
So for example, if you are Lactose intolerant, it may be relatively easy to accommodate a change to the course content, whereas a vegetarian (willing to work with meat) may not find the courses suitable unless they were prepared to adjust their lunch and dinner menus since the course content would not change. On our courses you eat the food that you prepare yourself so you can adjust your recipes to suit. If you wish to use alternative or specialist ingredients in place of ours you are welcome to bring them if you can let us know in advance.
In all cases please call us and we will endevour to accommodate you on all courses.
Most people go for Intermediate Cookery in the first instance - it covers more familiar areas such as pork, lamb, beef and chicken as well as breads, sauces, stocks, puddings and desserts. More Intermediate Cookery introduces new menu ideas and recipes featuring shellfish, game, soufflés, home curing, and pasta.
There is very little overlap between the two courses so you can take them together or individually in either order.
In general, if you are in any doubt, call us to discuss the best course for you on 01364 652784 and we will be happy to advise.
If's a common and exciting route to cook in skil chalets or on yachts, either as a career or a gap year.
If you have little experience in cooking for groups we recommend the following courses:
Intermediate Cookery - this 5 day course will give you a mastery of meat and fish and a solid repertoire of recipes.
More Intermediate Cookery - expand your technique and range with further skills and an entirely new set recipes.
Certificate in Cookery - this intensive 15 day course will give you all the skill you need to cook professionalyy in these environments.
For those who have several years experience working in resorts or on board, our most popular course is our Advanced Cookery course for new ideas and techniques that will revitalise your cookery.
We often have members of the Armed Forces on our Intermediate Cookery, and Certificate in Cookery courses. It's a popular way of using the resettlement grant and we are familiar with all the paperwork required.
If you want to know how the courses can help you in a career in the catering industry see below.
We have several routes for those wanting to launch a career as a chef.
Our 3 week Certificate of Cookery is aimed at those who want a structured, intensive cookery course, but don't require a qualification. Whilst their are no exams or assessments, the course still provides a high level of practical cookery training.
Our 6 week Professional Culinary Certificate is an accredited course designed to introduce you to the fundamentals of cooking to a professional standard. At the end of the course you will have a broad range of cookery skills, and a number of industry recognised qualifications that will be provide a platform to cooking professionally.
Our Professional Culinary Diploma is our flagship course 6-month course designed to lanch the careers of future head chefs. At the end of this course you will be a qualified chef with the industries highest culinary qualification and can expect to be taken seriously for jobs in the country's best restaurants.
The cookery school offers certificates of competion for all courses.
The Chefs Academy offers courses that are accredited in addition to our own certification, so a graduate of the Professional Culinary Diploma would receieve certificates from:
All of our courses are totally hands-on - it's one of the most important factors in what we do. And when we say hands-on, we mean it - on a normal day you will be involved in cooking almost from the moment of your arrival until you sit down to eat what you have prepared.
There are many cookery courses out there which are demonstrations followed by lunch, there are also cookery courses out there where theory forms a large part of the day. Our courses are not like either of these.
Our courses are approximately 90% practical work which means chopping, peeling, kneading, frying, rolling, boning, filleting and all the other things that make cooking so interesting.
Within a days cookery training there will be Chef Demonstrations where you learn from the chef, followed by working individually to learn skills, and some working in pairs to complete a dish.
You will taste all of the wonderful dishes you create on the course and your lunch menu will be made up of the food you have cooked yourself. On a one-day course (09.30am to 3.30pm) you will always enjoy a sit down, 3 course lunch with a glass of wine. The exception to this rule are specialist days such as Patisserie, Breadmaking and Pastry & Puddings when we will provide a delicious buffet.
On the longer cookery days (09.30am to 6.00pm) that feature on the weekend, 5 day and longer courses, in addition to lunch, you will finish the day with an early evening dinner menu. If you wish, you can also take away food with yourself or family, and containers are provided for this.
Part of many of our courses is teaching you to plating and presentation skills, and meal times offer an enjoyable reward after cooking, however you are welcome to take any additional portions home with you at the end of the course for yourself or friends and family. In fact on some courses such as Patisserie and Breadmaking you will leave with bags full.
Absolutely. You will receive a copy of the recipes and course notes at the start of every day which are yours to keep.
The cookery school is fully accessible for disabled people and those in a wheelchair. As well as a dedicated parking space and toilet facilities, training kitchens and dining areas are easily accessed by wheelchair. Please contact us prior to making a booking to discuss your needs.
We cater for those that wish to learn to cook in a quality adult learning environment.
The courses are very mixed, attracting all age groups and gender split is now around 50/50 male to female.
If you were to average out the age of everyone on a group you would probably end up somewhere in the mid-30s. The common denominator amongst everyone is a interest in food and a desire to improve their cookery skills, and through this some great friendships are created.
You need to wear sensible footwear with non-slip soles and covered toes. Long hair needs to be tied back; we advise wearing comfortable clothes and not your best outfit. We also recommend wearing trousers.
You don't need to bring anything with you, we supply aprons, and all the equipment you'll be using. There will be a Kitchen Assistant working with your Chef Tutor throughout the day who will have prepared all the preparation and weighing of ingredients
The town is on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, which is great for walking; numerous outdoor pursuits from horse riding to golf are available nearby. We're half an hour or so from Totnes, Dartmouth and Exeter, and of course there are several lovely beaches within driving distance. Devon is blessed with some great restaurants as well. Visit www.Ashburton.org for details of the town, and www.dartmoor.co.uk for infomation on Dartmoor.
If you need any further information please phone us on (01364) 652784 and we can arrange an interview with one of our chefs. Our send us an email enquiry through our contact form here.
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