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 dependent 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.
We offer an adult learning environment so the minimum age required to take any course is 18.
Even professional chefs will get great value out of many of the Intermediate level courses. Whilst they may possess good cooking skills already, they are interested in the wide array of new recipe and presentation 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 offer a nut/shellfish/etc free 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 where possible. Please contact the Customer Service team who will be able to advise you further.
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.
We welcome lots of students training to cook in ski-chalets or on yachts, either as a career or a gap year. We recommend the following options:
- Intermediate Cookery - this 5 day course will give you a mastery of meat and fish and a solid repertoire of recipes.
- Yacht Chef - this is a two-week course designed to inspire working yacht chefs with new skills and ideas for the season ahead.
- Certificate in Culinary Arts - our popular foundation course for chefs will teach you to cook to a professional standard.
We often have members of the Armed Forces on our courses. It's a popular way of using the resettlement grant and we are familiar with all the paperwork required.
We have several routes for those wanting to launch a career as a chef.
Our 4 week Certificate in Culinary Arts 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 an industry recognised qualifications that will be provide a platform to cooking professionally.
Our Diploma in Culinary Arts is our flagship cuisine course designed to launch 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.
Our Diploma in Patisserie is designed to prepare you for a career as a Pastry Chef offering 20 weeks of structured training from expert tutors. You will graduate with one of the highest practical Patisserie qualifications available.
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 receive a Certificate of Completion for all courses you take with us at the Cookery School. The Ashburton Chefs Academy offers accredited qualifications that need to be passed to earn a certificate.
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 (9.30am to 4.30pm) you will always enjoy a sit down lunch with a glass of wine. The exception to this rule are specialist days such as Patisserie, Breadmaking or Chocolate when we will provide a delicious buffet - please check our website for the specific course information.
On the longer cookery days (9.30am 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.
On Half-day and Cook-To-Go courses there is no meal and you take away everything you cook. On all of our courses you will have the option of taking away the meals you prepare at the end of the course in recyclable containers. 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.
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.