“For me, cooking is an extension of love.” - Hedda Sterne
A lot of Brits would like to see cooking regularly taught in schools. Learning to cook from a young age is a good way to teach children good eating habits, to spend less on making food, and improve their health.
Cooking is usually a family affair. A lot of people learn to cook from family members. If you weren’t lucky enough to have any good cooks in the family, what can you do about it?
How do you learn how to cook?
In this article, we're going to be looking at the different ways you can learn to cook. Whether you want to become a professional chef or just become handier in the kitchen, we should have a solution that works for both your aspirations and your budget!
Learning to Cook in a Cookery School
Whether to impress your friends and family with gourmet meals or just to improve certain cooking techniques, you can always attend cooking classes on a variety of different topics. It should go without saying that a building dedicated to teaching people how to cook is a great place to look if you're looking to improve your own skills in the kitchen.
Find out how you can learn to cook for free!
“If you don't treat an ingredient and its flavors with respect - if you drown it in oil, for instance - you'll spoil it.” - Alain Ducasse
Alain Ducasse needs no introduction. This Michelin-starred chef sees cooking as a love story and opened his own cooking school for amateurs and professionals to learn about cooking in a friendly environment. However, if you can’t make it to France, there are also some great cooking schools in the UK where you can learn about:
- Cooking basics
- Cooking on an open fire
- Cooking for children
- Cooking like a professional chef
- Traditional cuisine
- Healthy cooking
- Vegetarian cooking
If you’re after taking a professional course in cooking, then you should consider Le Cordon Bleu in London which offers a wide variety of different courses for those aspiring to become professional chefs. Their qualifications are recognised around the world and French cooking is famous all around the world. In fact, this school was allowed to bring the Cordon Bleu tradition from France to the UK, hence the name.
Students can learn about cooking meat (veal, beef, pork, etc.), how to prepare fish and crustaceans (shrimps and prawns, scallops), as well as how to make desserts (macarons, millefeuille, petits fours, meringue, etc.)
Did you know that it was this school that invented Coronation Chicken?
here are all types of courses from internationally-recognised qualifications that you’ll study for years to short cooking workshops. You can also be trained in how to run restaurants.
“Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.” - Auguste Escoffier
Westminster Kingsway College is the college Jamie Oliver attended to get his NVQ and Professional Chef Diploma. Other famous alumni include Selin Kiazim, Antony Worrall Thompson, Sophie Wright, and Ainsley Harriott. Their Professional Chef Diploma is the UK's first professional cooking qualification. There are three main options for students to focus on when they reach their third year of study: cuisine, patisserie and confectionery, or restaurant management.
In addition to the focused pathways available in the third year, students get instruction in butchery and fishmongery, practical cuisine, pâtisserie and bakery, health, safety, and food hygiene, etc.
Change Careers with a Degree in Cooking
If learning how to cook is going to be essential for your future career, it’s probably a good idea to have the right education. You’re much more likely to get a loan for your new restaurant if you have a qualified chef on board. Even if it’s probably better to have some experience in managing businesses, it’s the chefs that make a restaurant.
Did you know there are university degrees in cooking available?
You can learn about molecular cuisine, Italian or Asian food, etc. Of course, this is just for those who are serious about cooking as a career.
Why not try out these easy recipes that will fit in any budget?
Most courses run along a traditional academic calendar starting in autumn and breaking up for the summer. If you’re this serious, the cost of the degree will pay for itself once you start working as a professional chef. For example, the University of West London offers a variety of different culinary degrees and diplomas such as the BSc (Hons) in Culinary Arts Management, MA in Food Business Management, Diploma in Chefs Apprenticeship, and Certificate in General Patisserie and Confectionery.
Keep in mind the extra costs, too:
- Equipment and utensils
- Professional chef’s whites
You’ll probably have exams in:
- Theory: Hygiene rules, running a kitchen, product knowledge and health risks, basics of cooking.
- Creating dishes for multiple people. These will be some of your most important learning opportunities as you’ll be given feedback on what you create.
- You’ll probably be expected to give presentations on the theory of cooking, too.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts was set up in 1980 and offers a Master of Culinary Arts. This is a highly selective course and only for those with at least 10 years of experience as a chef, pastry chef, or in restaurant management and service. Three of these years need to be at a senior level!
There are also apprenticeships offered by the academy. This option is for some very serious chefs at the top of their culinary career.
Learn How to Cook in Cooking Workshops
Learning to cook in a cookery school is part of a chef’s personal and professional journey. However, cooking is certainly about sharing. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s probably better to sign up for a cooking workshop or cookery courses London.
It’s a great way to learn while sharing the experience with others. A chef’s workshop can cover a huge range of different cooking styles:
- French Pâtisserie
- Bistrot Cooking
- Japanese cuisine
It completely depends on where you live and the types of schools available. For a lot of these workshops, you can get a single cooking class as a gift for a friend, too. There are often promotions for certain classes and you can get regular lessons or one-off workshops.
You can learn various culinary techniques, daily recipes, how to make famous pastries, or traditional dishes.
Some workshops even offer wine-pairing lessons. However, these lessons tend to be more expensive than regular workshops.
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Getting Private Cooking Tutorials
To quickly learn how to cook or improve your techniques, have you thought about hiring a private tutor to help you?
Superprof helps students to find the right cooking tutor for them. There are plenty of different tutors and they cost on average £25 per hour.
You need to consider a number of factors when choosing your private tutor:
- Where you live
- The tutor’s experience and qualifications
- Your goals
- Your budget
The tutors on Superprof choose their own rates and we don’t take any commission off their hourly rate. As a student, you’ll have access to all the tutors across the country regardless of what they teach. A student pass costs £19 and allows students to contact as many tutors as they like for one year. They don’t even need to be cooking tutors!
The first hour is often free and this can let you get a taste of what the tutor offers. This is rarely a proper lesson but rather for learning about:
- The teaching style
- What a typical tutorial is like
- The subjects and themes they’ll cover
- How they monitor progress
Above all, it’s a useful opportunity to see how you get along with your tutor. If you don’t get along with them, it might be a better idea to look at other options and get in touch with different tutors. You're going to spend quite a lot of time with just your tutor so make sure you pick the right one!
When it comes to learning how to cook, you have to also learn the vocabulary. In our articles on cooking, we’re including a few definitions to help you out so make sure you read all the articles.
This usually refers to when you cut something into small pieces. There are plenty of different ways to cut ingredients and it's far more important than you might first think. The shape and size of ingredients can drastically change the way they cook, absorb sauces and liquids, and change their overall texture and flavour!
Glazing meat is when you colour it by regularly re-adding its own juices.
Now learn how you can start cooking on a budget...
Note: Check for the best cookery classes on Superprof.