Private Cookery Classes

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As well as running cookery classes at a small number of UK-wide cookery schools, I also run private cookery sessions at home. Popular with celebrities, high profile or busy individuals, and those keen to have as much one-to-one time in the kitchen as they can, they are a great way of learning to cook really well in the comfort of your own home.

Book me for a day, a course of six or ten lessons, or a full week and I’ll come to your house armed with my top-quality kitchen kit and delicious, seasonal ingredients, and we will cook together in the style you want to cook.

As a professionally trained chef and private cook, I am well-trained in cooking in a huge range of styles, from traditional British, French, European, Middle Eastern, Gluten free and clean, raw and healthy eating, or getting the most from your Estate’s produce is a popular choice. You can learn how to cook the food you want to eat and make it as delicious as possible. Perhaps you want to brush up your knife skills, learn how to butcher meat, fillet fish, bake the perfect loaf or make a special wedding cake – you choose what you’d like to do and when you’d like to do it. 

Some clients don’t know where to start, and want someone who really knows food and kitchen equipment to advise on setting up a new kitchen, kitting it out, and learning how to cook the basics.

I work for a number of high profile clients, and absolute discretion is guaranteed. Despite this, the price tag isn’t as high as you might think, and compares very well with cookery school prices so do get in touch for prices. My classes make very popular birthday and Christmas presents for a loved one or a thank you for a colleague. 

I am generally based in the UK, but am very happy to pop on a plane to your destination. Some clients love to learn to cook in their holiday home!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

A foodie trip to Paris

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Paris is one of the top foodie destinations in the world, and also an excellent option for a minibreak, as it’s so quick and easy to get there, particularly from London. The day after my 21st birthday, I went to live in Paris, which was such a fun adventure. I shared a tiny apartment in the 14th arrondissement with my friend Ellie and we had a ball. Paris is a great city to live in and I was fortunate enough to meet some of my dearest friends who were also living over there at that time. 

Sadly, my 21st birthday was some time ago now, and I have just returned from a recent trip to discover some new places to visit. Paris is a city that’s slowly changing, with more and more new places opening up, and a slight change in feel to a more relaxed, modern city. Here are my top recommendations for a visit.

Where to stay

Hotel La Tremoille is a really lovely choice. It’s a small but deeply luxurious 5* hotel sat just a few minutes walk from the Seine and the Champs Elysées. It’s a deeply discreet hotel – you’d hardly know it was there, and a well-kept secret by its loyal regular visitors who find it a home from home. The rooms are large, for Paris, and luxuriously decorated. Be sure to ask for a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower for you to enjoy. 

The Louis restaurant is excellent and a must-try for any visitor. Traditional dishes, such as terrine de fois gras are served with a delicious glass of sweet Vouvray wine, alongside more contemporary dishes, such as a roasted pumpkin with courgettes and toasted hazelnut oil and are both excellent. There is a small but very well chosen wine list to match and food allergies are very well catered for.

Breakfast is really delicious – the salmon and eggs are exceptionally good – and is an essential start to the day. Stoke up for a busy day exploring Paris.

Things to do 

The newly opened Picasso Museum is a must for anyone interested in contemporary art.

A walk along the Seine is an essential part of a trip to Paris, but it is particularly interesting to do so of late as there are lots of interesting things popping up along the river such as sporting activities, art exhibitions and installations. This is quite an interesting change for Paris.

An essential place to shop for foodies like me is the Grand Epicerie. I’ve been going there since I was a teenager with my family, as we always stayed just around the corner, and it is a true Aladdin’s cave for anyone who loves good food and drink. From an enormous selection of fresh and store cupboard ingredients, a superb traiteur counter, boulangerie and boucherie, and a wonderful choice of French professional quality bakeware, there is so much to see and buy. 

Where else to eat

For traditional but very well executed Parisian brasserie fare, Aux Tonneaux des Halles is a favourite of mine. There are plenty of choices for people with food allergies there, too. Everything I’ve tried there has been really delicious – really well cooked, well sourced, unfussy food and a great choice of natural wines.

For afternoon tea, La Pâtisserie des Rêves is lovely, and there are a small number of gluten free sweet treats always available.

La Durée Salon du Thé is a personal favourite having visited for years with friends. 

How to get there

The Eurostar is my favourite way of travelling to Paris. It’s a very relaxing, easy way to travel, with two services an hour running from London. The novelty of travelling abroad by train endures. Plus, you’re not limited on your luggage or subjected to the same security limitations and procedures as is the case when flying.

Rates for a double standard room at the Hotel La Tremoille start from €360 per room per night including a continental breakfast and wi-fi.

Eurostar standard class return tickets to London from Paris start at £69 per adult.

Smoked Haddock, Spinach and Cheddar Tartlets

Tart

These tartlets make a superb lunch or an impressive, easy starter. The smoky fish and creamy, cheesy filling is delicious with the crisp, buttery pastry. Although these tartlets require a little work, they’re not difficult to make and make an extremely tasty, straightforward dish to serve to guests, with just a few dressed leaves on the side. If making individual tartlets is too much faff for you, just make a large tart, using the same quantities in a 25cm fluted tin. The best thing is that the tarts can be prepared in advance, or prepped before your guests arrive and assembled before you eat.

I like to use the best smoked haddock I can find, and often source it from Scotland, always sustainably caught. Dyed smoked haddock is something I steer well clear off, as I don’t wish to eat food colourings, and actually, the pale gold colour of an oak smoked haddock fillet is a beautiful thing to me. Oak smoked haddock is my favourite – the delicate smoky flavour is just irresistible. I buy individual fillets and freeze them so that I have a ready supply of excellent fish from a reputable supplier I trust.

To accompany the tarts, a mixture of watercress, rocket and baby spinach is nice, or mizuna, land cress and mibuna if you can get them. Dress lightly with a simple vinaigrette made from 3 parts oil to 1 part good quality wine vinegar, such as one from the Forvm range. You’ll see I have neither in the photo. This was my lunch the day after I cooked these tarts for a dinner party using some salad leaves in the fridge someone else bought. It highlighted just how much better good quality salad leaves are than the big-brand mixed packs of leaves, which frankly, aren’t pleasant to eat. I have resolved to grow my own leaves this year – wish me luck!

Smoked Haddock, Spinach and Cheddar Tartlets
Serves 12
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379 calories
18 g
144 g
28 g
13 g
17 g
170 g
224 g
0 g
1 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
170g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379
Calories from Fat 250
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
44%
Saturated Fat 17g
87%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 144mg
48%
Sodium 224mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 18g
6%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A
67%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
18%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. For the pastry
  2. 250g plain flour, sifted
  3. Pinch sea salt
  4. 200g cold butter, cubed
  5. A couple of tablespoons of very cold water
  6. For the filling
  7. 300g smoked haddock fillet, undyed and skinned
  8. 250g frozen spinach, defrosted and all excess water squeezed out
  9. 200g mature, full flavoured cheddar, grated
  10. 300ml double cream
  11. 3 egg yolks
  12. Sea salt and pepper
  13. A little nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Start by making the pastry. Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and stir together. Add the butter and rub it into the flour, until it forms a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add a tablespoon of cold water and stir until the pastry starts to come together to form a ball. You may need to add another tablespoon or two of water, but make sure you add a little at a time so that you add as little water as possible. This will keep your pastry light and crumbly - too much water will make it tough. This can be done in a food processor - just blitz the pastry in short pulses.
  2. When the pastry is made, flatten it into a round disc, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. I like to prepare the ingredients separately, and have them lined up in bowls to have to hand when filling the tarts.
  4. Start with the haddock. Ensure it's skinned and any pin bones are removed. Slice the fillet into slices, around 7mm thick. Set aside. Now, ensure the spinach is broken up into small pieces and set aside in a bowl. Put the grated cheddar into a bowl. Take the cream and egg yolks and whisk together. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg and set aside too.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan.
  6. When the pastry is chilled, roll out to approximately 5mm thick and line the tart tins (I use twelve 10cm individual fluted tins or one 25cm round fluted tin. Line with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes before removing the baking paper and return to the oven for 4-5 minutes more to firm up the base. For a 25cm tart, you'll need to cook it for around 15 minutes then a further 5 without the baking paper and beans.
  7. When the pastry cases have been blind baked, you can now fill them. Start by adding the spinach, which is best torn into small pieces and spread evenly over the base. Top with slices of haddock and season generously with pepper and a little salt. Top with cheddar. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the tart filling and bake for around 20-25 minutes for tartlets and 40-45 for a large tart. The filling will be golden brown and a little puffed up once baked.
  8. Serve hot or cold, with a good salad on the side.
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calories
379
fat
28g
protein
13g
carbs
18g
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