All posts tagged cooking masterclass

Wood Fired Oven Outdoor Cooking Courses

wood_fired_ovenThe recently revamped, seriously stylish Deer Park Country House Hotel just outside Honiton in Devon has called on wood fired oven cooking expert, David Jones of Manna from Devon Cooking School, to add another exciting dimension to their utterly fabulous courses. A series of new, outdoor wood fired oven courses will start in April and run through until the end of September 2014.

During the varied range of exciting new courses, which will take place during the week, David will share his infectious passion and enthusiasm for cooking with The Bushman wood fired oven which has recently been installed at this hugely desirable hotel. What could be better than learning from wood fired oven specialists in the stunning gardens of a quintessential English country house?

A long standing tradition in many countries around the world, cooking with a wood fired oven has become extremely popular in recent years and is now one of the latest trends to take the UK by storm. Throughout David’s classes you’ll be taught all about wood fired ovens and how to prepare and cook with them. The five hands-on cooking classes (£95 per person per course) are ‘The Devon Larder’, ‘Grill like a Gaucho’, ‘Pizza and Flat Breads’, ‘From Coast to Countryside’ and finally a ‘Deer Park Tandoori’ experience.

Celebrating the county’s delicious local produce and wonderful artisan producers, The Devon Larder course will teach you how to create an array of tasty seasonal ‘Devonian’ dishes including a traditional Homity Pie and souffled crab frittata.

Grill like a Gaucho is the perfect course for meat lovers and those wanting to embrace the char and wood ash of the fire. Throughout the South American inspired course you’ll master how to char grill steaks, sear squid and create the South American chimmichurri steak sauce.

Situated in Kingswear overlooking the River Dart, Manna from Devon will bring their favourite flavours of the sea to the Deer Park Country Park House Hotel. Using whole lemon sole, mackerel and John Dory as well as many other tasty fish varieties, during the From Coast to Countryside course you’ll learn about each fish and how to prepare and cook it using a selection of mouth-watering recipes.

Keen to share his new found knowledge from Manna from Devon’s recent Indian adventure, the Deer Park Tandoori experience will see you grinding spices, marinating meat and cooking traditional Indian recipes including baked samosas, onion bhajis and naan breads.

Although synonymous with pizzas, wood fired ovens can of course be used to cook a variety of appetizing flat breads. During the Pizza and Flat Breads course David will show you how to make, shape and top dough whilst producing pizza, lavash, pita and pissaladiere (four delicious flat breads from across the world).

Set in 80 acres of magnificent grounds, the 18th Century Georgian mansion hotel in East Devon boasts beautiful boutique hotel bedrooms, a stunning Italian garden and desirable restaurant. Influenced by the best of British, the Deer Park Country House Hotel is the epitome of a quintessential English Country House. ‘Cooking with a wood fired oven’ is just one of the courses in the exciting new series of laid back, informal and fun outdoor courses on offer within the grounds of the recently renovated hotel. Open to both residents and non-residents, other mid-week courses include ‘An Introduction to Falconry’, ‘Apple Tree Pruning’, ‘An All Day Country Affair’, ‘Fish, Find and Flame’ and ‘Beekeeping’.

Established in 2005, Manna from Devon Cooking School is run by Holly and David Jones who teach cooking skills to small groups in the relaxed environment of their Victorian home overlooking the beautiful River Dart in South Devon. In addition to the main kitchen there is a second kitchen in the style of a bakery.

For further information on the Manna from Devon courses at the Deer Park Country House Hotel please visit or call 01404 41266. For further information on Manna from Devon Cooking School go to

Alternative Christmas Cake Video

2011 The Great British Bake Off the extraordinaire Holly Bell has created an alternative Christmas Cake that we all still have time to make!! Here is a little festive film of her creating the masterpiece.

Christmas Cottage Cake from Stupid on Vimeo.

It’s a Christmas Cottage Cake revolution!
The perfect festive alternative to the traditional Christmas Cake. That you can still make in time for Christmas day or any other festive festivities.

With thanks to the wonderful Holly Bell from The Great British Bake Off.

Recipe by Holly Bell
For more tasty ideas visit:

Made By Stupid

See a selection of stills from the shot here:

River Cottage Bread Making Mini Vids

Channel 4 will be running a series of River Cottage short films focussing on different aspects of bread making, starting from Monday 20th September.

Over a series of 5-minute “bites”, River Cottage Chefs, Gill, Gideon and Nonie offer step-by-step guides to the joys of baking homemade bread:

Lunchtime Baking : River Cottage Head Chef Gill demonstrates how to make the perfect soft white rolls for lunch time, while River Cottage Chef Gideon rolls out a simple but delicious oat cake recipe.
20th September at 12.05

Sweet Bready Treats: River Cottage Head Chef Gill demonstrates a tasty and tempting way to combine old bread with fresh fruit in the perfect summer pudding, while River Cottage Chef Nonie gives a step-by-step guide as to how to make home made doughnuts.
22nd September at 12.05

Sourdough Baking: For anyone who wants to get into serious baking, sourdough is artisan bread-making like they used to do it for centuries. Follow River Cottage Chef Gideon as he shows how to make a sourdough starter and classic sourdough loaf, as well as a tangy sourdough rye loaf too.
23rd September at 12.05

Cookery Classes in France

For a number of years now Château Lavergne in the Bordeaux region of South-West France has been building up a first class reputation hosting its popular cookery classes and wine-tastings. Now, owners Suzanne and Michel Bourdais have expanded this years programme to include tailor-made culinary holidays and tours, as well as introducing ‘food and wine coaching’ – a unique new concept for food lovers and the first of its kind in the area.

Situated in the delightful village of Bouliac and close to Bordeaux, the splendid 19th Century Château Lavergne is set in a 7 acre park and attracts visitors from all over the world to its relaxed and beautiful environment where they can discover, appreciate and learn about great French food and wine from the Bordeaux region.

Having already managed a vineyard over the years Suzanne along with her husband purchased the castle and from the outset decided to make Château Lavergne a real reference of food and wine in the region. Suzanne’s latest concept aims to bring food and wine coaching to visitors and holidaymakers who appreciate good food and wine but may not have the time or resources to find the best restaurants, hotels, vineyards or culinary gems in the area. Whether they are travelling alone or with a partner, or with a larger group of family and friends, Suzanne’s inside knowledge of the region will prove invaluable.

A typical client using this ‘culinary concierge’ style service would be staying in the Bordeaux area for around four days or so and would wish to discover the best restaurants, vineyards and hand-picked hotels best suited to their requirements as well discover the incredible Archachon Bay. For a small fee of 150 euros for 1 or 2 days, or 300 euros for 3-5 days Suzanne will provide a bespoke itinerary, make appropriate reservations and offer her unrivalled advice to make your stay truly unforgettable. These fees are for the entire group and not per person.

Château Lavergne is also offering culinary mini breaks which include accommodation in the château for one night. After breakfast participants are escorted to one of the region’s most beautiful outdoor markets before returning to the château for a superb hands-on cookery class given personally by Suzanne Bourdais. This is followed by lunch at the château and a wine tasting. Break’s cost 399 euros per person in a double room and 429 euros for single occupancy. The break can also be extended by an extra night for just 75 euros or 105 euros respectively. Extra dinner or lunch with wine for 40 euros.

For those visiting the Bordeaux area and wishing to take part in one of Château Lavergne’s ever popular cookery classes there is a great deal on offer for 2010. Classes start with a 2hr class dedicated to making French home cooking more accessible, understandable and enjoyable. This class is followed by lunch or dinner with wine tasting and costs 150 euros. Other longer classes include a visit to a beautiful outdoor market where you will discover exceptional foods from the very best local producers. There is also an opportunity to learn about foie gras by participating in a 3hr ‘Foie Gras’ Workshop. Here you will learn to prepare “cou farci”, “confit” and goose liver. Participants take away with them jars prepared in the workshop and like all classes a superb lunch with wine tasting is included in the price of 190 euros.

To find out more about Château Lavergne’s cookery classes, culinary tours and wine tastings visit the website at

Valentina’s Masterclass – Dinner Party With A Difference

valentinas_masterclassValentina Harris announced the launch of her new website “Valentina’s Masterclass” at a Dinner at Ransome’s Dock. Valentina Harris, author of some 20 plus books on Italian cookery, has teamed-up with to offer a new service a “dinner party with a difference”. You invite up to 8 of your friends to a “Valentina’s Masterclass” in your own home. Valentina provides the expertise and skills to teach you all how to make and enjoy the wonderful experience of home made pasta, risotto and original genuine Italian fish and meat dishes from scratch. Wonderful food accompanied by a selection of superb boutique Australian wines.

“the difference about these masterclasses is that as well as the culinary experience we combine Italian food with a selection of fine Australian boutique wines-a completely new angle on the delights of food and wine matching. You chose the menu with our guidance, matched with our stunning award winning Australian wines. We want to break the mould and get away from the standard fare, and try some different food & wine pairings. For example how about an aperitivo of “bruschetta of broad bean puree and pecorino” with a Flametree Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ’09, with its prominent gooseberry nose, and freshness or an antipasto pitted scallops wrapped in pancetta with a Kalgan River Wines Riesling ’08.

A Flametree Chardonnay ’07 could be matched with a full-on spicy prawn risotto puttanesca (with no pasta!) or a mian course of duck breast glazed with vinsanto, lemon potatoes and spinach matched with a Flametree Cabernet Merlot ’08, or a dessert of Bunet with soft orange and almond cake, and accompanied by a Talijancich 1961 Solero Muscat.

Valentina’s concluded with “I hope we have provided a glimpse of what can be achieved and destroyed some of the stereotypes and prejudices: old world food can work with new world wine”.
Food and wine matching could be heading in a new direction!

Evening events start at 7pm ending at 10.30pm and will cost £300 for a minimum of 6 people participating (only £50 per head). This Includes 6 bottles of Australian wines from Auswineonline and relevant tasting notes. More details at Valentina’s Masterclass