Autumn Cooking Intensive

A week to cook simple wholefoods together, inspired by the autumn.

Our food eating and cooking habits are some of the most ingrained in our lives. We tend to gravitate naturally towards those few foods or dishes that we have grown up with including, to a greater or lesser extent, new ‘exotic’ dishes and ingredients that we discover later, or what we are made to believe are ‘healthy’ foods. Our lifestyle often seems to leave only a very small place to the preparation of food and to eating; food is taken as fuel, even if we buy high quality ingredients, and cooking is something that someone else should do for us – it’s not convenient. Consequently, we gravitate to stand-by dishes and rely on food prepared by others (ready meals, restaurant meals or take-aways). Whilst this feeds us it may not always in the long term provide the nourishment that we require. Although there is a large number of food outlets, in fact the choice and quality available is rarely very good because the interests of a food business may not always be aligned with those of our life.

In this week-long cooking course, we will practice cooking so that we may incorporate new habits and widen our repertoire of simple dishes. Those that we can make when we get home after work, not to prove that we are accomplished cooks but simply to nourish ourselves and engage in the act of creation that cooking is. Our intention is that having completed the course, when you get home you find yourself in your kitchen, cooking. You will be able to create structures that support your cooking throughout the week and seasons. It will happen from the momentum of the programme, out of practicing cooking daily in a structured group, for a week.

The course is hands-on and participants cook a meal at every session – this is the cornerstone of the course; as you practice cooking daily over a week, the practice naturally sinks into you. The course will also include demonstrations on the following themes:

  1. Cutting and sharpening knives: when cutting is smooth and precise, cooking is very simple and quick.
  2. Making stocks and basic soups: coming into autumn, we can develop soups that are warming and hearty. We will make vegetable and fish stocks that you can freeze.
  3. Exploring some key grains and pulses (varieties, whole or refined, basic cooking technique, storing cooked grains & pulses, recipes using cooked grains/pulses).
  4. Sourcing, storing and using seasonal vegetables: what does seasonal mean, why bother… and what to do with your vegetable so they don’t waste in your fridge?

This course is designed for those who would like to take on or develop their home cooking. Maybe you have participated in previous courses which included cooking classes (eg The Foundation Course, JumpStart, Cooking Intensives or others) but cooking has not yet become a regular feature in your life, or maybe you do cook often but would like to review the basics and be inspired by cooking with others.