Cooking Courses in London

Skill: Knife Work

Where: The Cookery School, central London
Next 2017 date: January 4
Cost: £130 for 3.5 hours
Getting there: Nearest tube Oxford Circus

“Learning knife skills makes one more efficient, speedier and probably safer,” says Rosalind Rathouse, principal of the Cookery School in the West End. In one morning, learn how and what to slice, dice, chop, fillet and segment before cooking and eating the results, which include caramelized focaccia, minestrone, hand-chopped burgers and apple cake. You can buy the knives, and pick up endless practical tips too such as: always rock the knife front to back (never up and down), and never put knives into soapy water. cookeryschool.co.uk

Skill: Gut And Fillet Fish

Where: The Billingsgate Seafood Training School, London
Next 2017 dates: January 20 – February 3
Cost: £89 per evening
Getting there: Nearest tube Canary Wharf or Blackwall (DLR)

A new, men only, three-evening course teaches the basics of fishmongering, and how to safely wield a knife with an expert blockman. Located above Billingsgate, each evening will focus on different species; round (such as mackerel), flat (plaice), and shellfish (oysters). Pick up essential skills such as how to successfully remove the gills and blood line from a fish, and dressing a crab. “We want our guests to become more engaged with the food we eat. Starting at the bottom and working up is key,” says principal CJ Jackson. seafoodtraining.org

Skill: Being A Food Presenter

Where: Leiths School of Food and Wine, London
Next 2017 date: February 22 – March 21, with a location shoot on March 25
Cost: £900
Getting there: Nearest tube Stamford Brook

“When you’re passionate about food you want to share that knowledge, but it can be daunting to cook for an audience,” says Leiths managing director Camilla Schneideman. The school has drawn on its 40 years’ experience to create the UK’s first and only course that will, over five weekly evenings, teach you how to simultaneously cook stylishly and talk clearly on camera, and how to strategically market and style yourself. The final day is spent on location, producing a professionally edited show reel. leiths.com

Skill: French Cooking With Michel Roux Jr

Where: London
Next 2017 date: January 11
Cost: £995
Getting there: Nearest tube Clapham Common

The Roux brothers changed British cuisine when they set up Le Gavroche 50 years ago. “It was the first UK restaurant to be awarded Michelin stars,” says Anna Ratcliffe, director of London’s Cactus Kitchens. Spend the day with Michel Roux Jr, in a group of no more than 12, and you’ll make and eat dishes like quail with grapes and ceps, and pain perdu with roast pineapple, rum and chilli, while Michel answers all your questions and passes on simple tips (such as removing the wishbone when preparing poultry so you don’t waste any meat). cactuskitchens.co.uk

Skill: Food Photography And Styling

Where: Cordon Bleu, London
Next 2017 dates: March 2 – 4, 2017
Cost: £600 for three days
Getting there: Nearest tube Holborn

This three-day course, introduced in 2015, from this 120-year-old culinary institution, is taught by a professional photographer and master chef in a group of 10, in response to burgeoning social media needs. Learn the difference in preparing food for pictures, rather than for eating, plate and lighting design, and the use of props and top tips (“Always ensure the food is the hero, don’t overcomplicate it with too many props,” says Melissa Cuffy from Cordon Bleu). The final task is carried out in pairs and within strict time limits. cordonbleu.edu

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