My seafood school has been open for nigh on 20 years. I started it to give the chefs at The Seafood Restaurant a bit more intensive training preparing and cooking fish and shellfish. To keep the lecturers, all chefs from the restaurant, gainfully employed I ran a few courses for aspiring cooks, it was an instant success with the public and now it’s hard to find slots for the chefs but the principle remains the same, teaching by chefs who really know what they’re doing.
The overwhelming response from our students has been just that, they all say they are so well taught and also so well looked after. Some time ago, I reasoned that we shouldn’t just stick to seafood but should run courses on every aspect of cooking. Most of them would be from my books like Long Weekends, India, Spain or Road to Mexico but I also asked them to do courses like winter cooking, classic French, children’s courses as well as some fabulous pastry lessons, the only proviso was that they should be teaching recipes and techniques used in all my restaurants.
Over the years we’ve added a few extra touches, tours of Newlyn fish market, fishing trips from Padstow and visits to our local producers. The school’s success has been helped too by the view out of the windows across the water to Rock. It puts one in a great frame of mind for some serious cooking; the equipment too, chunky stoves, quality pans and knives and good quality chef ’s jackets and aprons to wear, makes everybody feel competent and serious.
What people always also say is even if they are nervous when they start, it is dispelled in the first few minutes. Whenever I come out with a new book, whether it be from Greece, Turkey or next time France, one of the joys for me is going through the recipe book with the cookery school chefs and deciding which dishes to use for the courses.
Hope to see you there soon. Rick
For more information and to book visit www.rickstein.com or call 01841 532700 Rick Stein’s Cookery School, Padstow, Cornwall