I talk about food a lot. More often than not, I can see the glazed look sweep across the face of the poor soul I’ve latched on to, as I ramble on about another exciting ingredient, restaurant, or culinary craze. So it was refreshing to know that for a blissful five hours on a Saturday afternoon, I would be welcomed into a beautiful cookery school where hungry talk was the dish of the day.
A little look through the plethora of courses available suggests there is surely something to cater for everyone. From the flavours of Italy, Scandinavian baking, Vietnamese to fish and seafood and Spanish tapas, the school is ready to educate even the most trepidatious of chefs.
Set amongst a trove of hidden treasures, the school is the Aladdin’s cave of herbs and spices. We are welcomed with teas and coffees and homemade biscotti as we settle down to get to know one another. A mixture of families, budding chefs, couples and intrepid fridge foragers all gather around the beautiful oak table with one thing in mind: eating good food.
The day passes by in a satisfying feast of the senses. North African aromas sweep around the kitchen with both savoury and sweet recipes on the menu. We start with a feta, olive and preserved lemon mezze with freshly-made flatbreads to graze on as the chilli and orange lamb tagine simmers slowly in the background. With a mixture of solo and group work, we are taken through the stages of making chicken pastilla and fish chermeula, then just when we thought we couldn’t fit in anymore, pear and apple parcels help finish off the day on a sticky sweet note.
Originally set up in their family home, Food at 52 is the baby of John and Emily, a wonderful husband and wife team. They have tried and succeeded in transferring that rustic, homely charm into the school to help each and every guest feel relaxed and instantly enthused. I left feeling full, inspired and with a handful of new recipes to try out on friends and family. Plus with Christmas all too quickly creeping up on us, a day here would make a wonderful present for that foodie friend.
When it comes to cooking, and when passion and knowledge combine, there really is no better recipe. Food at 52 is no doubt my new favourite foodie haven.
Food at 52 Cookery School
96 Central Street
Tel: 07814 027 067