LocationL'atelier des Chefs cookery schools, Oxford Circus and St Paul's, London
Why goIt doesn't matter whether you're Delia or a bit of a disaster in the kitchen, this fabulous cookery school caters for all, offering hands-on, book-turn-up-and-get-stuck-in cookery lessons, taught by professional chefs. Whether you want to learn how to make your own pasta, master the French classics or perfect your knife skills when it comes to filleting fish, you can do all that here. And L'ateliers des Chefs now has two London locations, having recently opened up its second school near London's St Paul's, in the City.
Why everyone's talking about itNot only do you get to learn some great skills or perfect a three-course meal, but once you've created your masterpiece you can sit down and enjoy it with the rest of your class and a glass of wine or two. Classes range from 'Cook, Eat & Run' (a speedy 30-minute session that's easy enough to squeeze in on your lunch break) to more in-depth courses which take two to three hours.
Who goes thereA complete mix from absolute beginners to accomplished chefs wanting to gain a few extra pointers. People come solo, but there's also groups of friends, first dates, and a few couples. The atmosphere is friendly; there's a lot of bonding over kitchen mishaps or joking with the teacher.
What we ateEL attended an evening sushi-making course at the St Paul's kitchen. We were taught to make sushi rice and maki rolls with sea bass and pickled cucumber. We also created a California roll of crab and avocado with wasabi and sesame seeds. Perhaps not the easiest class (our sushi rolls weren't quite the perfect little packages we're used to buying in a box) but our teacher was encouraging in explaining that Japanese sushi chefs spend years perfecting their craft. Phew!
Why EL loves itA sociable, relaxed atmosphere and an accessible way to pick up some new culinary skills. We've already booked in for another class.
AddressL'ateliers des Chefs, 19 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1PH & 10 Foster Lane, London EC2V 6HR