My cooking classes or workshops are all bespoke and are for small groups to larger.
You can come to my kitchen or I can come to yours. I have cooked with groups of ladies and men and mixed sexes! Families, boys night or hen lunches. Sometimes it is to prepare a dinner party to be eaten later or a three course lunch we eat together. or a masterclass on fish cooking or maybe game. Scotland has some of the best produce in the world and I try to cook seasonally and with fresh local ingredients from local farm shops or markets. I work regularly with the golf world in St. Andrews offering an alternative activity for non golfers! Helping visitors get the best from their holiday
S3 Pupils preparing pork
My working life is so varied, I am so fortunate to sometimes combine a passion with working life. And the passion is to encourage people to cook. At whatever stage of life or level of skill. I do a session every year with George Heriots School in Edinburgh with the P4 year. This involves three consecutive sessions with lots of eager enthusiastic children full of energy and questions, we taste foraged foods such as wild garlic, and garlic mustard we make nettle soup and then a salad incorporating the garlic, sweet cicely and garlic mustard. They smell, they taste and they try. The look on their faces when they taste nettle soup is always a joy! Expressions of uncertainty turn to grins as they realise it tastes GOOD.
This week I was involved with the local Rotary group in Levenmouth to give an S3 group at Levenmouth Academy a great experience and we prepared a meal for over 60 people from scratch. After the initial adolescent reticence, I was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and in an almost anarchic manner the young came forward to take control of individual elements of the meal. First course was mackerel with a potato and asparagus salad. They cooked potatoes, chopped herbs made a dressing, cut and cooked mackerel. Under direct supervision we cooked asparagus! Main course of slow roast pork from Puddledub a local pig farm and butcher, with herbs, garlic and chillies I supervised the pork preparation but to see four 14/15 year olds handling knives while slashing the pork skin was just brilliant! Rubbing in the garlic and herb mix, and tying the shoulder of pork ready for the oven. On their own they made dauphinoise potatoes, prepared and blanched kale, juiced lemons and made bread rolls.
Pudding was Rhubarb fool, they stewed rhubarb (ok a few watery disasters here!!) made custard and whipped cream (I over whipped the first batch!) they made shortbread, kale crisps and chocolate truffles for coffee.
They laid tables and served to their guests, with professionalism often lacking in our industry. Steven Carter G.M. of the St Andrews Old course hotel in his speech of thanks asked the guests to give them a standing ovation which they did with great gusto, much to the amazement of the pupils; it was such a privilege to be able to guide these wonderful young people to produce such a good meal. Along the way they learnt about food from their own country and what is in season just now. No pretentious ingredients or stylised presentation, just good wholesome food prepared and cooked with gusto. If we as a society want to give the next generation something lasting, then let’s cook with them, share food together generation on generation. Share experiences and share and understanding of what grows, is produced or fished from within a 50 mile radius.
Etive Restaurant with rooms
I was helping my wife the photographer Caroline Trotter to do a “shoot” she had over on the west coast at what was the Taynuilt MORE >
SPEND A LITTLE EXTRA ON CHEESE THIS CHRISTMAS
If you value food and where it comes from and the people who make it, then this Christmas please set a little aside to help MORE >