The Cookery School at Braxted Park is situated within the estates 500 acres of scenic parkland, easily accessible from the A12 and just 14 miles north-east of Chelmsford town centre and 15miles south-west of Colchester.
The cookery school offers various classes suitable for beginners, intermediates and expert cooks alike. The classes range from cookery techniques for beginners to French Provencal, Thai and Modern British Food, and run on either a day basis or a 2 day in house master class. Each class is hosted by individual acclaimed and awarded local chefs.
Driving up the long gravel road to the Braxted park cookery school, flanked by nature’s rural beauty, sets you up in the right frame of mind for the day ahead. I arrived at 9.30am to meet my fellow ‘students’ and our Chef du jour Mark David, Independent Chef, food columnist, teacher and demonstrator from Ipswich.
The cookery day course concentrated on fresh Fish and Seafood. Artfully printed welcome packs were handed around, detailing all of the recipes that would challenge us throughout the day. The emphasis was on variety, seasonality, flavour and simplicity; beautiful, tasty dishes that you could recreate at home.
After meeting, greeting and running through the structure of the day, we donned our aprons and made our way over to the training kitchen. The large, long kitchen is fully equipped with all of the expert appliances and tools you will require; after all, this is a professional kitchen, also used by the venues outside caterers.
With the help and individual guidance from Mark, we all practised and learnt a multitude of skills and profe4ssional tips, from recognising and testing produce for freshness, to knife & prepping skills, and of course cooking techniques and timings.
We mixed and kneaded bread, filleted fish, shucked and smoked oysters, prepped vegetables, prepared squid, the list goes on. In all, as a team, we gained greater skills and professional insights from a renowned chef and cookery tutor, as well as growing in confidence as our efforts materialised into wonderful dishes.
After many hours of prepping and cooking we returned to the dining area for the moment we had all been eagerly awaiting, the final feast. Dish after dish of delicious food including raw salmon fillet with lime and dill, oriental seafood ragout and baked filleted Brill with steamed cucumber and herbs came our way, as we sipped wine and discussed the highlights of our day, fabulous.
An ideal and beautiful, setting in which to learn professional skills and cookery techniques from some of the most acclaimed and awarded chefs in the local area. The courses cover all aspects of the cookery process, from recognising and testing produce for freshness, to knife & prepping skills, and of course cooking techniques and timings. The individual attention and guidance you will receive make the classes suitable for complete novices, wanting to learn the basics, to adept cooks set on improving their professional prowess and skills.