Interested in becoming a chef but struggling to find the time or the money for catering college? Planning on starting up your own catering firm? Thinking of chalet hosting for a season? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, look no further than the Gables School of Cookery and its intensive four week cookery course.
Nestled on the edge of the Cotswolds less than 20 miles north of Bristol, the school offers a homely and informal environment in which to perfect your culinary know-how. The syllabus is fast-paced and students are thrown in at the deep end, spending seven hours a day on average in the spacious, purpose-built kitchen to ensure that all core cookery skills are covered, from fish filleting and basic butchery to pasta making and pastry. With groups limited to just 12, plenty of one-on-one help is available for those who need it and frankly sitting in the sun at the end of a hard day, enjoying a cold glass of wine and the fruits of your labour, makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Experienced principal Fran Winston was director of a hotel and 60 cover restaurant before opening the school and has more culinary qualifications than you could shake a spoon at so she knows what the industry is looking for. Meanwhile, business partner Chris Winston uses his background in human resource management and consultancy to assist with CVs and provide career advice. Uniquely, the school can even set up evening work experience in the kitchens of local restaurants and hotels.
At the end of the course, students leave with a 500-page course folder, a certificate of achievement which I am assured is well respected in the cookery sector and the promise of a letter of recommendation when needed. My only complaint is that no-one told me how to lose all the extra weight I gained!
The course fee includes shared twin accommodation (Mon-Thurs), meals and free use of the spa and gym facilities at a nearby four star hotel. For those who can’t commit to a four week course, the school also runs numerous one day sessions focusing on various international cuisines and dinner parties.
The Gables School of Cookery
T: 01454 260 444
By Lucy Blackwell