‘Food’ Magazine writer Laura Tucker is spends a week sharpening her cooking skills at Ashburton Cookery School on the Intermediate Cookery Week.
“My husband will be forever grateful, having learnt very early on in our relationship that I’m incredibly easy to buy presents for – anything to do with food or travel will keep me sweet and the last couple of Christmases have proved no different.
As an avid (but amateur) cook, I’m always keen for inspiration and to be stretched away from the tried and tested recipes that seem to appear from my repertoire a little too often. So when I was asked if I’d like to be the food team member to go and spend five days at Ashburton on their Intermediate Cookery Course for the magazine, my diary was cleared pretty quickly!
I like to think my basic skills are up to scratch, but I have a feeling those are really about to be put to the test. The programme for the week is intense: sauces, stocks, pastry, bread, meat butchery, fish filleting, creams, custards and chocolate, just for starters. I did the one-day Modern British Cuisine last year at the school and remember feeling pretty overwhelmed (and secretly a bit pleased with myself…) by the volume of food we managed to prepare and cook in such a short space of time.
So, as I get ready for Day One, I’ve set myself a goal for the week: meat. I’ve always been a little scared of meat – never quite sure how to handle, cook or serve it beyond the simplicities of a stew or a roast – so here goes. I’ll be bringing you updates straight from the kitchen every day this week. Wish me luck!”