What can a cookery course teach you that a cook book can't? Surely all that cooking can be learned from a cook book by one of the famous and popular chefs?! So why spend all this time and money to come out to the French Alps if Jamie, Heston and Nigella can teach you exactly the same for £25 per book? Here are the top 5 skills a cook book can't teach you - and actually, there aren't that many surprises.
1) Knife skills
Working on your knife skills (and actually learning to use the right knives for the right jobs!) is one of the most basic, yet most important tasks on the course. If you don't know which one is the correct knife, how to hold it and how to handle it, every single one of your cooking jobs will be so much harder. With the right skills you'll save a lot of time - not only for one single dish, but for every single time you are preparing a meal. Break that down into hours of your lifetime, and the cookery course pays itself back in no time at all!
2) Techniques over recipes
On our courses we not only teach you a couple of hundred of recipes, but rather make sure you learn the methods of cookery. Many of the skills we teach can be transferred to other recipes that you will make yourself at home and will help you with all of your cooking instead of repeating only recipes you have learned on your cookery course or from a cookbook.
3) Real ingredients, real food
One of our most important aspects is to teach you how to cook from scratch. As our strapline says, we use real ingredients to produce real food. No shortcuts, no ready-made powders, sauces or herb mixes and even our bread is homemade everyday by our students. In a world full of processed foods where you often struggle to even pronounce the words on a product's ingredients list, it's a very important, comforting and reliable skill to know what's in your food. It's your body's fuel and you want to choose it wisely.
4) Getting organized
Many people we talk to about cooking for larger parties struggle with getting a good time plan. Too many courses with too many components, for too many people, cooked in too many pots! A 4-course-dinner for 12 is often more daunting than it needs to be. We will work on the theory of planning and working efficiently and then you will put your time keeping into practice every day when we cook towards lunch and dinner.
5) Developing your palette
You may think that you don't like a lot of foods or ingredients. But when is the last time you actually tried them? If you (think you) don't like Foie Gras, you would never spend the money on buying and preparing it yourself or order it in a restaurant. If the thought of mussels makes you squirm, you wouldn't ask your local fishmonger for a couple of kilos to cook some Moûles Frites.
The variety of food on our courses is extremely wide and we know that you will (re)discover foods and ingredients you might have had completely written off for your cooking career.
Come and discover the world of cooking with us and make Val d'Isère the start of your journey!