Our one-to-one lessons are perfect home cooks, whether they are a beginner without a clue as to where to start, a keen cook wanting to extend their repertoire, or somewhere in between.

Our bundles of classes offer great value with 6 lessons for the price of 5, giving you the opportunity to really make improvements in your cookery. We’ve worked with lots of keen young cooks looking to extend their skills beyond baking, teenagers learning to cook as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award or about to head off to university, parents wanting to cook more from scratch, retired people looking to cook with more time on their hands.

Here’s the menu from a recent cook looking to gain confidence in cooking for large crews on a round the world sailing trip –

Class one – Beef lasagna, garlic flat bread/ pizza, potato wedges.

Class two – Madras, onion bhaji, red lentil and sweet potato dhal, spicy rice, white loaf, chocolate fudge traybake.

Class three – Blackbean chill with homemade tortillas, Tuna Puttanesca, sesame plait, flapjack.

Class four – Tiger bread, ciabatta, bagels, ginger nuts.

Class five – Green curry, green rice, bombay potatoes, banana bread, chocolate cookies.

Class six – Oat cookies, Montezuma’s chocolate brownie, sundried tomato and basil tear & share loaf, pumpkin curry, chocolate & jam cake, chow mein.

See details and to book, see here.

img_7012Have you heard of Reverse advent calendars? The idea is that every day throughout Advent you give something away.

The Emsworth Cookery School has been putting one together for the Emsworth Community Christmas event – a lunch which brings together people in our community who might otherwise spend the day alone.

Have a watch of what we’re up to and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see what goes in the box! [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qUsy_7Q-TU[/embedyt]

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One of the main events in the final weekend of Emsworth British Food Fortnight was the fantastic Thought for Food Market. Despite the horrendous rain (and thunder!) as we set up, the crowds turned out to see the best that Emsworth and the local area has to offer.

In the food demo area we were tempting people with new recipes to get creative with peppers, using locally sourced bell and sweet pointy peppers from Tangmere Airfield Nurseries. We made savoury muffins, sweet pepper houmous and pepper focaccia. The recipes will be available shortly, stay tuned for details!

Obviously we couldn’t just stick to savoury recipes and we were delighted to get our hands on some yummy Montezuma’s chocolate to get creative with. Recipes included Chocolate, orange and geranium brownie, Lemon and chocolate mousse and a Chocolate, salt & lime sauce. If you fancy the sound of those and didn’t make it to the demo, it’s not too late as we’ll be making them on our upcoming Chocoholic’s Choice class, book here!



[soliloquy id=”4791″]Do you ever look around your kitchen and think it’s getting maybe a little too cluttered with appliances you maybe don’t use as often as you thought you would? I’m certainly guilty of having one too many gadgets, but I think I may have found the solution – the new Flint and Flame Master Cook.

This machine is there for you whatever your level of cookery skills, it’s like the extra pair of hands you always dreamed of and combines the functions of several machines into one awesome gadget.

So where to start with it? Well you could make a soup, using it to chop your onion, then add some oil and turn the heat on the sauté the onion, then add your stock and vegetables and simmer until everything is soft. Then turn it to blending mode to create a beautifully smooth soup!

Or you might want to cook a curry and rice- the steamer basket cooks the most amazing rice I’ve ever managed at home. Other attachments can be used to steam whole fish or a spatchcock chicken. Use it to knead bread or mix a cake before baking in the oven. Whizz up some homemade humous or mayonnaise. The list goes on and on!

I’ve been so impressed with this machine and keep coming up with new recipes to try in it – I’m yet to be let down. One of the things I love is that it works so independently, you throw in the ingredients and put the lid on, the machine does the stirring leaving you free to do something else.

If you are interested in coming to try out the machine, do get in touch. We can also organise purchase of the machine and delivery directly to your house.



I love fruit curds and this homemade blackberry curd is particularly easy to make. This recipe uses it to make meringue pies, but if you fancy taking a shortcut then just buy a good quality lemon curd.


for the blackberry curd

200g blackberries

1 lemon – zest and juice

100g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

3 eggs, gently whisked

1 egg yolk

for the pastry

90g plain flour

10g icing sugar

50g unsalted butter

few drops water

for the meringue

1 egg white

50g caster sugar

1 tbsp water


1. Start with the blackberry curd. For this you need to pop the blackberries in a food processor and whizz up. Push the crushed blackberries through a sieve into a glass bowl.

2. Add the remaining blackberry curd ingredients to the blackberries. Place over a saucepan with a little simmering water in the bottom of it – it should be able to warm the glass bowl, but the water should not touch the glass bowl.

3. Heat until the mixture become thick, regularly whisking. You are looking for the curd to be the thickness of a pancake batter.

4. While the curd is thickening, make the pastry. Weigh the flour and sugar into a large bowl and rub the butter in. If the mixture is not coming together, add water to it a few drops at a time until it comes together. Roll out and use a cookie cutter to make circles and place these into a jam tart tin (you should be able to make 6-8 tarts). Place in the freezer to chill and turn the oven on to 200C/ fan 180C. Once the oven is warm, transfer the pastry in to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

5. For the meringue, put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat until you have a bubbling syrupy mixture. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks and then pour in the syrup, continue to whisk to create glossy peaks.

6. To assemble the meringue pies, add a spoonful of blackberry curd into each pastry case and top with meringue – piping on for a smarter look.

7. To create a golden top, either use a blowtorch, or place under the grill. It only takes a few seconds under the grill so keep an eye on them – my first batch got rather burnt!





posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: , , , ,


web Fattoush


This is the recipe for you if you are looking to take a side dish to a barbecue this summer, or fancy a light lunch full of flavours. This is a Middle Eastern salad using pitta bread and lots of fresh vegetables. You can get creative with the vegetables – just use whatever is in the fridge! The dressing uses sumac which is a spice which you may not have come across – it is a dried, crushed berry used in Middle Eastern cookery – you may have seen it scattered on the top of dishes of hummus. 


For the salad

1 pitta bread, toasted and cut into strips

2 vine ripened tomatoes, cubed

quarter cucumber, cubed

half pepper, cubed

handful black olives

4 radishes, sliced

handful rocket

1 little gem lettuce, torn

handful fresh mint, torn

For the dressing

100ml mild olive oil

2 lemons, juice and zest

1 small garlic clove, grated

1 tbsp sumac

to taste salt and pepper


1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, toss together to ensure an even coating. 


If you are preparing the salad in advance, I would hold back on adding the pitta bread and dressing until you are just about to serve.




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Last week I spent time out at the Weber Grill Academy in Copenhagen. This venue is beyond amazing, with a BBQ glitter ball hanging from the ceiling as you walk in and countless BBQs set up for indoor cooking. As with much of Scandinavia, they achieve effortless coolness – how do they pull off cool so much better than us Brits?


Along with a selection of other cookery schools from the UK and Ireland we learnt how to grill, bake, roast and smoke on gas and charcoal barbecues. Amongst the recipes we covered were pizzas and puddings, beer can chicken and bruschetta.

The evening was spent outside practising our new skills. A cool evening was warmed up with countless grills fired up to create our evening meal and we sat down to enjoy each course expertly matched with a fantastic wine.

The purpose of the trip was to ensure we were all set up to teach the Weber Essential Course, which is now available with the Emsworth Cookery School. Our events will be held down in Southsea, making use of the fabulous cooking facilities at the Portsmouth High School. Fingers crossed for some warm weather to get us barbecuing this summer.



Details of the Weber barbecue course are available on the Weber site. Please note all bookings are made directly with Weber, but do give me a ring if you have any queries.

UPDATE – we’re also now running BBQ Marinades & Sides and BBQ baking classes in Emsworth, plus the Weber range has extended to include BBQ Classics, Seafood and Winter Warmers.





Raspberry and orange victoria sponge

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags:




Raspberry and orange Victoria sponge

Once you’ve mastered a classic Victoria sponge you can start getting creative! In our Crazy about Cakes class we make a chocolate orange version complete with Terry’s chocolate orange segments on the top – amazing! 

Here we are replacing the milk which normally gets used with some orange juice and dropping in some raspberries. The result is a pretty and tasty cake, simple to make but sure to impress! 

This method goes back to the old fashioned scales, where you balanced your eggs against the other ingredients to be sure you had the right quantities. It’s also great if you have your own eggs which have much more variability in their weight than supermarket ones!



3 eggs

butter, softened (for quantity see below)

caster sugar (for quantity see below)

self-raising flour (for quantity see below)

splash orange juice

handful raspberries (frozen actually work better than fresh as they hold their shape)

for the filling

200ml double cream (mix with a little mascarpone for added richness if you fancy)

zest 1 orange

3 tbsp raspberry jam

3 tbsp orange curd

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C.

2. Weigh the eggs (in the shell). Whatever this weight is, you will need the same amount of flour, caster sugar & butter.

3. Weigh out the required weight of butter & caster sugar into a large mixing bowl. Then cream these well together.

4. Weigh out the required amount of flour in a separate bowl.

5. Stir in 1 egg & a tablespoon of the flour. Repeat with the other 3 eggs. Once combined, add the remaining flour & continue to stir until well mixed. Loosen with a little splash of orange juice.

6. Transfer into the cake tin, dot in the raspberries and put in the oven. The cake takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, but check after 15. When it is cooked the sponge should feel bouncy when you push on it and if you insert a knife, it should come out clean.

7. Whip the cream to soft peaks for the filling, stirring in the orange zest. Cover 1 side of the cake with jam, topped with cream and then the orange curd on the other side. Sandwich together and serve with a little icing sugar dusted over the top.


Best eaten within 24 hours!



I’ve been serving this soup as one of the lunch options for a number of our recent courses and its been receiving some fabulous praise so I thought I’d share it with them.

One of the ingredients you might not have come across is coconut powder yet. I found it recently in the World Food aisle and it’s amazing! Three tablespoons of this stuff mixed with 175ml of water makes the equivalent of half a can of coconut milk. So 1 packet lasts for ages even with the amount of Thai curries we eat! This is the one I use – Maggi coconut powder

Sweet potato, red lentil and coconut soup

Super simple soup

1  onion, diced

1 large sweet potato

300ml vegetable stock

100g red lentils

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp coconut powder

to taste salt & pepper

Normally my soups start off with gently frying off the onion, but not this one. For a lower fat version (and quicker too!) everything gets put in a large saucepan and simmered until the sweet potatoes and red lentils are soft. Then whizz with a handheld blender or in a food processor until smooth. Depending on the size of potatoes, you might need to add a little more hot water or milk to loosen the soup.

This freezes well so make a big batch and have it ready for those cold evenings!

Super healthy smoothie

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: ,


Smoothies are a quick and healthy way to start your day and can be ready nearly as quickly as cereal. A few key ingredients to hand mean you can create variety of smoothies to suit your mood – greek yogurt, bananas, frozen berries, lime, apples orange juice and oats can all be mixed in different proportions to create some beautiful smoothies which are some much fresher than shop-bought versions.

Smoothies can be made using bleeder attachments on food processors and free standing mixers, or dedicated machines such as the Magimix Blender.

So why not begin the New Year with the resolution of a smoothie to kick start that health campaign!

Melon, mint & lime smoothie

a refreshing taste to wake your tastebuds in the morning

3 tbsp Greek yogurt

half cantaloupe melon

half lime, juice only

about 10 leaves fresh mint

Simply throw all of your ingredients into your blender and whizz until you get to the desired consistency. If you like a thicker smoothie, add half a banana.