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.

Chocoholic’s team building!

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: ,


Looking for some relaxation at the end of a busy year, the team from South Coast Sports came to enjoy some Chocolatey recipes using plenty of Montezuma’s chocolate. The blend of team work & chocolate seemed to go down a treat!

Great to cook with you all & I hope you enjoyed your creations at home!

Here are a few words from South Coast Sports after the event-

“Just wanted to send a quick Thank You for yesterday’s workshop. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we had lots of fun.”


Did anyone spot Question Time visited Portsmouth recently? Hosted by the Portsmouth High School, we were delighted to get involved in providing catering for this event.

Including teas, coffee and homemade cookies for the audience of 150, canapés in the green room and high tea for the crew, the day was long but incredibly interesting to see how the behind the scenes activity comes together to create this popular show.

If you have an upcoming event you need help catering with, do get in touch.

We couldn’t resist a cheeky photo on the panel!

Well we’ve had a very exciting event at the Cookery school this week with Kenwood visiting us for the day to hold a team building event. We were set up in the morning for the more serious (but fun!) side of the event with the team working on learning and developing themselves as a team.

After a curry lunch (cooked on the BBQ, of course!) we got down to putting the theory into practice with a challenge to create a croquembouche. As you can see from the photos, the creations were nothing short of fantastic!

If you are interested in a team building event, do get in touch or read more about our events here.

Why not show the one you love just how much you love them with the gift of cooking? Whether you choose to come for a couples cookery evening or sign them up for a class they will love, there’s something for everyone. 

Here are a few ideas for you-

Chocoholic’s Choice – our date in February is sold out, but we’ll be running the class again on Sept … 

Love baking – try a bread class (Baguettes and Beyond) or cake bakings (Quirky Cakes & Chewy Cookies, Traybakes or Saints and Sinners Cake Baking)

Beer Baking – great fun for any beer lovers out there! We’ll be making beer dough for our pizzas & beer brownies amongst many treats for you. All using the amazing Emsworth Brewhouse beers.

BBQ marinades and sides

Thai Mini Break

Do get in touch if you need some more inspiration this Valentine’s – we’re here to help!

Have you got any New Year’s Resolutions? It’s not too late to start some, here’s ours if you need some inspiration…

Cook 3 new recipes every week – did you get any new cook books for Christmas? I’ll be getting busy with Jamie Oliver’s Super Food Family Classics and Lily Simpson’s Detox Bible. On the naughtier side of things Miranda Gore Brown’s Bake Me a Cake As Fast As You Can is hard to beat when you are looking for a treat.
Involve my boys in the kitchen for 2 meals a week – it’s all too easy to throw meals together quickly and put it in front of them, but over Christmas they’ve been more involved which really does make them more incline to try it! Sam has become a dab-hand at tomato and mozzarella salads!
Make more pasta – it really doesn’t take that long once you’ve got the hang of it and it does taste such a lot better. Never made pasta? Join us for our Pasta Masterclass!
Prepare meals and snacks in advance – I’ve learnt that being in a rush and throwing meals together leads to me choosing the less healthy option. Planning means that we should all enjoy a better diet in 2017!

Whatever your New Year’s Resolutions, I hope you all have a healthy & happy New Year,

Best wishes,

Barbara, Emsworth Cookery School

[soliloquy id=”4925″]

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!



#GBBO Batter week!

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: , , ,


img_6357Today I’m off to BBC Radio Solent to have a chat about the Great British Bake Off. We’ll be talking all things batter and I’m taking along some Churros with Montezuma’s chocolate dip. I can’t wait to hear what they think of them!

Here’s the recipe if you fancy making your own batch this weekend –

Ingredients, for the batter

250g 00 flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch sea salt

350ml boiling water

50g unsalted butter

Ingredients, for the chocolate sauce

100ml double cream

50g dark chocolate (I used Montezuma’s yummy Dark Chocolate with Geranium – amazing!)

Plus sugar to dust the churros


  1. Weigh out the flour in a large bowl. Add the baking powder and salt, stir through.
  2. Pour the boiling water into a measuring jug and add the butter. Stir to melt the butter.
  3. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and stir to create a thick batter. Leave to rest while you make the chocolate sauce.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the double cream. Remove from the heat and break the chocolate into the hot cream. Stir to create a think sauce.
  5. Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. Fit a star nozzle into a piping bag. Fill with about half of the batter (don’t over load, as the bag will explode!).
  6. Hold the bag over the fryer and squeeze a length of batter out, allow to drop into the fat (or cut with scissors if it does not break off). Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden.
  7. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towel to drain off the oil and then transfer to a second bowl, sprinkle over sugar.
  8. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve as soon as possible.

Chop, dice and slice like a pro!

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: There is no tags


One of the centre pieces in the kitchen here at Emsworth Cookery School is our 20 piece Flint and Flame knife set. This set, plus a few extras, are the knives which everyone cooking here gets the opportunity to test out as they work on their dishes during our classes.

Lots of questions are always asked about how to get the most out of knives so I’ve put together a new class especially for the Emsworth British Food Fortnight covering dicing and slicing, mincing herbs, skinning tomatoes and portioning a chicken.

If you fancy joining us, book your spot here.

Plus, not only will you try the knives here, but you will go home with a 3.5″ paring knife – learn more about that Flint and Flame have to say about this beauty here!

If you have any queries about this class, do email me. Otherwise, click here to book!

PS the knife you go home with is worth more than the cost of the class, plus you’ll know how to use it and have a yummy lunch – it’s a win-win-win!

School cookery

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: , ,


[soliloquy id=”4777″]Yesterday I was asked what one thing I would change if I was suddenly put in charge of the UK’s food policy. It didn’t take me long to think of an answer – I’d get everyone cooking in schools. It’s a bit of a generalisation, but many parents today can’t cook so in turn their children don’t learn to cook from them and the school syllabus is seriously limited when it comes to this essential lifeskill which has the potential to make real change to our everyday lives.

Cookery should be fun and give people the opportunity to get creative while nourishing themselves, family and friends. There are some dishes which can easily be tweaked to make other meals, so for example, our Duke of Edinburgh Award and University survival classes often start with lasagna. From this the cooks can then see how easy it is to adapt the tomato sauce into spaghetti bolognese or a chilli and the white sauce can be tweaked to macaroni cheese or a herby sauce for fish or chicken.

Working with local schools for the last 5 years I have delivered a wide variety of After school cookery lessons covering simple dishes such as stir-fries and fruit crumbles through to homemade pasta, sushi and Thai curries. These young cooks soon see how easy it is to create delicious dishes from simple ingredients- it might not look perfect at the end but it always tastes fabulous!

There’s only one of me and while I love working with schools, I’ve come to realise that the best way to use my time is to train the staff at schools so they can deliver even better lessons to the children they teach. Many already cook a little with the children, but need inspiration to build on this. I’ve just completed 3 training sessions with the Teaching Assistants at Waterloo School and from September the 10 recipes will be delivered to their children. The 10 recipes cover 5 savoury and 5 sweet dishes including shepherds’ pie, stir-fry with spicy rice, chicken pie, toad-in-the-hole, traybakes and strawberry tiramisu. Do get in touch if I can be of assistance in your school!

So if you have keen cooks at home, here are my top five of the dishes you should be able to cook by the end of Senior school & some recipe ideals-

  1. Spaghetti bolognese – click here for a bolognese to impress.
  2. Eggs cooked at least 5 ways – can they boil, scramble, make an omelette, poach and fry an egg? Poaching can be the one that catches people out – try putting clingfilm loosely over a cup, grease it and then drop an egg in. Seal tightly then drop into boiling water. Keep an eye onto it and remove from the clingfilm once the egg white has set.
  3. Vegetable pasta bake – I’ll never forget one of my 6th formers asking me how to cook pasta – they had no idea you boil it in water – they thought it was cooked in oil! Make a simple sauce from a fried onion, tin of tomatoes and any vegetables you have to hand. Stir through cooked pasta, grate over some cheese and pop under the grill.
  4. Homemade pizza – homemade dough and a few toppings cost a fraction of a takeaway price so master this recipe and you’ll always impress your friends – Jamie Oliver’s version here makes lots – you might want to halve this recipe!
  5. Ice-cream – did you know you can make homemade ice-cream without an ice-cream maker? Whisk 300ml double cream to soft peaks, stir in 150ml condensed milk and your choice of flavourings – try melted chocolate or raspberries!