WHETHER it’s taking the stress out of creating a culinary Christmas, finding a way to keep the kids amused while doing last-minute Christmas shopping, or even a quick and easy gift idea, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School has the answer.
A range of courses with a focus on festive – from Christmas canapé demonstrations to Easy Entertaining – are designed to give everyone the skills they need to be the host with the most and enjoy the party season.
Ideally situated in Edinburgh city centre, the school is in a perfect location to combine Christmas shopping with learning new skills, or to bring friends and colleagues together to celebrate the season with an alternative party.
Fiona Burrell, principal of the school, said: “Throughout 2015, our Curries of the World courses have edged into the lead over our popular baking courses, but we have included one in December, because what better way to ring the changes from festive food!
“Christmas can be a stressful time, but our programme has been themed to appeal to beginners and seasoned cooks alike.
“They are designed to inspire, motivate and instil confidence to make sure that it’s not just the guests that enjoy the party atmosphere; the hosts can join in too knowing that the kitchen is under control.”
In addition to these Christmas themed courses, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School also offers gift-vouchers.
The gift voucher start from £25 and the recipient can choose a course they would like to attend.
Alternatively, instead of buying a gift voucher they can be booked directly onto a course that the gift giver decides upon.
With almost 100 cookery courses planned throughout 2016, there are plenty of ideas for those hard-to-buy foodies in your life. The school also stocks a small selection of kitchen items, aprons, tea towels and books.
Festive courses this December include:
Carving demonstration and dinner. Thursday 3 December, 6.30pm – 9.30pm
This evening course with dinner is for anyone who has find the prospect of carving a joint of meat daunting. Participants will enjoy a glass of wine while learning about keeping knives sharp and watching various joints of meat being carved, with an opportunity to have a go themselves.
Afterwards, a sociable two-course buffet dinner, including the carved meats, is served with more wine and followed by dessert and coffee.
Christmas baking. Saturday 6 December and Thursday 10 December 9.45am – 4pm
Recipes will include chocolate fruit Christmas cake; stollen; mince pies; cinnamon shortbread stars; and pear, pecan and cranberry muffins. The course includes lunch in the school’s beautiful dining room and there will be plenty of baking treats for you to take home with you.
Three-day essentials. 9 – 11 December, 9.45am – 4pm
This three-day course, intended for novices, will teach the basic cookery skills which are essential for every cook to know and particularly relevant in the run up to Christmas.
Each day, students cook a variety of dishes some of which they will eat for lunch and the rest they can take home. As the days progress everyone’s confidence increases and by the third day they will leave with new recipes and new skills.
Techniques covered will include: knife skills; browning meat; pastry making; cooking with eggs; cake making; bread making; roasting; fish cookery; and cooking vegetables.
Festive fizz. Thursday 10 December, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Come and join us for a wine tasting of all that is frothy and frivolous, and learn of the many ingenious ways man has sought to put bubbles in wine.
By comparing Proseccos, Champagnes, Cavas and New World sparklers you will discover the fizz for you. This will be a fun and sociable evening and would be a perfect early Christmas present.
Christmas easy entertaining. Saturday 12 and Saturday 20 December, 9.45am – 2pm
Learn to cook new dishes at a Saturday practical cookery class in Edinburgh New Town Cookery School’s stunning kitchens. These cookery courses are designed to inspire participants with new ideas for dinner party dishes – just in time for the festive season.
The day starts with coffee or tea and a short demonstration and introduction to the day’s recipes, which are Twice Baked Smoked Salmon Souffle, Pan Fried Duck Breast with Lime and Ginger Sauce and Orange Posset with Chocolate Shortbread. Everyone cooks three courses before enjoying the meal, sitting round the kitchen table with a glass of wine. School’s out at approximately 2-2.30pm – leaving plenty of time for Christmas shopping as well.
Christmas canape demonstration. Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December, 10.30am – 12.30pm
The morning starts with coffee and shortbread before a two-hour demonstration showing how to create several festive savoury and sweet canapes. Participants will enjoy a tasting of the finished results with a glass of prosecco at the end.
Childrens Christmas baking half-days. Monday 21 December 9.30am – 12 noon or 1.30pm – 4 pm; and Wednesday 23 December, 9.30am – 12 noon
For children who love baking, and for parents who want to amuse their children during the holidays with something a little different these December half-day courses are the perfect antidote to winter holiday boredom as children learn how to make delicious cakes and biscuits which they can pack up and take home.
They may turn out to be the perfect Christmas Present for Granny! Suitable for children aged 9 – 13 years old who will learn to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon Curd Cake and Banana and Toffee Muffins.
Children’s one-day course. Monday 22 December, 10.30am – 3pm
During the Christmas holidays why not send your child for an one-day cooking course at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.
Designed for ages 9 – 12 , children will be taught cooking skills using the best seasonal ingredients, cooking dishes that they can easily recreate at home. They will be taught, and encouraged, to clear up and wash up as they go – something that every parent will appreciate!
They will cook a simple lunch and they will take some of their cooked treats home.
Full details of the Christmas courses, and a flavour of the 2016 programme, are available on the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School website – http://www.entcs.co.uk/calendar
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