LONDON AND SURROUNDS
La Cucina Caldesi
Take an Italian class at La Cucina Caldesi, the husband-and-wife-run school in the heart of London. Taught by celebrity chefs, cooks, food writers and wine experts, the extensive range includes half day, one day and ongoing weekly courses, such as the seven-week Complete Italian Cookery Course. Alternatively, you could try one of the evening classes such as Italian Street Food, £40. For kids there’s Italian Mama’s Cookery Club with classes for 6-12 year olds and 13-17 year olds. If you’re still finding it hard to find a class to suit Caldesi also offers tailor-made courses for your specific needs.
Leiths School of Food and Wine
Renowned West London-based Leiths School of Food and Wine offers a range of specialist Italian classes for enthusiasts including Pizza Making with the Pizza Pilgrims brothers, Recipes from Rome with Eleanora Galasso and Venetian Carnival Feast.
The Divertimenti Cookery School offers a range of Italian classes for novice and experienced cooks in two different locations – one in London and the other in Cornwall. The London branch of Divertimenti runs an array of morning and afternoon courses including Pasta Fresca and a class focused on the cuisine of Florence led by Emiko Davies, writer of Florentine. Prices range from £65-£115 for 3-4 hours. Classes can have up to 32 people or smaller groups of up to 12 for hands-on lessons.
Enrica Rocca Cookery School
Italian-born Enrica Rocca has cookery schools in both London and Venice. Learning about how to get the best out of London produce, Enrica aims to help you find the right ingredients to cook great Italian food. The one day cooking classes (between £120 – £150) starting in Portobello Market run on Fridays and Saturdays and the Thursday evening classes (between £110 – £140) are a more relaxed affair. The days begin at the market, spending the morning learning about ingredients and what to buy, before returning to Enrica’s kitchen in West London for an afternoon of tuition and cooking. In Venice, the school runs half day and one day classes that start at €120.
Seasoned Cookery School
Sara Danesin, finalist of Masterchef 2011 is teaching inspirational Italian courses with Seasoned Cookery School in Derbyshire. Sara is passionate about sharing her Italian heritage and her half day to full day courses (between £75 – £165) will inspire you to cook Masterchef standard food at home. Set in a beautiful corner of Derbyshire why not stay over and explore the Peak District at the same time.
In the heart of Sussex, Ashdown Manna Cookery School specialises in one-day hands-on themed courses, using fresh seasonal local produce and organic ingredients wherever possible. There are a range of Italian courses including Artisan Pizza (£55) and full day course which covers the classics (£125) and ends with a three course meal, including wine. The maximum group size is eight and courses are designed for all abilities. The school is at Cumnor House in a converted dairy building set in 62 acres of beautiful countryside on the edge of Ashdown Forest, making this a relaxing day out.
Lucy Cooks Cookery School in the Lake District has Italian courses running throughout the year. There are two day-long courses that you can choose from, Simple Good Italian or A Taste of Italy (both £145) which cover classic Italian recipes, pasta making and basic knife skills. You will be given a tour of the school, drinks, demonstrations and dinner in the Aga kitchen.
Casa Mia Cookery and Wine Classes
Casa Mia run three Italian restaurants and shops in Leeds. One of them, Casa Mia Grande, turns into a cookery school on Sundays where a series of Masterclasses take place throughout the year. All classes, (£47.95) which last between 2-3 hours, cover the skills needed to preapre a 3-course meal and end with an informal dinner of the delights you have just made.
Set in a beautiful converted 18th century coach house on the outskirts of the city, the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine runs a one day Italian Cookery course (£80) which consists of short demonstrations, practical cookery sessions, discussions and tastings and ends with a three-meal. Their Italian Food and Wine evening (£55) offers a five course Italian menu accompanied by Italian wines carefully selected to match each dish and an experienced wine connoisseur on hand to guide you through the tasting.
Celebrity chef, restaurant owner and entrepreneur Nick Nairn set up his cookery school in 2000. Set on the shore of the Lake of Menteith in the Trossachs National Park, the converted old piggery has a Classic Italian course (£145) led by resident chef John Webber. The Aberdeen branch of the school hosts the same class and also offers a 3-hour Master Pasta class (£79). The menu includes gnocchi piedmontaise with rocket and walnut pesto, ricotta and Parma ham cannelloni and clotted cream panacotta with lemon caramel and orange biscotti.