. . . cookery courses designed to be fun, informative and inspiring
Situated in a Victorian manse within two acres of gardens in the heart of Fife, Courses for Cooks offers hands on, one day and half day cookery courses and demonstrations for enthusiastic cooks of all abilities.
Courses for Cooks is owned and run by Jenny Thomson. A cook and chef for over 20 years, Jenny trained at the renowned Leiths School of Food and Wine, London. She practiced her art working as a private cook in Scotland, France, Canada and The United States, coming back to Scotland to work as a chef in St Andrews.
After marrying into the Thomson family, she took over the running of The Butterchurn, a small farm shop and milk bar in West Fife. In partnership with her husband, Jenny transformed the business over the next 15 years from a small seasonal business to a year round destination restaurant serving fresh home cooked food and home baking with a food and craft centre dedicated to promoting Scottish food and craft products.
Jenny is passionate about good, seasonal home cooking produced with the minimum of fuss and maximum flavour using the fresh bountiful produce of Scotland.
Cookery courses are held in her own kitchen and are limited to four people, giving more opportunity for plenty one to one attention. Demonstrations cater for a maximum of ten people and include lunch. A down to earth, practical approach ensures students have the skills to cook with confidence.
All of the cookery courses are designed to be fun, informative and inspiring. Whether you are a complete beginner or competent cook, male or female. Cookery courses are held in Jenny's kitchen over either a half or full day for a minimum of two and a maximum of four people at any one time, giving plenty of opportunity for one on one attention.
Full day courses typically start at 9.30am for a cup of coffee and a chat and end at around 4.00pm. With a mixture of demonstrations and practical cooking, there are plenty of breaks for tasting and a light lunch. You will usually cook a three course meal with accompaniments so there is plenty to take home to share with friends and family.
Half day courses usually start at 10.00am with coffee and finish around 2.00pm. The day is a mixture of demonstrations and hands on practical cooking with a chance to sit down and eat what you have produced for lunch.
All ingredients, utensils, aprons and recipe sheets are provided. Gift certificates can also be purchased.
Courses can be tailor made to specific days and requirements if necessary, please contact Jenny to make arrangements.
Foundations Series - Bread
Bread – the staple food for centuries, the stuff of life. Bread comes in many dough different guises, from flat bread to tortilla, bloomer to brioche and chapati to ciabatta. A lot of people find it is far easier to eat good bread than to make it and on this Foundations Bread course, we dispel some of the myths in order that you too can make fantastic bread.
On this full day course we look at different flours, yeasts and raising agents, methods of breadproving, shaping and cooking but most of all celebrating the love of making great bread.
You will make:
Hot Cross Buns
1/2 Day Knife Skills
A half day course dedicated to knife skills - topics covered include different kinds of knife for different jobs, how to hold and use the various knives and how to chop and slice items safely. In order to put into practice the skills we have covered, will be making:
Thai Style Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Stuffed Breast of Chicken with Leek Sauce
French Apple Tart
The Perfect Pie
A day dedicated to pies - we will be making some of our own pastries as well as pie fillings. From hot water crust raised pie to shortcrust pasties, puff pastry pithivier to crisp filo pie. Recipes include:
Hand Raised Pork Pie
Greek Courgette Pie
Chocolate and Hazelnut Pithivier
Foundations Series - Baking
The Foundations series is suitable for complete novices and those who are fairly competent but feel they have a skills gap. Skills covered include scones, biscuits, sponge cake, icing skills, shortcrust pastry, souffle skills and working with yeast. Recipes include:
Scones of your choice
Citrus Fork Biscuits
All in One Sponge
Leek Souffle Tart
1/2 Day Taste of France
A half day dedicated to some great French dishes.
Rillettes au Saumon
Pork Escalope a la Normande
Tart au Pommes
Tired of boring sandwiches and bags of crisps? I have some great high class, low effort picnic ideas for you. as well as some delicious fizzy pop, examples are:
Leek and Goats Cheese Fritatta
Carrot and Chervil Fritters
Individual Raspberry Cheesecakes
1/2 Day Bread
A half day course dedicated to making a loaf of bread. We will go through the principles of bread making, a selection of flours and how to use different forms of yeast. As well as a wholemeal loaf, you can choose to make your own type of bread, we will also make some of the dough into rolls.
Foundations Series - Pastry & Eggs
The Foundations series is suitable for complete novices and those who are fairly competent but feel they have a skills gap. Skills covered include sweet and savoury shortcrust pastry, choux pastry, custards, hollandaise sauce, meringue, poached egg and caramel.
Smoked Haddock Souffleed Tart
Lemon Meringue Pie
Savoury Choux Puffs
1/2 Day Summer Italian
Using as many seasonal summer ingredients as possible, this half day course captures the taste of Italy.
You will be making:
Seasonal minestrone soup
Tortellini with summer hers, ricotta and Parmesan cheese
Foundations Series - Fish
The Foundations Series is suitable for complete novices and those who are fairly competent but feel they have a skills gap. We will be looking at different types of fish and shellfish, how to bone and cook them and how to make a fish stock.
Depending what fish is available on the day, recipes may include:
Demo and Dine is an alternative lunch time dining experience for groups of up to ten people. The day starts at 10.00am with coffee and a homemade bite to eat, followed by the demonstration and then lunch, dining on what has been demonstrated. The day will finish at 2pm in time to collect the children from school - or go back to work! Gift certificates can also be purchased.
Demo and dine days can be tailor made to specific days and requirements if necessary - for example a birthday celebration, office party or just a group of friends on a day out. Please contact Jenny to make arrangements.