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Excellence in cookery skills & training


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G&G Goodfellows supplies Britain’s best restaurants with tableware, crockery, glassware, kitchen equipment and cutlery to help the hottest chefs achieve their dream restaurant look – everything from classic and elegant to fun and playful.

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Welcome The Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA) was founded in 2014 to promote ‘Excellence in Cookery Skills & Training’. ICSA and its member Schools collectively promote and aspire to five key standards:


Single Use Plastic-free


Sourcing Regionally

Supporting British Producers & Suppliers: Championing Animal Welfare & Responsible Farming

More information: @ICSAschools


Published in the UK by ‘GREATEST BRITISH PUBLISHING’ Member of Gourmet Lifestyle LTD. Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or changes since going to press, or for consequential loss arising from such inaccuracies or changes, or for any other loss direct or consequential arising in connection with information contained within this publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Contents Introduction to ICSA Stella West-Harling MBE

Sustainability Chef Tips: Use & maintain your knives Robert Welch



All rights reserved © Gourmet Lifestyle LTD 2018/19 Published in conjunction with Not-for-Profit Independent Cookery School Association

Sourcing Regionally

Creation, images and photography by ‘GREATEST BRITISH PUBLISHING’ & Gourmet Lifestyle LTD unless otherwise stated. All other credits with kind permission. All information correct at the time of going to press. Editorial Team: Kate Baily & Eluned Watson Director: James Day Design: Phil ‘The Don’ Donnelly Accounts: Peter Ainsworth For updated information on all content including live social media feeds visit Printed in partnership with Anglia Press: Printed with chemical free inks. Certified by The Carbon Neutral Company.

The best cookbooks at your fingertips CKBK

Single-Use Plastic Revolution? Cutting plastic pollution from our kitchens

Good for you – Good for the planet Bee Green Wraps & Go

Supporting British Produces & Suppliers: Championing Animal Welfare & Responsible Farming by James Day

"ICSA" Accredited Cookery School Directory GREATEST BRITISH Gourmet Gifts & Treats

Winners of The Queens Award for Enterprise – Sustainable Development 2016. Zero landfill.

Thank you to our our members, supporters & partners



Bringing some of the UK’s best chefs and cookery schools together to create an inspiring day for talented amateur cooks. With unique interactive dining experiences included and professional grade equipment to purchase, this is an essential date for those who love to cook. Daily admission is strictly limited and bookable in advance at Exclusive 15% member discount: Ref “ICSA15” In Association With:

Introduction to ICSA by Joint Founder StellaWest-Harling MBE

The need for a regulatory body for British cookery schools goes back a few years before the birth of The Independent Cookery Schools Association. The idea began simply as a conversation between Scottish chef Nick Nairn and the renowned Raymond Blanc OBE nearly a decade ago. A couple of years later, Nick was interviewed by Delicious Magazine and met visionary owner of the publication, Seamus Geoghegan. Another casual conversation led Seamus to contact me to ask if I would be the driving force to get the Independent Cookery Schools Association off the ground. The rest, as they say, is history.


Over the next two years, Nick and I travelled between London and Scotland to brainstorm to get the ideas into a workable format. I worked with academics at the University of Exeter to write functional criteria to assess and accredit schools. The next step was to build a management board of highly-regarded heads of successful UK cookery schools. These experienced schools would decide how the self-regulating body could encompass best practice and encourage other independent cookery schools to join the establishments who had been invited to be founder members. Since then, we have continued growing, spreading the word, supporting members, connecting with other organisations with whom we share values of sustainability and provenance. As food educators, we see our role as helping shape the culinary landscape of Britain by training excellent, responsible chefs and informed food enthusiasts who will source their produce with care and embrace our ICSA sustainability ethos. As ICSA enters its fifth year, we are focusing this year on five core values in a five-year plan, in addition to our mission statement of excellence in cookery skills

“As food educators, we see our role as helping shape the culinary landscape of Britain by training excellent, responsible chefs and informed food enthusiasts who will source their food with care, love their food, delight in sharing their food with their family and buy wisely for a healthy body and a healthy planet” © David Griffen

and training. These are that all ICSA schools aim to be sustainable, seasonal, source regionally where possible and aim to become single-use-plastic-free whilst supporting British producers, all by 2020. It is a real pleasure to see just how many schools have survived and prospered even in difficult times, with innovative new schools joining every year. As well as a body of assessment we are an association, a community. There is great strength in the support we offer each other, from staying abreast of new legislation, to insurance, to new

trends. We all recognise that there are a myriad of reasons why one school is chosen by a student above others in the group. Therefore we believe that we are a non-competitive ‘group of indivuduals’ all looking out for each other and freely sharing best practice, ideas and information. There are huge challenges facing us as Brexit looms. However, ICSA as an association continues to grow in reputation. We are proud to say, that our logo – the seal of assessed cookery schools in the UK – can be seen on the literature and home pages of an

increasing number of cookery schools’ websites. Customers who are looking to spend their money wisely can look to that quality seal as an assurance in the excellence of cookery skills and training, confident in the knowledge that they are investing in a cookery course which will stand then in good stead for the future.

Stella West-Harling MBE Joint founder and associate President

Sustainability Sustainability is a multi-layered opportunity for meaningful change. It can be personal, local, national, multi-national and global, says Stella West-Harling MBE, president of Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA).

For ICSA cookery school members, signing up for membership means sharing these core values. “Our core values are a base from which to grow. The climate change lobby tell us that we have just 20 years to change our habits and live sustainably – or see the consequences of global warming destroy our planet,” says Stella. She believes passionately in the power of individuals to drive change. “Our personal responsibility may extend to shopping and living sustainably. We can see the power of customer demand changing the way we live in simple things such as the reduction of plastic bags and packaging. Wonky vegetables instead of being thrown away, are being sold cheaply at supermarkets and a nationwide collection of waste food, still fresh, given away to feed the homeless or passed on to food banks,” she says. ICSA and their associates at the Sustainable Restaurant Association have been leading the way in teaching GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE

by example that a sustainable food culture is an essential ingredient in the hospitality and catering industry. By showing students how to use core values of sustainability they pass on these values directly to tens of thousands of cooks – and they, in turn, will spread the message. Sustainability is for life. ICSA cook school Leith’s School of Food and Wine is developing increasingly sustainable practices in all areas of its business. The West London

school has taken a range of steps to ensure food waste is minimised. First of all, the buyer at the school is careful to buy the correct quantities. The school runs more than 400 courses and classes each year alongside its famous Diploma in Food and Wine, so careful buying makes a huge difference. When class numbers change at the last minute, the school’s buyer, is often able to speak to suppliers and adjust quantities to prevent food wastage. Where there is unavoidable waste, a three-tier system operates at many member schools: First of all, any food that can be turned into meals for the most vulnerable in society is sent to delivery charity City Harvest. This includes any appropriate food created by students which they donate to City Harvest as well as any excess ingredients. Next, usable leftovers are ‘recycled’ into staff lunches – which can be quite an eclectic mixture. Finally, the perishable waste that is left (along with the contents of the compost bins kept in every kitchen) are picked up by a specialist company who turn waste food into biofuel. Beyond waste reduction, the school focuses on equipping both professional and amateur students with the skills they need to eat sustainably. Leiths, under the guidance of Managing Director Camilla

Schneideman, has diversified its course programme dramatically over the past ten years. Leiths now run a range of eight different vegan and vegetarian classes, which offer customers a speedy way to reduce their carbon footprint. But fundamentally, it’s about making the most out of every single ingredient. Jenny Stringer, principal of the school, says: “We teach all our students how to make the most of all their ingredients. We teach fundamental skills such as butchery and stock making, which allows students to use as much of the animal as possible. Nose-to-tail eating is very fashionable, but it makes sense in environmental and financial terms too. “We encourage all our staff and students to be really creative with their ingredients, which can also help to minimise the impact on the environment. For example, our teachers recently shared a recipe for a pesto made with carrot tops, which are usually thrown away. It was completely delicious.” So, by supporting an ICSA school, students are in turn supporting sustainable causes and not only cutting down on waste, but learning how to apply and even teach the next generations on the importance of sustainability in our kitchens.

We encourage all our staff and students to be really creative with their ingredients, which can also help to minimise the impact on the environment.

© Guy Harrop

Top Tips: use and maintain your knives with Robert Welch When the team at Robert Welch first considered designing a knife range, it was important to them that the knives were the best that they could possibly be. The design process for the knife range started with rigorous questioning about function, manufacture, durability and ease of use.

This meticulous process enabled the design team to decide how they would create a range of beautiful, functional and timeless products. The knife range was developed alongside professional chefs, who rigorously tried and tested a selection of knives produced using different types of steel, and with a variation of different edges, until the right combination of steel and edge was found. After three years, the Signature Knife Collection was perfected, featuring ‘World Edge Geometry’, a combination of fully forged German stainless steel with a hand-applied 15° Japanese-style edge, for superior sharpness. Signature knives are now used by both professional and amateur chefs alike. GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE


Paul deBretton Gordon, Head Designer at Robert Welch, was an integral part of this design process. Paul shares some of the knowledge he picked up along the way in these top tips for using and maintaining your knives: I

Consider the surface that you use the knife on. Always use knives on a pliable surface, such as a wood or acrylic chopping board. Hard surfaces, such as glass, marble or granite can damage the blades, whereas softer materials like wood and acrylic are far less damaging.


Ditch the dishwasher. Most manufacturers claim that their knives are dishwasher safe, and they are. However, if knives are washed by hand, using warm soapy water, and then dried individually, they will stay sharper for longer. Washing knives by hand like this minimises the damage to the blade.

III Keep them sharp. When it comes

to sharpening, it really is up to the individual. Robert Welch have developed a hand-held sharpener which is easy to use, but some people prefer a traditional steel. Whatever your preferred method, knives should be honed and sharpened regularly to keep their cutting edge. With careful sharpening, knives can be maintained indefinitely.

IV Choose the right blade. Different

types of blade have been developed over time for specific uses. A different food type can require a different blade design; it’s important to have the right knife for the task. For example, the scallops along the blade of the Santoku knife are designed to prevent thin slices from sticking to the blade; ideal for sushi and precision cutting. However, if you were chopping herbs, the curved blade of the Cook’s knife is best as it lends itself to a rocking motion, ideal for fast and efficient cutting, which prevents the herbs from being crushed. Preparation is much easier and safer if the right tools are used for the right job.

IV Store your knives correctly.

There are different ways to store knives; chefs will use a roll or case to transport their blades, but at home people tend to use a knife block, magnetic rack or drawer. If you’re keeping knives in a drawer then invest in some sheathes to cover the blades. This will protect the blade from clashing with other tools in the drawer but will also protect your hand from cuts if you reach in without looking!

For more information about the Signature Knife Collection and Robert Welch, go to:

 ICSA member schools focus on sourcing not only regionally where possible but also seasonally; ingredients are chosen to reflect the seasons, to ensure relevance. Buying seasonally is also far better value for money, as regional, seasonal ingredients are usually much cheaper for cookery students to buy and try at home or in their restaurants.

Cooking seasonally and working with the seasons seems like a lost art in these days of plastic wrapped, poly-tunnelled uniform fruit and veg, lining our 24-hour supermarket shelves. The availability of anything, whenever you want it on the one hand can seem a cook’s dream but remember the down side: a hefty price tag of air miles, mono-cropping, and diminished flavours and nutrients. ICSA member school ‘Demuths’ in Bath is run by one of the UK’s leading plant-based chefs Rachel Demuth, who owned award-winning Demuths Restaurant for 26 years. Demuths champions plant-based cooking, focusing on vegetarian and vegan food. Owner Rachel is a staunch supporter of cooking and eating seasonally. She says: “There are many aspects of seasonality to enjoy and, considering GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE

the wider issues of food miles and irradiation of food, it makes sense for so many environmental reasons today. “Eating fresh plant foods at the time of year they ripen where you live is best. Every month can be marked by a special seasonal vegetable or fruit. Some may have short seasons but all are worth waiting for.” Anyone who grows their own will already appreciate the marking of the seasons by when they prepare the soil, what and when they plant, and the anticipation of harvests and meals. It’s a natural cycle that Rachel delights in. She says: “For taste, freshness, and the thrill of harvesting your own crop, there is nothing better than digging the first of the new potatoes, rubbing off the earth and cooking them, all sweet and waxy. Or the first of the

broad beans, with the skins so soft that there is no need for double podding. Sharing a garden or allotment is a great way of sharing the workload and the vegetable gluts, not to mention meeting new people and have a ‘digital-detox’, amongst nature and the seasons.” For those not so keen on dirt and digging, farmers markets sell locally grown produce that will keep you grounded in the seasonal mood and get you cooking straight from the local fields. For those who don’t have time to shop the markets, there’s still no excuse: a weekly delivered veg box keeps you creative and gets you out of a rut of always cooking the same dishes. Rachel continues: “The supermarkets think we desire seasonal produce all year round by flying the harvest from the other side of the world. Crops grown

Winter Squash Hard skins mean winter squashes are not so easy to peel, so it’s easier to roast them with the skin on and then scoop out the soft flesh when cooked. Or simply cut into slices and roast with the skin on, as the roasted skin is surprisingly tender and delicious and high in vitamins and fibre. One exception is butternut squash, which does have a thin enough skin to peel with a sharp peeler.

by using glasshouses, poly-tunnels, even artificial lighting and temperature controls to mimic, but rarely matching, the plant’s natural requirements for normal growth and development. Such ‘out-of-season’ fruits rarely taste as good. “I’m sure it’s rare that a shopper craves strawberries and asparagus in mid-winter. If you’ve ever tasted a strawberry that has been flown thousands of miles, refrigerated, and probably picked before it is ripe, you’ll know it’s not worth it. Compare such strawberries with picking your own on a beautiful June day and eating it straight from the plant MORE INFORMATION:

Wild Mushrooms Wild mushrooms have more flavour, colour and texture than plain white cap mushrooms, but wild mushrooms must always be cooked, never eat them raw. I like cooking mushrooms in olive oil – the flavours work well together. Mushrooms also love heat and should sizzle when they cook to seal in the flavour and evaporate the moisture. Add seasoning at the end of cooking. Mushrooms generally release a lot of their moisture during cooking and then draw it back in, wait for the point when they become dry and beginning to crisp on the edges. Tomatoes Tomatoes are one of my most indispensable ingredients, which I use copiously all year round. In

the summer, when tomatoes are at their best, make them into chutney, or passata, which can be frozen to use in winter. Tomatoes are tasteless out of season so then I use tinned tomatoes, which have more flavour and natural sweetness as they were picked at their peak. It is best not to store tomatoes in the fridge – the chill dulls their flavour and changes the texture. Cauliflowers Forget about boiling and roast them instead. Roast cauliflower in the oven until the florets begin to char, or griddle for a robust finish which works very well as cauliflower ‘steaks’. Cauliflower is delicious raw and can be made into cauliflower rice using a food processor; I make it into a cauliflower tabbouleh with lots of fresh herbs, using the cauliflower instead of traditional bulgar wheat. Nibble on cauliflower stalks, rather than chuck them away, they have a crunchy apple taste and make novel crudités. TIP: Leaf them on! Buy vegetables with leaves, beetroot tops are usually removed, but the leaves cook up like a very tasty spinach; carrot tops make a great pesto.

© Mark Wood

Five seasonal cooking tips from Rachel Demuth:

Original Range Aprons

Risdon & Risdon at Brompton Cookery School

12 Slot Canvas, Suede & Leather Knife Roll

8 Slot Denim & Leather Knife Roll


Risdon & Risdon is a family business run by Carla Risdon and her two sons James and Alex. Based in the beautiful town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire they have taken that most basic work companion the apron and turned it into a high-end, cool, must-have item. Using the very best fabrics, metalware, leather and cork, there is also a strong emphasis on sustainability. The denim they use is Candiani Denim from 'the greenest denim mill in the world' just outside of Milan and the metalware is from a British foundry that holds a Royal Warrant - everything is built to last.

From starting out with the instantly unique Original apron in its beautiful colour range, with its gorgeous leather straps and its perfect range of sizes they are constantly developing new products. "We have just launched our Studio apron - a great crossback apron with a choice of leather or cork straps - available in 8 amazing colours...also in children's sizes too!". Alex is in charge of leather work and handmakes incredible leather aprons and knife rolls, each one with great attention to detail and finish. With businesses increasingly finding that wearing these aprons helps give their products and services extra prestige, it will be exciting to see what else this talented family will come up with next!

@ risdonandrisdon

Sourcing Regionally ICSA schools are committed to using the best ingredients and some ICSA cookery schools even grow their own food; it doesn’t come more local than that!

The wonderful renaissance in British food, helped along by TV chefs, pioneering restaurants, the organic food movements, cookery schools and increasing awareness of globalisation, has changed the country’s relationship with food in just a generation.

Cooks are more aware than ever of the importance of sourcing food locally and the provenance of the ingredients we use. Sourcing regionally not only affects the quality of the final dish, but is important for health, communities, animal welfare and the environment. Here, three ICSA schools from three very different regions: The Ashburton Cookery School (ACS) in Devon; Season – The Exclusive Cookery School in Hampshire; and Edinburgh New Town Cookery School (ENTCS) give us their views on the importance of sourcing locally. Dominic O’Nions from Ashburton Cookery School points out the negative

impact that supermarkets have on our relationship with food. He says: “Supermarkets offer incredible convenience and more choice than ever before, where food is always available, sourced globally and nothing is ever out of season. But this convenience comes at a cost. It has made our relationship with our food more distant, more opaque and less holistic. This impacts on the environment and the quality of our food.” Community and food often go hand in hand. Sylvain Gachot from Season Cookery School says buying local is important for your local community. He comments: “The farmers or local sellers will be able to help and guide you

ICSA’s top tips for sourcing regionally:

in the choice of the products and may even be able to give you tips or ideas on how to keep them, prepare them or even recommend a good recipe to try. They really care about the products and what you do with them when you arrive home.” Fiona Burrell of ENTCS says sourcing locally helps ensure quality. “Research is essential,” she says. “Farmers markets are a good place to start, as most suppliers are pre-vetted before they’re given a pitch. Producers at farmers markets also often offer product tasters and they’re always happy to talk with pride about how they produce what they’re selling. Ask a butcher where a piece of meat has come from and I often find a butcher can almost tell you the actual field where the animal lived. Food miles cut down on animal stress, and increase meat tenderness and flavour.” ICSA member school ‘Eckington Manor’ in Worcestershire, home of BBC Masterchef Processionals Winner 2015, Mark Stinchcombe, even breed their own Aberdeen Angus and Highland Cattle for their meat courses. So, once you have acquired a new level of culinary skills and recipes, what are your options for sourcing the best local ingredients to enhance your cooking at home? GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE


Set aside some time for research and planning. Try to locate all the potential sources of local ingredients such as farmers markets and farm shops within your local area. Thankfully the web is a great resource for this. Try,,


Look for local vegetable box or meat box schemes. These can be a great source of locally-produced food, either collected from community hubs or delivered weekly. The Soil Association has a list of organic veg box schemes in your area:


Join a CSA scheme – ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ is a partnership between farmers and consumers where you can build a direct relationship with the farmer and support them for a share of their crop. communitysupported


Check out your local specialist shops and local independent restaurants. Traditional butchers, bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers can be excellent places to find locally produced food, but often don’t do a great job of advertising the fact. Talk to them and find out who their suppliers are. Or visit your local restaurant and check out their menu, and see if they name check local suppliers.


Find a Pick Your Own Farm, and during the right season pick your own produce straight from the field.


The best cookbooks at your fingertips A brand new recipe business has married the best ingredients of traditional recipe books with smart phone technology to produce a service that is causing a stir in the kitchen. Cookery website and app ckbk gives cooks access to hundreds of classic cookbooks from the very English Mrs Beaton to Italian guru Marcella Hazan at the touch of screen. Whether you have an appetite for Mediterranean, bread, French, desserts, fish, healthy options or Great British eats, or have your heart set on a dish by a specific chef, you’ll find your ideal recipe is one of the 100,000 that is available instantly. ckbk has recently been launched and is already being describe as ‘Spotify for cookbooks’. ckbk’s London-based founder, Matt Cockerill isn’t going to argue. “The internet is overflowing with free recipes, but the material is sometimes chaotic and unreliable. Cookbooks offer trusted, authoritative recipes and a whole lot more – but until now they have been stuck on the shelf, increasingly neglected

because of the undeniable convenience of the internet search. With ckbk we offer the best of both worlds. For a monthly fee, users get unlimited digital access to the full content of an ever-expanding collection of cookbooks, and can even share

‘playlists’ of their favourite recipes.” When planning ckbk, Cockerill and his co-founder Jon Croft – a cookbook publisher whose bestselling authors have included Keith Floyd and Tom Kerridge – recognised that there were pivotal authors who should be at the heart of the service. As a starting point for ckbk, they quizzed hundreds of chefs and authors about their favourite cookbooks. The top 1000 cookbooks identified by this process then guided the selection of books for inclusion in ckbk. On the website, the works of authors from previous eras such as Eliza Acton, Mrs Beeton and Alexis Soyer can be explored via the same modern web interface as more recent classics from Paula Wolfert and Marcella Hazan, and contemporary works from authors including David Tanis and Naomi Duguid. Hundreds of the titles included have never previously been available in digital form. But what all of ckbk’s recipes have in common is that they are tried, tested and edited; taken from leading cookbooks created by professional food writers and chefs; offering you all the expertise of culinary library without taking up the shelf space.

Single-Use Plastic Revolution?

Cutting plastic pollution from our kitchens ICSA has long focused on sustainability as one of their core values, and this year made it a core mission for their accredited cookery schools to move to minimal or zero single plastic use by 2020.


Larina Marina/

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

2018 became known as the year people finally woke up to the problem with plastics. ‘The Blue Planet’ on the BBC narrated by David Attenborough, enlightened viewers on a mass scale demonstrating the shocking size of the disaster happening in our oceans, and the national press followed. The trailblazing ‘Cookery School’ at Little Portland Street in London is a leading light in this area. The school is long standing member of ICSA and a previous winner of ‘Sustainable Cookery School of the Year’ and expert in sustainability practices. Teaching staff share their knowledge and tips on how we can all make a difference. Rosalind Rathouse, founder of ‘Cookery School’ at Little Portland Street explains the devastation that plastic has caused. She says: “With jaw-dropping facts emerging almost daily, we now know that huge quantities of plastic – larger than a rubbish truck – are being dumped into our oceans every minute, with 730 tonnes of plastic waste being dumped into the Mediterranean every day! By 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, by weight. The irony is that the cost to clean up the sea is greater than the profits made by the plastic industry as a whole – what a dystopian economic landscape we’ve created.” Rosalind acknowledges that consumers are smart enough to know that there should be no new plastics produced, and she is hopeful of seeing an end to single-use plastics. “The recycling of plastic needs to be a closed loop, meaning that the life

“With jaw-dropping facts emerging almost daily, we now know that huge quantities of plastic – larger than a rubbish truck – are being dumped into our oceans every minute ...” cycle of a plastic product results in the reincarnation into another product,” she says. “It’s brilliant to see businesses like Delphis Eco creating the first 100% post-consumer recycled bottle meaning that the entirety of these bottles are from recycled plastics.” Other brands making a stand for sustainability include Harrogate Water – Britain’s oldest bottled water brand – who are using 100% recyclable glass and plastic bottles. Some leading chefs and restaurateurs have begun to boast their sustainable kitchens with tips such as ensuring they buy the lids for their storage boxes instead of relying on the ubiquitous clingfilm. This is a positive step that

Rosalind is delighted to see spreading across the UK, and is something that ‘Cookery School’ at Little Portland Street has been doing quietly for years, passing on knowledge and plastic-free tips to everyone who steps through the cookery school doors, and sharing their award winning ethos with other ICSA members to apply and pass on to their students. “You only need to peep inside our school fridges and freezers to see towers of Pyrex containers brimming with all sorts of additive-free ingredients,” says Rosalind, proudly. “When we make up our mind to change a bad habit, such as doing away with cling film, we use up the stock we have and then are left with a gaping hole. At that point our creativity takes over and we find sustainable solutions. For example, we love 100% recycled aluminum foil – there is no need to mine for the metal, so production creates less waste, while reusing a precious resource.” Sustainability is simply a way of life at ‘Cookery School’, and it could be applied in domestic kitchens across the nation with great collective impact’, continues Rosalind. “In our office and kitchen we use pencils and not pens; drink out of glass or reusable bottles; work only with suppliers who share our ethos; order produce in bottles and tins, where possible; send back any plastic containers that do make it over the threshold, for reuse; and do not provide any single-use plastic bags to students with left-over food to take home. They can bring and thus recycle their own!’

Top tips for living with minimal plastics: I



Start immediately – removing the plastics currently relied on will encourage creative and resourceful thinking.


Drink out of glasses or reusable/ recycled bottles.


Ditch the drinking straws or replace with paper or reusable versions.


Buy produce in bottles and tins, where possible, and return any of the plastic containers to suppliers that do make it over the threshold, for repurpose.


Don’t buy plastic-wrapped vegetables. Buy them loose then store in a cotton muslin or bag in the fridge.


Always carry around a reusable bag. ICSA members are all encouraged not to provide any single-use plastic bags to students to take home leftovers in.


Ditch the ‘Dish Brush’. Your humble plastic dish washing brush can take up to 1000 years to decompose after they arrive in landfill. Treat yourself to a sustainable Bamboo brush, and whilst you’re at it treat yourself to a bamboo tooth brush!

Cover bowls of food with plates instead of relying on cling film, or source new ‘bees-wax’ alternatives. Invest in various sizes of lidded Pyrex containers that can be used countless times to store food and cook in without relying on cling film.

CKBK:THE WORLD’S BEST COOKBOOKS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS • Unlimited digital access to hundreds of the world’s best cookbooks • Powerful search tools and cross-referencing • Classic and contemporary works from Eliza Acton to Anna del Conte • An invaluable resource for research, teaching and cooking • Individual subscriptions just £8.99/month • For group subscriptions and site licenses contact

20% DISCOUNT FOR ICSA MEMBERS/STUDENTS Visit and use claim code: ICSA20


Daniel Boulud recommends Paula Wolfert

Yotam Ottolenghi recommends MFK Fisher


Nigella Lawson recommends Peter Reinhart

Raymond Blanc recommends Auguste Escoffier

Deborah Madison recommends Patience Gray


Alternative to Cling Film: Good for you – Good for the planet ‘Bee Green Wraps’ were created out of a desire to provide an affordable alternative to plastic cling film, plastic zip-lock bags and tin foil.

Made from sustainable organic bees-wax, they are entirely biodegradable, reusable and chemical free. They look beautiful and smell great, too! 100% natural and reusable. Reuse for up to a year and compost when finished. Helping to create a plastic free environment. No need for plastic lunch boxes or clingfilm covered food. They are perfect for keeping ‘real food’ fresh Versatile, mouldable, strong and water resistant but best of all they are re-usable! Join the ‘zero single use plastics’ revolution. Visit our Gourmet Gifts shop at the rear of this guide or read more on line. Save 10% use ref “GBICSA10”:

Go-Reusable Inspired by the pressing need to reduce the world’s dependency on single-use cups. Every year around 500 billion disposable cups are made and discarded globally!

Help to replace single use plastic cups. See our LIMITED EDITION GREATEST BRITISH Mug in our Gourmet Gifts section. Don't be one, buy one!

GoReusable.Org sourced their stylish bamboo cups, due to the material’s sustainability. Bamboo is fast-growing, with no need for irrigation, pesticides or fertilisers, and it’s a rapidly renewable crop. The material is actually a bi-product of chopstick manufacturing, making it even more sustainable! • Biodegradable, taking two to three years to biodegrade when crushed and buried, as opposed to hundreds for some plastics. • Easy and practical to carry around, as well as being free of BPA and phthalates.

Varied Designs

Supporting British Producers & Suppliers: Championing Animal Welfare & Responsible Farming by James Day, Founder of The GREATEST BRITISH Company, & Director of Marketing for Not-for-Profit ICSA

During World Wars I and II, those who were not out fighting in the trenches or on the beaches, untethered the remaining work horses, picked up their hoes, and started to plough the land to grow produce for the troops abroad to keep them fed and maintain their nutrition as much as possible. Back then food miles went from this green and pleasant land to the Western Front. This focus on home-grown produce was born out of necessity, largely because our supplies from overseas were being bombed, depriving us of our bananas and sugary American chocolate. Once rationing had ended, we were eager to feast on overseas produce including citrus fruit and the humble banana – my mum still remembers her first in the 1950s. Our taste for exotic flavours continued with the introduction of kiwi fruit, mango, papaya and a host of weird and wonderful vegetables. More recently we’ve been enticed by ‘super-food’ goji berries, couscous, the asparagus from Kenya and Peru and a whole selection of exotic vegetables and meats to indulge our gourmet curiosities. GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE

So what about the humble British producer? Seemingly a rarity until the 1990s when we started to enjoy a flurry of celebrity chefs, and presenters ‘re-discovering’ British farmers via TV food tours of Britain by the likes of ‘Rick Stein’s Food Heroes’, and more recently The Hairy Bikers’ various tours of Britain’s regions. We are now beating the French hands-down with our British cheeses (producing more varieties in the UK than France do), and even our English sparkling wines are knocking the French and the rest of Europe off their bar stools! At the point of going to press we are due to leave Europe in the Spring. Now much that I love my European food, I am not certain how much the Europeans are

going to love us after we turn our backs on them. Indeed, if they do wish to seek out our culinary creations, how easy is it going to be for them to acquire our wonderful produce, or indeed us theirs, with potentially poorer exchange rates and increased tariffs? Home-produced is always best, for flavour, quality, nutrition, price and national pride. Britain can boast the highest standards of animal welfare in the world. We have the safest eggs in the world: 100% salmonella-free; with more than 50% of UK eggs being free-range; and some of the happiest chickens in Europe with more ‘living space’ allocated per farmed bird. We also boast a growing number of free-range, organic and ‘Freedom Food’ breeders; our beef and

Home-produced is always best. For flavour, quality, nutrition, price and national pride. Britain can boast the highest standards of animal welfare in the world. stocker1970/

lamb is amongst the best in the world; and our pork is mainly outdoor bred. As post-Brexit ‘free-trade’ deals are negotiated, we need to be wary of other, less welfare-focused countries keen to flood our market with less ethicallyproduced meats, more chemicallyinfused fruit and veg, and often inferior products. In the UK, many of our worldleading chefs are working together with British producers buying their

produce regionally and seasonally. ICSA accredited cookery schools are also passionate in educating the next generation of chefs and domestic cooks on the importance of also sourcing regionally and seasonally. Maybe British farming is going to under-go another ‘home-grown’ renaissance, following the Governments’ replacement of the controversial EU’s ‘Common Agricultural Policy’, with our very own home grown version.

Almost 100 years since the end of the ‘Great War’ we should now re-focus on Great British produce and turn 2019 into the year to support, consume and #EATBRITISH. James Day is founder of Celebrating, supporting and promoting Accredited GREATESTBRITISH Chefs, Cookery Schools & Producers.

“ICSA” Accredited Cookery School Locations 1

Edinburgh School of Food & Wine Edinburgh, Scotland /


Edinburgh New Town Cookery School (ENTCS) Edinburgh, Scotland /



Swinton Cookery School – The Swinton Estate Ripon, Yorkshire / Stedy Chefs Learning Centre

Liverpool /


Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Altrincham, Greater Manchester /


Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School

Wilmslow, Cheshire /


School of Artisan Food

Welbeck, Nottinghamshire /


Eckington Manor

Pershore, Worcestershire /


The Foodworks Cookery School

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire /



The Novelli Academy

Hertfordshire /

Brookes Restaurant Cookery & Wine School

Oxford, Oxfordshire /


The Raymond Blanc Cookery School

Great Milton, Oxford /

The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School Bath, Somerset / 13

14 Demuths

Bath, Somerset /


Vaughan’s Cookery School

Devizes, Wiltshire /


Leiths School of Food and Wine

Shepherd’s Bush, London /


The Cookery School at Little Portland Street Marylebone, London /


Billingsgate Seafood School

Billingsgate Market, London / 19

Tante Marie Culinary Academy Woking, Surrey /



SEASON – The Exclusive Cookery School

Winchester, Hampshire /

Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School

The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells / 22







Squires Kitchen International School

Farnham, Surrey /

Food of Course Cookery School

Sutton, Somerset /

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen by James Martin

New Milton, Hampshire /

WhitePepper Chef Academy

Poole, Dorset /

Ashburton Cookery School

Ashburton, Devon /

Ashburton Chefs Academy

Ashburton, Devon /

Padstow Seafood School

Padstow, Cornwall /

For a full updated list & interactive map visit GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE








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ICSA National Cookery School Directory Ashburton Cookery School

Ashburton Chefs Academy Established in 1992, the Ashburton Cookery School is one of the largest culinary schools in the South West offering over 40 cookery courses to home cooks of all skill levels from short skills classes to week long courses exploring a wide range of cuisines.

Courses are taught by experienced professional chefs from a dedicated training centre on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, using the best locally sourced ingredients. Students can also choose to stay at the cookery school’s own b&b accommodation for weekend and 5-day courses.

The Ashburton Chefs Academy offers vocational culinary training to aspiring chefs from around the world. Courses are full-time and intensive, designed to maximise the amount of hands-on cookery. All Academy courses incorporate internationally recognised culinary qualifications. Courses on offer include a 4-week foundation course for chefs as well as Diplomas in both the Culinary Arts and Patisserie, all with a residential option. Academy graduates leave with the skills and confidence needed to launch a successful culinary career as a modern chef.



Billingsgate Seafood School

Brookes Restaurant Cookery & Wine School

The Seafood School at World renowned Billingsgate seafood market is an important piece of British food education. It was established nearly 20 years ago and is a charity run by CJ Jackson. Based above the market, the school delivers a wide range of courses to the food industry and food lovers – the historic market is their 4th classroom and many courses include an escorted market visit. The school does important work, raising awareness of British sustainable fish and educating young people in various schools. BILLINGSGATE MARKET, LONDON


This cookery school is one of Oxford’s best kept secrets. Less than two miles from the centre of Oxford, Brookes Restaurant is part of the Oxford School of Hospitality. Alongside the chef qualifications, they also courses for groups, parties or team-building exercises and children’s classes. Local and seasonal produce is used wherever possible. Their restaurant has been designed to create a space that inspires a student’s learning and development, whilst working in a ‘real-life’ setting. OXFORD, OXFORDSHIRE

ICSA National Cookery School Directory Demuths

Eckington Manor

Rachel Demuth started teaching people to cook in response to queries from customers to her award-winning vegetarian restaurant. Demand for courses grew so she converted a Georgian building into a dedicated cookery school. Demuths runs classes and residential courses proving that meat-free cooking needn’t be a challenge. Courses focus on encouraging students to be confident with techniques, knife skills, using spices and herbs and increasing their knowledge of vegetarian and vegan cookery and the school prides itself on making plant-based cookery accessible to all.

Eckington Manor is nestled in the Avon Valley on the border of the picturesque Cotswolds. The cookery school is an essential part of the farm’s diversification. As a result, the farm is being managed under the government’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme which aims to achieve the highest level of environmental conservation. Both enable the long term sustainability of the landscape. Wherever possible ingredients are sourced direct from the farm. The courses are fun, relaxed, aimed at all abilities and taught by their inspirational tutors including Mark Stinchcombe, Winner of BBC Masterchef 2015.



Edinburgh School of Food & Wine

Edinburgh New Town Cookery School (ENTCS)

The Edinburgh School of Food & Wine is Scotland’s oldest independent and respected cookery school, established in 1986. Their experienced team of chef ’s teach students a broad range of abilities, techniques and skills, for the complete novice to the aspiring professional. Situated in The Coach House of the Newliston Estate, the school provides a perfect setting for their wide range of Educational Courses, One Day Cookery Classes, Food & Wine Evenings, Masterclasses, Leisure Activities and Corporate Events. They are proud to say they are a zero waste-tolandfill organisation. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

In the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre in a Georgian townhouse with views across to Fife, ENTCS has won a string of accolades including Best Cookery School 2017 by the Food Awards, Scotland. The school Offers a wide range of courses for all abilities and provides wonderful opportunities for children and teenagers to learn cookery and for those heading to university. The school is also offering a great venue for corporate team building or bespoke events to suit all with an interest in food and wine. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

ICSA National Cookery School Directory Food of Course Cookery School Whether you are looking for life skills, intend to work in a chalet, set up a pop up restaurant, travel the world, or just cook at home Food of Course Cookery School will help and inspire you. Lou Hutton, owner and chef tutor’s years of experience means that she has a tip or trick at every turn. She has a natural flair for teaching and makes long days in the kitchen pass in no time. You will leave full of confidence, having experienced new foods and flavours and want to share your new found knowledge with your family and friends. The four week or one week courses are run at her fabulous home in Somerset. It is a delightful place to stay and provides a real home from home in the kitchen with its country views and AGA, while still providing a well equipped place to cook and learn. SUTTON, SOMERSET

Leiths School of Food and Wine Located in West London, Leiths School of Food and Wine is a vibrant, much loved UK cookery school offering a world class professional chef ’s Diploma alongside the widest selection of amateur cooking classes of any cookery school in the UK. The School was founded by Lady Caroline Waldegrave and Prue Leith CBE in 1975, and more than 4000 chefs have trained at Leiths over the past 40 years. From Japanese and Brazilian cuisine to authentic Italian cookery, the school teaches classical cookery skills, world cuisines and much more besides. SHEPHERD’S BUSH, LONDON

Padstow Seafood School

Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School Rick Stein’s cookery school offers the perfect balance of chef demonstrations and hands-on cooking.

There’s also plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of your labour whilst overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary. Whether you book a day of ‘fish and shellfish’ or a specialist cookery day such as Spanish, Italian or Asian, you’ll discover how to create some of Rick Stein’s favourite dishes.

Celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager brings her cooking talents and natural exuberance to her cook school in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Courses are suitable for all levels and include a three-course lunch and glass of wine. Every aspect of the school has been designed to Rosemary’s specifications; and no expense has been spared to provide students with both up-tothe minute kitchen technology and luxurious styles. Rosemary believes in supporting local suppliers and produce, sourcing the best of the seasons crops.



You’ll use the freshest seafood, landed right outside the cookery school, and classic flavours to create some really impressive dishes. GREATEST BRITISH MAGAZINE

ICSA National Cookery School Directory SEASON – The Exclusive Cookery School

School of Artisan Food The School of Artisan Food is a world-class, not-forprofit organisation dedicated to teaching skills in artisan food production. Located on the beautiful Welbeck Estate in Sherwood Forest, it offers fully equipped, spacious training facilities, providing the ideal environment to learn, develop and master artisan food skills. A wide range of hands-on courses caters for all skill levels from complete beginners through to award-winning professionals in baking, butchery, curing and smoking, brewing, cheese and ice-cream making, pickling and preserving.

Set in the grounds of Lainston House, an Exclusive Hotel, near Winchester, SEASON offers modern purpose-built kitchen facilities housed in a renovated 17th-century well house next to bountiful kitchen garden. SEASON was born out of a passion for food and dining, and the team invite everyone to embrace their own passion for food and hunger for knowledge. The school is also available for exclusive use either for corporate team building or for a private dinner party.



Squires Kitchen International School

Stedy Chefs Learning Centre

Squires Kitchen’s International School has been teaching the art of cake decorating and sugar craft since 1987 and is now the leading independent school of its kind in the UK. Squires Kitchen has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence and is universally recognised. The cookery school core team work with list of experts and professionals, including leading sugar craft names, master chocolatiers, celebrity chefs and professional bakers meaning students can learn from the very best in the business. FARNHAM, SURREY

Based in Liverpool, StedyChefs Learning Centre is an innovative new educational facility which offers an array of courses for all aspects of the hospitality industry. These range from barista training, silver service training and kitchen porter training to work essential skills for all abilities. As well as regular courses, StedyChefs Learning Centre have a range of cookery courses available for adults with disabilities. Currently 94% of adults with disabilities are unemployed. StedyChefs hopes to help change this. LIVERPOOL

ICSA National Cookery School Directory Swinton Cookery School – The Swinton Estate

Tante Marie Culinary Academy

The Cookery School is set within the grounds of Swinton Park on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Located in the original Georgian stable wing of the castle, it provides a large teaching kitchen, dining room and shop. All courses are nonresidential and a preferential room rate is offered to cookery school students. Swinton Estate provides an abundance of seasonal, home-grown produce from its four-acre walled garden while venison, game, freerange pork and trout are reared on the Estate, where wild ingredients are also foraged. RIPON, YORKSHIRE

The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School

As the UK’s oldest independent cookery school, Tante Marie Culinary Academy has developed an internationally acclaimed reputation for excellence, with graduates running successful food businesses around the world. At Tante Marie Culinary Academy you will learn teaching practical cookery skills in a state of the art environment which is supportive and fun, which ensures students develop the high levels of discipline required to cook beautiful food to the highest standards, with exciting career prospects ahead of them. WOKING, SURREY

The Cookery School at Little Portland Street This London school teaches how to cook good, sustainable food with lasting confidence. Their single classes include everything from meat and poultry, knife skills, dim sum to bread, sourdough and lots more.

Opened in September 2005 in the centre of beautiful and historic Bath, The Bertinet Kitchen is owned and run by French chef and baker, Richard Bertinet. This award-winning school offers a range of relaxed, fun courses for food lovers of all abilities and specialist baking and bread-making courses for amateurs and professionals alike that deliver a fantastic experience and a skill for life. Away from baking, The Bertinet Kitchen offers a range of cookery classes covering all types of cuisines and cooking styles.

The Cookery School is proud to be considered “The Best City Cookery School 2013”, runners-up for “Most Sustainable Cookery School 2014” and theyt are the only London cookery school awarded the maximum 3 Stars for sustainability from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.




ICSA National Cookery School Directory The Foodworks Cookery School

The Kitchen at Chewton Glen by James Martin

Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Foodworks offers day courses and residential training in a purpose built barn conversion within a stunning location, equipped with state-of-theart facilities. It is comfortably laid out with a chill out space, pretty herb garden and barbecue area through French doors from the main kitchen.

Chewton Glen Cookery School is led by renowned chef James Martin and his team of expert chef tutors. The modern, purposebuilt teaching kitchen sets the stage for enjoying and learning about food and cooking. Modern and traditional meet delightfully in a feast for the senses; surrounding the building are raised beds and a greenhouse where herbs and vegetables are grown year-round to supply The Kitchen. A hive of activity on any day you’ll find guests and visitors gathering for informal lunches or taking a cookery class, gardeners selecting fresh ingredients or chefs developing this season’s menu.

Popular cookery courses include Men in the Kitchen and Curries of the World, Chalet, Uni Survival, Duke of Edinburgh gap year courses plus intensive Chef ’s Menu courses for those looking to extend their kitchen knowledge or to pursue a career in food. CHELTENHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

The Novelli Academy

Everyone who visits the Academy is guaranteed great entertainment, excellent food and the certain je ne sais quoi from Jean Christophe, who besides showing off his culinary skills gives much more than his guests expect. Courses are suitable for all levels, for leisure or continuing professional development.

The Raymond Blanc Cookery School The Novelli Academy, established in 2005, is based in Jean Christophe’s home kitchen in his 14th Century farmhouse in rural Hertfordshire, with great travel links from London and the nearby Luton airport.



This famous school provides hands-on opportunity to develop your culinary skills in a practical and supportive learning environment, as well as being a holiday in the most luxurious surroundings. From half-day introductions, residential programmes, dinner party master classes to children’s courses, there’s something for everyone. Many courses focus on recipes important to Raymond Blanc, showcasing dishes that inspired him to become the Michelin-starred chef he is today. Passionate food-lovers and kitchen novices alike can join us on this journey of discovery. GREAT MILTON, OXFORD

ICSA National Cookery School Directory Vaughan’s Cookery School

Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Described by a customer as, “inspiring, creative and fun”, a naturally balanced philosophy is at the core of everything we do. This means local, seasonal produce plus ingredients that have been ethically sourced and used as close to their natural state as possible. Led by Peter Vaughan, the team are all well-qualified, experienced chefs and teachers who are passionate about food. As an approved teaching cen-tre for the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality, they offer professional course that lead to an internationally recognised qualification.

With bases in Altrincham, Cheshire and London the Vegetarian Society Cookery School was established over 30 years ago as the culinary wing of the UK Vegetarian Society. They provide courses for catering professionals and the general public. The school endorses the Vegetarian Society’s values – that adopting and maintaining a vegetarian diet is good for animals, people and the planet. Five day, two day, one day, evening and weekend courses run all year round taught by qualified and enthusiastic tutors.



WhitePepper Chef Academy

Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School

Launched in 2010, WhitePepper is a leading choice for aspiring chefs.

Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School owners Sarah and David Bridge learnt their catering craft under the guidance of the Roux brothers and by working with accomplished chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Pierre Koffman.

This award winning school was accepted into the ‘UK’s top 30 schools’ by The Independent Cookery School Association in 2016. They boast a newly appointed former Michelinstarred Chef Director 2017 and voted Best Cookery School in the Food and Travel Magazine reader awards 2018. Students at WhitePepper can expect an inspirational experience, an immediate increase in kitchen confidence and rapid development of practical cookery skills, regardless of their cookery focus, lifestyle or professional experience.

In the late 90s they travelled extensively in South East Asia, America and New Zealand then living in Sydney Australia, picking up authentic styles and techniques and working once again with accomplished world renowned chefs. They opened their cookery school in 2014, winning the title of Best New British Cookery School that same year.



The Gift of Food and Learning Experiences Cooking fresh, moreish, nutritious food can really improve your health and happiness, so it’s no surprise that everyone’s taking cookery lessons these days. Yet with more than 1,000 cookery schools in the UK, how do you find the best class for you? The answer is to make sure you book with an Independent Cookery Schools Association (ICSA) school. You might dream of spending a week on beautiful Dartmoor, perfecting your macarons at the renowned Ashburton Cookery School. Or, perhaps you wish to seek inspiration at Leiths School of Food

& Wine to learn Malaysian or Peruvian cookery set up by Prue Leith in 1975. Squires Kitchen’s International School in Surrey has been teaching the art of cake decorating and sugarcraft since 1987. Vegetarian food is a real art form, so why not get a taste from the experts at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School in Greater Manchester or the plant based Cookery school Demuths, in

beautiful Bath. If charismatic celeb chefs whet your appetite, try ‘The Kitchen’ by James Martin at Chewton Glen, The Novelli Academy near Luton, Rosemary Shrager School in Kent or the ‘ultimate gourmet experience’ at Raymond Blancs’ Cookery School at 2 Michelin Star Le Manoir in Oxfordshire. Whichever cookery class you choose, you can be sure that if you book an ICSA school, every detail, from insurance and equipment to teaching and course content, has been rigorously inspected to make sure you get the best experience — so you can book with confidence and enjoy a great new world of food.

GREATEST BRITISH COOKERY SCHOOLS Experiences SPECIALISTS IN TEACHING SKILLS Last minute courses B o o k s by c o o k s N a t i o n a l g i f t vo u c h e r s

‘ICSA’ accredited cookery schools ensure your learning experience offers ‘excellence in cookery skills & training’

Over 25 throughout the UK Visit:


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