Want to improve your cookery skills? Well you can watch the many TV shows, but for best results it’s a one to one hands on experience that will take your cookery to another level. Dorset is blessed with some of the finest raw ingredients and also some of the finest chefs around. Combine these with a cookery class and not only will you have some great fun, you will be learning important new skills.

Here are the pick of the bunch – in no particular order!

Raw Food Cookery Classes
Lesley Waters Cookery School
Christine McFadden Cookery School
White Pepper Cookery School
Thai Cookery Course
Matt Follas
Land & Wave – Deer in a Day
Capreolus – Bacon & Sausage Making Course
Lisa Osman’s AGA Approved Cookery School
James Feaver – Hedgerow Harvest (foraging)
The Olive tree cookery school


Raw Food ‘Cookery’ Classes

11178247_10155579323870201_4912250664016334625_nMost people think of raw plant-based food as “healthy”’, but little do they know, that raw food not only stimulates your immune system, supplies you with a vast array of enzymes, macro, micro and phyto-nutritents, but that it is also divinely delicious and surprisingly varied. There are 24 food groups in raw food and there is hardly a limit to flavour combinations. This is what Gabriela’s raw food classes are all about. Find out just how delicious nutritious food can be. At these one-day classes Gabriela will show you a whole day’s menu from early morning juice, through breakfast, lunch and dinner to mouthwatering sweet deserts. Learn the basics of preparing vegetables, combing spices, using herbs and superfoods and creating balanced, nutrient dense meals. Needless to say there is tasting all through the day and a beautiful, rich lunch. Classes are being held at Gabriela’s home on the edge of ancient woodland near Shaftesbury.

Classes are themed and range from Mediterranean, Asian and Modern European to more specific classes such as making raw breads and crackers or fermenting vegetables and making nut cheeses.

Gabriela Lerner, founder of Radiant On Raw, is a certified raw nutrition coach and integrative nutrition health coach, as well as a raw chef. Gabriela also has a raw food stall every first Saturday of the month at Swans Yard Fayre in Shaftesbury.

for more details www.radiantonraw.co.uk



Lesley Waters Cookery School

Lesley is of course a household name after her many TV appearances and from her pop-up cookery courses at the many events across the county.Her cookery school at Abbot’s Hill is about fresh, simple ingredients and creating great food.Her courses or as she calls them ‘hands on days’ start at 10.30am and finish at 4pm. Price includes all food, lunch and a full recipe pack. The courses range from Men Only! to Domestic Divas with sexy food that will fit in with your busy lifestyle, with stunning but effortless dishes!

You can also buy gift vouchers which would make excellent Christmas presents!

for more details www.lesleywaters.com

An Evening at Lesley Waters’ Cookery School


The Dorset Foodie

Christine McFadden is another who’s kitchen is in the heart of West Dorset, she is a cookery teacher and food writer and provides hands-on cookery classes. She has been shortlisted for many international cookbook awards and this year short-listed for the British Cookery School Awards, Best Use of Local Ingredients category, and also People’s Choice: Britain’s Favourite Cookery School Award!!

The courses range from cooking with fish, Italian food, Mexican and unusually Japanese Home Cookery!!

Read my interview with Christine Read the Interview

Again gift vouchers are available and this photograph was taken during a South American Special, the food of Brazil.. Read about it here www.dorsetfoodiefamily.co.uk/christine-mcfadden-cookery-courses

for more details www.thedorsetfoodie.com


White Pepper Cookery School

HIT Chef Training Dorset

White Pepper is an award winning school located in the picturesque and rural setting of Bere Farm, East Dorset – just a stones throw away from Poole Harbour, Sandbanks and Dorchester. Luke Stuart (director & chef tutor) runs a huge array of courses, with over 30 inspirational hands-on cookery courses and foodie experiences taught by professional chefs, qualified tutors and award winning Dorset food producers. White Pepper also provides cookery lessons for children in their Kids Cookery (4-7 year olds) and Cookery Camp (7-12 year olds).

There are several that catch my eye, “The Italian” because my pasta making skills need a good boost! Also Lee Moreton’s foraging course, which I think would turn very quickly into a fishing trip!!!

for more details www.white-pepper.co.uk


Thai Cookery Course

Pheeraya Hill (aka Nid) runs her very successful Thai cookery courses in Bridport & Crewkerne. Although she is willing to come to your home and run a cookery course with a group of your friends, which would make for one great dinner party!

We have attended one of Nid’s cookery courses and we really enjoyed her wonderful enthusiasm, along with simple but very flavoursome Thai food. Read the review. She will introduce you to the main Thai ingredients, many she grows at her home and also where to buy them. Then you all get stuck in to produce an authentic Thai meal; yes we throughly recommend Nid.

for more details www.thaicooking4you.co.uk


Wild Garlic

Matt Follas again really needs no introduction, Masterchef winner and restaurant owner. It was he who really brought the idea foraging to the forefront and along with his cookery course, he also runs his highly successful (it never rains) foraging course.

His cookery course will introduce you to edible flowers, purees, fish filleting, sauces, seasoning and smoking. They have been designed to boost your confidence in the kitchen.

for more details www.matfollas.com


Land & Wave – Deer in a Day

Full day of hands-on culinary skills. Spend a morning outdoors learning to butcher, preserve & smoke venison. Then head to our professional kitchen for an afternoon of cooking, dining and fine wine – it is fantastic and I haven’t eaten so much fine food in day before! Check out my day with Land & Wave Read the Review

for more details www.landandwave.co.uk

Local Produce


Capreolus – Bacon & Sausage Making Course

David & Karen Richards weekend course making sausages & bacon is very special, because you get to learn so much about preserving meat and you also get to see the insides of this charcuterie heaven! The aim of the weekend is to teach you how make sausages & bacon in your own home. You also get to take home a good number of sausages & bacon for you to enjoy. Check out my weekend there Read the Review

for more details www.capreolusfinefoods.co.uk

Bacon & Sausage Making Weekend


Lisa Osman’s AGA approved cookery school

All Hallows, a Georgian farmhouse on the outskirts of Wimborne St Giles, and is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of Cranborne Chase. An historic hunting ground that was popular with King John and Henry VIII. The village itself has long been the home of the Earls of Shaftesbury and is surrounded by a rich landscape and farming community.

Feel immediately at home beside the four-oven AGA in the farmhouse kitchen where you can relax and watch a demonstration or enjoy a day of one to one tuition to learn how to achieve the most from your AGA. You are invited to walk through the walled garden and into the Potager where you will find Rose Cottage and a second kitchen which is where cheese making and floristry classes take place.

The cookery school was founded by Lisa Osman, arbitrator and 3-star judge for the Great Taste Awards. Lisa launched her own catering company sixteen years ago after spending many years working for private families as a personal chef. She loves to share her experience and encourage everyone that visits All Hallows to develop the necessary skills that can be applied to everyday cooking as well as planning parties and celebrations.

At All Hallows Farmhouse, beginners to cookery will discover the confidence to establish their own cookery style and to extend upon their personal repertoire of recipes. Whilst more experienced cooks will enjoy the opportunity to expand upon their existing skills and explore new ingredients and methods. Lisa offers a programme of full week, weekend, one day cookery classes as well as half day demonstrations. Guest tutors demonstrate specialist subjects which also includes food writing and photography tuition

For more details www.allhallowsfarmhouse.co.uk


James Feaver – Hedgerow Harvest (foraging)

Hedgerow Harvest offer a range of foraging courses for those that want to learn about gathering and eating wild food. These courses cover many different habitats – woodland, shore, hedgerow and field, as well as the range of wild foods – plants, fungi, seaweed and shellfish.

Foraging Day Courses
A full day foraging course include a walk and the preparation (and eating!) of a three course, wild food meal based on your finds. They have courses for most seasons and habitats.

Foraging Walks
Foraging walks are around 3 hours duration. They will look for edible and poisonous species discussing culinary uses of the edibles, safety, sustainability etc. The walks include sampling

Family Foraging Walks
Foraging and subsequent cooking are great activities for adults and children offering quality time and something to eat/drink at the end.

Read about my day spent with James, foraging seaweed www.dorsetfoodiefamily.co.uk/hedgerow-harvest-foraging-course

For more details www.hedgerow-harvest.com


The Olive Tree Cookery School

​Set in the beautiful Purbeck hills of Dorset, The Olive Tree Cookery School is ideally located for those wishing to combine culinary instruction, with a relaxing break. Just a few miles from the historic village of Corfe Castle and the stunning Jurassic coastline, there are opportunities for sightseeing and invigorating coastal walks for those with enough energy after a day in the kitchen! Local stables can organise hacks over the heath and evening rides on the beach.

Foraging with The Olive Tree Cookery School - Corfe Castle

Resident tutor, Giuseppe Sinaguglia, trained in Sicily and worked extensively in hotels throughout Italy, including the Brunelleschi in Florence, before arriving in England several years ago. Prior to becoming Head Chef at the Manor House Hotel, Studland Bay, Giuseppe worked for Marco Pierre White at The Criterion, Piccadilly and spent two years as Head Chef of Carluccio’s, Market Place.

Giuseppe hopes that through the various courses he will be able to share with students his passion for good food and great ingredients, enabling them to realize their potential in the kitchen and to feel confident and relaxed when cooking at home.

Local fish, meat, game, fruit and vegetables will be used wherever possible and each course will look at the importance of carefully selecting seasonal ingredients for the best results.

Foraging with The Olive Tree Cookery School - Corfe Castle

For more details www.olivetreecookeryschool.co.uk

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  1. This was a exciting experience to read here. All these cooking classes are among famous ones employed with popular chefs.

  2. Just found this – you missed off River Cottage! I teach the Gluten Free Day there and there are lots of other exciting foodie course. Ok not strictly west dorset, as it’s just into Devon – but close enough surely! x x x

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