In Depth

High-end cookery classes for aspiring chefs

Make 'gorgeous gravy' at the River Cottage or sip champagne while cracking oysters – being a student has never tasted so good

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Fancy yourself as a masterchef of the future? Here are five of the UK's best short classes from some of the world's kitchen masters.

Intensive masterclass with Jean-Christophe Novelli

Award-winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli offers the "ultimate cookery experience and the perfect gift for any food lover". Promising a "relaxed and informal" atmosphere, the intensive masterclass in Hertfordshire helps students create "a specially designed menu". The package also includes an overnight stay at a five-star hotel, a champagne reception and photograph-and-autograph session with Novelli himself.

(£995.00, book here)

Nose-to-Tail at the River Cottage Cookery School

The school at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's famous Devonian venue offers a Nose-To-Tail course, teaching aspiring chefs how to cook lesser-used cuts of meat "from trotters to cheeks and all that's in between". Guests discover how to make delicious terrines, braised meat, "proper" sausages and "gorgeous gravy". At the end of the day, students sit down together and feast on their homemade fare.

(From £190, book here)

Oyster masterclass at Bentleys

These Saturday morning classes get off to a great start with champagne on arrival before getting into the oyster masterclass itself and tasting with sommelier-matched wines. Fancy a going-home present? Guests are packed off with a goody bag including an apron, recipe cards and oyster knife. Bentleys claims to open more oysters – in excess of 1,000 a day - than any other London restaurant.

(£65, book here)                                                          

The Raymond Blanc Cookery School

The school of double Michelin-star chef Raymond Blanc offers tuition in the enchanting Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, a 13th-century hotel in New Milton, Oxfordshire. Courses range from half-day introductions to residential programmes and are suitable for all experience levels. The school promises to help students "embrace [their] passion for food" while learning to create "phenomenal cuisine in a fun, relaxed setting". The man behind the teaching apron is Mark Peregrine, who brings more than 30 years' experience to the chopping table.

(Various prices, book here)

Japanese cooking at Le Cordon Bleu

This one-day course in London lets students "cook [their] way around Japan" under the watchful guidance of a Le Cordon Bleu masterchef. Students learn the craft of balancing flavours and grasping fundamental Japanese cooking techniques. A maximum of 16 attend each six-hour group practical class, where dishes include Japanese pork and shrimp dumplings, Miso soup and sushi maki. Le Cordon Bleu's culinary school has a rich heritage spanning more than 120 years.

(£230, book here)

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