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Cooking up a Christmas Feast with the School of Artisan Food

Cooking up a Christmas Feast with the School of Artisan Food

Help is at hand for busy cooks looking to prepare an inspirational feast this Christmas with The School of Artisan Food launching a range of practical, hands-on courses specially designed for the festive season.

Based on the historical Welbeck Estate on the Nottinghamshire/Yorkshire border, The School of Artisan Food has invited food experts from across the UK and Europe to teach how to prepare the perfect festive feast.

Courses range from traditional Victorian fayre to Italian Christmas classics and to chocolate making. Celebrated food writer and historian Ivan Day will be cooking up a traditional Victorian Christmas including goose and historic pies; Valentina Harris will bring many years of experience to her Italian savoury and sweet classics like pasta and panettone; Mickael Jahan will prepare festive French tarts; while other courses cover seasonal preserves, chocolate-making and Christmas baking.


Each course is designed to help Christmas cooks prepare an inspirational festive meal to impress family and friends. All ingredients and tools are provided on the day and cooks can either take their creations home or eat them on the spot. The School of Artisan Food is a not-for-profit organisation and exists to teach all aspects of artisan food production - Christmas courses.


A Victorian Christmas with Ivan Day, 18 November: Ivan Day goes back in time to rediscover long forgotten cookery techniques and heirloom recipes. This taste of Christmas past includes: Victorian roast goose, Christmas pie, ornamenting a Twelfth Cake, historic gingerbreads and yule dows, and Victorian moulded Ingoldsby plum pudding with Eliza Acton's punch sauce.


Historic Pies with Ivan Day, 19 November: Combining hands-on British pie-making with fascinating food history this course will give you an opportunity to put into practice long-forgotten cookery techniques. Ivan will help you to create a selection of pies using recipes dating back hundreds of years, which could include Lumber Pie, Venison Pasty and the spectacular raised Victorian ornamented pies.


Festive French Tarts and Choux Pastry, 18 & 19 November. This intensive two-day baking course is led by French Master Baker Mickael Jahan who will teach how to create festive tarts and patisserie as he shares the skills and expertise gained during more than 20 years of hand-crafted baking in France and England.


An Italian Christmas (canapes and savoury), 2 December: Valentina Harris shares her love of classic Italian food. Using the best seasonal produce, you’ll learn about the flavours and artisan techniques needed to recreate an authentic taste of Italy’s delicious savoury dishes and canapes in your own kitchen including fresh pasta; ricotta, garlic and mint filled pastries; polenta crostini with creamy mushrooms and cheese; and giant Christmas ravioli.


Continental Christmas Baking, 9 & 10 December: Indulge yourself in two days of continental Christmas baking with tutor and award-winning author Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. Learn the secrets of festive flavours and master Christmas baking befitting the best European Christmas markets to create chocolate and peanut panettone; poppy seed stollen; pan aux epicés; and saffron buns.


An Italian Christmas (sweet), 3 December: Valentina Harris will equip you with the confidence and the skills to create a selection of delicious desserts and edible gifts including nougat semifreddo; Il Montebianco - Chestnut and chocolate mountain; traditional Panforte; soft almond biscuits; spiced Umbrian Christmas cake; and Cantuccini al fico - Tuscan almond and fig dunking biscuits.


Christmas Baking, 12 & 25 November: Learn how to bake a selection of Christmas favourites to perfection with artisan baking tutor Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. An internationally renowned baker and author of the award-winning How To Make Bread, you’ll learn the practical skills needed to master making your own puff pastry, marzipan and enriched doughs for making Stollen and more.


Festive Cheeseboard, 7 December: Join cheese expert Katy Fenwick for an evening and learn how to put together a delicious Christmas cheeseboard. Katy will share her insights into historic British cheeses, as well as cheeses from further afield, how and when we eat them, and a chance to taste a festive selection of cheeses. This course covers different cheeseboard ideas; drink pairings and accompaniments and much more.


Christmas Preserves, 8 Dec: Create delicious festive marmalades, chutneys and relishes under the expert guidance of cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith. Lindy specialises in modern British and regional Italian food and is the author of acclaimed artisan food book ‘Cured’. You’ll get hands-on in the kitchen trying out creative recipes for homemade spiced pear mincemeat; spiced cranberry and orange relish; Christmas chutney and more.


Festive Chocolate and Confectionery, 9 & 10 Dec: This one day course begins with a chocolate tasting before you go on to produce your own artisan sweet treats in both savoury and sweet flavours. Tutor Shelly Preston is an experienced patissière and chocolatière who runs her own bean to bar chocolate lab, Ottar Chocolate. Explore the attributes of various cacao beans and make your own ganache; mandarin fruit jellies; chocolate bars; and sea salt whisky caramels.


The School of Artisan Food has an outstanding reputation for the quality of training it provides with courses being taught by some of the most skilled and experienced artisan producers and practitioners in the UK, Europe and beyond. It is the UK’s only school dedicated to artisan food and drink production about which HRH The Prince of Wales said: “What is going on here at the School is of enormous importance.”