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A Day at Colstoun Cookery School Pt.1


The peaceful, rural setting of the Colstoun Estate provides a great backdrop for our One Day Cookery Courses. Colstoun walled garden also provides many of the ingredients for our courses! Our local ingredients define our food ethos, which is about Simple, Seasonal and Stunning food.

We focus on the quality of locally grown produce, sustainability and above all nutrition. In the Cookery School, we take this amazing produce, and, in a relaxed and fun environment, encourage and inspire students to cook 'Showstopper' and everyday dishes and provide them with the skills to do so!

Our food ethos focuses on 'Nature' rather than honouring a complex process or the magic wisdom of the chef. Also the core culinary principle of the 'New Nordic cuisine' showcased by the likes of NOMA and FAVIKEN, a cuisine very much on the Zeitgeist. It is therefore apt that we commence our culinary blog with a day of Scandinavian cookery!

Want to know about our other courses? click here.


Our Sunday course was long anticipated, and fully booked. We had postponed the course due to the visit from the 'Beast from the East'. Scotland shares many of Scandinavia's ingredients and traditions vis-a-vis food but we aren't so geared up to deal with a Nordic wintry blast....somewhat ironic!

So Spring has sprung, at last,  and 10 eager students arrived for FIKA on Sunday morning. After introductions, good strong coffee and Primrose cupcakes (foraged and very seasonal!). We headed into the practical kitchen to get started on Rye bread and sweet pastry. Bread is a staple and basic food in many food cultures. We make a point of making bread on each course (except the Thai course ,where rice is a staple!).

Ryebread very much reflects the ingredients & tastes of the Nordic nations. Hands on, very sticky and a great icebreaker, lots of fun! Dough made and popped into the ' Hobbit Hole ' to prove and we headed into the demo kitchen.  Here, I set the scene and discussed Nordic ingredients, cuisine and cooking techniques and then embarked on the important business of lunch production. Students sipped on some of last year's vintage of our Homemade 'Elderflower champagne'. We talked curing, pickling, salting and fermenting and in no time at all at veritable Smorgasbord of delights was ready for lunch!


A warming mug of Jerusalem Artichoke soup...

Followed by ....

Beetroot cured Gravalax ; Dill marinated Herrings ; pickled Cucumber ; a salad of Celeriac with sour cream, gherkins, nasturtium capers and dill ;  lightly pickled Red Cabbage salad ; home-made Mayonnaise ;  Ryebread ; smoked Butter and a foraged Green Salad with a Wild Garlic vinaigrette... all washed down with more 'Elderflower Champagne'.....hungry yet ?

Our afternoon session was based in the practical kitchen where students worked in pairs to create a delicious food. We produced a main course of Pigs' cheeks with crushed potatoes, sprouts and a cider and stout jus, ready to pop into a slow oven for about an hour, or so. When you get home, that was dinner sorted and no a meatballs insight !   We baked off the Ryebread and the piece de resistance.... DESSERT...Rhubarb meringue tartlets.... need I say more !

Lots of skills covered, lots of fun had and 10 fitfully tired but very proud and inspired students heading home.


Like the sound of our Scandinavian course? We have another one scheduled for the 9th of September with a few spaces left ( move quickly though) or what about Foraging ( 17/06, 05/08, 02/09, 07/10 )  or Fish & Seafood on the 8th of July.

Looking for Scandinavian cooking inspiration? Check out  'Food from the Fire' by Niklas Ekstedt,  he recently cooked with Mary Berry - well worth a watch!

If you'd like to speak to me personally about what course to book on please e-mail me here.

More Cookery School updates coming soon!


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