And yet we can still see why people may think a cookery class is just a farce. Something along the lines of: 'These guys have got a great idea - they get us to cook our own dinner and then charge us more than a restaurant for it!'
'What can you really learn in one class, while chefs take two years to train?' asks Michelle Rice, from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families. And is it worth shelling out your hard earned money on what may seem to be a passing fad, a brief insight into something which needs lots of practice in order to perfect? I spoke to our chefs at the School of Wok to get their views on affordable cookery classes, and why here at the School we are proud to offer our customers, not only a specialist skill, but also an affordable and entertaining evening out and excellent value for money.
Our Head Chef Jeremys says: 'Go to a restaurant, have a three course meal, with a couple of glasses of wine, and you will find yourself paying £45-50 easily. Come to a class at the School, you will have the same AND learn a life skill whilst having a whole evening of entertainment from just £65... it's a no-brainer! Especially if you consider yourself a foodie!' In particular Jeremy recommends the Scoff & Quaff class where you can learn how to make Dim Sum or Street Food, whilst also pairing different wines with your food. It is not something that you can learn easily from a book or online, but with two professionals on hand - a trained chef and a wine expert - it is achievable, and fun. Learning tips and tricks first-hand from a professional with years of experience will make sure the skills stay with you much longer.
Adrienne - our marketing manager - says, 'Have you ever tried making Dim Sum from a book? It's pretty much impossible!' Specialist techniques require specialist teachers, and alongside this you will also have a historical and cultural insight into the food you are cooking as our chefs backgrounds range from various other renowned cookery school training, to generations of family culinary traditions, and they are more than happy to chat and share their stories with you.
Adding to your repetoire of home-cooked dishes by learning one (or more) spectacular, showstopper dish can really impress your dinner party guests. Who needs greasy takeaways when you can cook your own Asian food, you know exactly what goes into it and it tastes probably ten times better?
And from the in-house manager, Stefan: 'Our lessons are fun and interactive. Even a few basic cookery skills can revolutionise your time in the kitchen, so why not learn in a social and relaxed environment?' Knife skills may seem scary at first, but mastering techniques like these can save time and much digit damage at home in your own kitchen.
So why not come and join us for a class? Try out something new. Spend an evening learning something useful, fun and delicious, and meet like-minded people from all woks of life.
See here for a list of all our classes.