Foundation Cookery Course

Residential Four-Week Cooking Course

This is a four-week course which aims to encourage anyone with an interest in food and cooking to achieve their culinary goals.

Whether you are already a good cook or are new to cooking, whatever your stage in life, this practical course will fill you with the confidence and enthusiasm to cook delicious meals.

Dates and Fees
Blinis made on a residential cooking course near Bruton in the UK

Perfect Cookery Course for Gap Year Students

Hand drawn illustration of red and yellow chilli peppers

This course is ideal for those wanting to be a chalet host, as well as any yachtie out there who wants to work in the galley.

Many students who have completed this course have gone on to make careers in cooking. Some have used their new found skill to work with food to fund their gap year travels. Some purely enjoy the course knowing that it will give them a skill for life.

Hand drawn illustration of red and yellow chilli peppers
Making pastry in the Food of Course kitchen

Build Confidence in the Kitchen and Learn Advanced Cooking Skills

The Foundation Cookery Course covers all the methods and techniques that you need to be able to cook really good food for family and friends. The course provides you with the tools you need to cook professionally.

Your general confidence and competence develop quickly as you work full time in the kitchen over the four weeks of the course, in a class of up to seven students. The course encourages you to become an instinctive and passionate cook.

“Cooking is so popular today as it is a perfect mix of food and fun”.

Foundation Course Programme

An action-packed programme that includes everything you need to gain a fantastic broad knowledge of food preparation, ingredients and cooking. Here are just a few of the skills and experiences covered during the four weeks:

Slicing, dicing, and chopping
Bread making
Soups
Roasting
Stews and casseroles
Fish filleting
Boning meat and poultry
Vinaigrette
Stock making
Sauces
Jams and marmalades
Special diets
Pastry
Cakes and biscuits
Canapés
Using gelatine 
Meal costing
Creating a time plan
Wine tasting
Ice cream and sorbets
Food presentation
Harvesting seasonal fruit and vegetables from the garden

Course Structure

At the start of the course you will receive your Food of Course Recipe Book containing a multitude of tried and tested recipes and useful information.

Your days are spent learning about food, flavour, practising methods of cooking and preparing delicious meals. After a morning of demonstrations and practical sessions you have time to enjoy a relaxed and informal lunch. During the afternoon your focus is on preparing for supper, whilst gaining a thorough insight into advanced food preparation and presentation, not forgetting the all-important clearing and washing up. Everyone loves an efficient host, memorable meals and tidy kitchen.

Learning to plan, prepare, cook and serve a meal of your choice is an integral part of the course. One of the highlights in the final week is when you prepare and serve a menu of your own, encompassing many of the skills and techniques you have learnt over the weeks. It is an opportunity to put your new found skills to the test with professional and friendly advice at hand.

There is also the opportunity to enrol on an online course to complete your Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety.

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Selection of breads baked on a cookery course in Somerset

Kind Words from Students and Parents  . . .

  • "Food of Course was definitely the best four weeks of my gap year! This month has been so much more than I ever imagined. Lou and Roger are the sweetest hosts – they were so welcoming to all of us in their home. Lou has such a passion for cooking and food that she so easily imbues into her teaching and students. I’m walking away with not only a new-found confidence in my cooking and presentation of food, but also with a huge increase in my cooking knowledge and appetite to learn more. I’m already excitedly making dinner party plans for my friends and family, and the course just ended yesterday! What I liked most about Lou’s approach though, is that we’re taught right in the home, in her kitchen. I’m positive I’ll feel comfortable making the transition to my home kitchen. I couldn’t have asked for a more educational, inspirational or enjoyable four weeks filled with infectious laughter, lovely people and delicious food."

    Michael - Foundation Course Student

  • "Looking back on the course now, I honestly do not think that I could have chosen better, especially taking into account that I now cook for a living. If you are really there to learn (as well as enjoy it obviously) and keen to come away with a thorough knowledge and understanding of cooking then Food of Course is the best. Lou’s small class sizes are prefect; she always has enough time to give you one-on-one attention which makes the world of difference and you also have enough companions to make friends and share ideas! The recipes in the course book are really well explained so make sense even when you look back on them years later. It is still my first port of call if ever I’m stuck!"

    Sarah Jane – Foundation Course Student

  • "Dear Lou, I cannot begin to thank you enough for the past four weeks. I can honestly say that my confidence has grown in the kitchen enormously. I can now open up a recipe book and feel that I could cook anything I wanted to. My knowledge in the kitchen is now super impressive and I know it is going to be there for life. I can’t believe how much you managed to pack in. From how to chop an onion to stuffing and boning 20 little quails. However, I have come out of the course with so much more than just a great cooking qualification. I have made some amazing friends; I’ve learnt how to clean to the highest standards and I HAVE A JOB! I am so grateful for all the time and effort you put into helping me get it and I cannot wait to get out to Val D’Isere and show off my new skills!"

    Hatty – Foundation Course Student

  • "Anybody considering a career in the world of yachting or if you already have experience but are looking to make the transition into the galley, Lou’s Foundation Cookery Course is absolutely for you. I had already been cooking as a private yacht chef for 6 months when I enrolled and I had some hesitations as to how much I could gain from a course that was based on land with fellow students that did not have the same end goal as me. Those hesitations melted away within minutes on the first morning! The amount of knowledge that Lou constantly shares and the hours of hands-on learning make every day both challenging and rewarding. From basic skills to menu planning and costing to dealing with different weather and climates, Lou covers it all. The course book contains hundreds of incredible recipes as well as a vast amount of very helpful reference information."

    Debs – Foundation Course Student

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