Home > Cookery Masterclass > Holding a Cookery Group Masterclass

Holding a Cookery Group Masterclass

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 22 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cookery Masterclass Cookery Group Class

A Cookery Group masterclass is a great way to improve your group’s skills and knowledge on a particular topic. Whether it’s run by a group member or an independent expert it is sure to be an interesting session for everyone.

Choosing Topics

You should choose topics according to the likes and dislikes of your group. If you find that you have a keen cake-decorator among your midst that is a natural topic for one masterclass. But start with a wide net, and list anything that your group would like to learn more about. Once you have a long list, you can start looking for speakers, or allocate topics within your group. Look up some of our Masterclass ideas using the menu on the left:
  • Pastry Masterclass. Elect one or two members to demonstrate and discuss pastry-making techniques: you could tackle yeasted pastry (for Danish pastries), homemade puff pastry, and shortcrust. A good place to start with these topics is the Leith’s Cookery Bible. And because equipment is minimal, this is a good class to involve some hands-on work.

  • Regional Classics. Food history is a fascinating diversion, and it makes a change from the usual Cookery group classes. A Masterclass on this topic would ideally cover the history and provenance of regional dishes, and an English session might even include a foraging walk! You could explore the classic dishes of your own region – look in charity and antique shops for old books – and bring some ancient dishes for rediscovery. If you’re not learning about English classics, how about Italian, French or Indian?

  • Cake Decorating. Most of us are frightened by the prospect of royal icing and sugarpaste flowers. So make this scary subject a little more approachable by holding a Masterclass. Include some hands-on practice for members to have a go (and a good laugh).

  • Presentation. You’ve learned how to cook a table of delicious food – now learn how to present it. This masterclass could include ‘try it out’ exercises, perhaps making chocolate curls, hollandaise sauce or a spun sugar web.

Finding a Speaker

So you’ve chosen a topic: how do you go about finding a speaker? A little research should throw up some cookery courses and restaurants in your area. Ask whether they have someone who would be prepared to come and speak at your group (and what kind of fee they would expect). If you’re on a bigger budget, you can hire ‘after-dinner’ speakers from an agency, choosing according to your budget and interests.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, find out whether any of your members have particular interests or expertise that they could research and share. After all, with the wealth of books and articles available at libraries at online, you can research almost any cookery topic these days.

Providing Materials

Make sure that the host is prepared for the Masterclass. A week before, the host will need to check with the speaker to find out if any equipment or handouts are required. For some of the Masterclasses, or where you don’t have a speaker, you may want to get the group involved in hands-on practice. And don’t forget, if your speaker or presenter is bringing some tasters, you may need to reheat or dish them up – check if any plates or other equipment is needed for those.

Don't Forget...

A great way to begin your Masterclass – whether it’s Indian Classics or Making Pastry – is by passing around a tray of tasters. After all, this is Cookery Group – and you don’t want to go home with a growling stomach.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: