Smart Living

Gift Guide: Three culinary experiences to give the wannabe chef for Christmas

Introducing The Jackal's guide to three experiences made for the foodie in your life

Whether it’s appointment viewing of the Bake Off, many years of Masterchef, or just too many episodes of Come Dine With Me, there’s always one friend or family member who thinks they’ve got what it takes to cut it in a kitchen. Fortunately, there are plenty of restaurants and food producers willing and able to let them put their money where their mouths are (almost literally), offering experiences foodies will love. From gaining the knack of butchery to spending a morning working in a Michelin-starred restaurant kitchen, here are three opportunities for the food lover you know to perfect their skills, or see them in stark reality!

Pied-A-Terre’s Kitchen Experience

Culinary Experiences, The Jackal magazine, Christmas gift guide

Set to work early (well 9am) in the kitchens of one of London’s longstanding premier restaurants, where head chef Asimakis Chaniotis will put you through your paces making bread rolls and sourdough, cooking lobster, preparing foie gras, and assembling perfect millefeuille. The joy of this class is the opportunity to prepare dishes you’d almost never attempt at home, and to see at first hand the alacrity and expertise required to give a restaurant star quality. Top the whole thing off with a four course lunch with wine, and a goodie bag of house-made oils and other treats to experiment with at home.

Cannon & Cannon’s meat school

Ever wondered what to do with a left over pig’s head? Of course you have. At Cannon & Cannon’s Borough Market based meat school you can learn how to bone it, turn it into pig head ham, and stuff a beef bung to make your own version of cotechino sausage. Too niche? You can also learn how to butcher a whole pig carcass, make your own bacon, or discover how to pair meat with beer and wine.

Bread Ahead Bakery school

Bread Ahead, Christmas gift guide, Jackal magazine

Perhaps you were lured in by their infamous doughnuts and want to know the secret? Or maybe you feel you’ve mastered some of the more basic baking techniques but want to ratchet it up a notch and dabble in sourdough baking or learning how to make bagels – the proper kind you can get in New York. Perhaps you want to explore the skills behind the baked goods of Eastern Europe or Scandinavia? Classes lasting from 30 minutes to three days over all the bases.