Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Thanks to our wonderful community of students and followers, Christmas 2021 is definitely going to be extra special. We do what we do because we’re truly passionate about food and what good food does for communities. From sustainable production to supporting local growers, the escapism of cooking a good recipe, to the bonding power of sharing a meal, food is at the centre of much of our society.
The reason we love food so much is why this holiday will be particularly special for us, and for many others too. Food is community just like the festive period is community.
And this holiday is the closest to ‘normal’ we have been for two years. It is an opportunity to bring people together and catch up on the things we couldn’t do for Christmas 2020. It is a chance to let our hair down and party or chill out however we want to.
As a small business that launched mid 2020 when the pandemic was gripping the country, we don’t really know what a ‘normal’ Christmas for Devon Cookery School looks like. In December 2020 we were preparing to open our doors, and then of course the rules changed and we pivoted to online classes. It was an amazing way to keep up our mission to delight people with food. We were so happy to be a way of connecting you with the loved ones you couldn’t be with. In fact we hosted some absolutely bonkers online cooking parties between friends from around the world! This year we have been able to meet even more of you face to face and we couldn’t be more excited to share this Christmas with you.
Your company on this rollercoaster has been absolutely amazing - the likes, shares, comments and of course our amazing cookery school students. Thanks to you, Devon Cookery School celebrates its second Christmas ready to welcome more people than ever to our festive cookery classes.
We’ve been hard at work decorating the Cookery School and turning it into a festive grotto of twinkling lights and jewel colours. When you join us for December classes we want you to feel like you’ve started your holidays early. Whether you bring a friend with you or come solo, you’ll find yourself among friends.
This year you can expect a carefully designed festive class list intended to make spending time together and preparing for parties easier, more relaxing and memorable. Join us for:
Send out the invitations by phone, by post or by reindeer! This is the time of year to bring together everyone you adore and show them how much you care by stuffing them full of irresistible festive goodies. People will gasp and ask ‘gosh did you make this’ and you’ll give a little smile with a twinkle in your eye and lap up the praise.
Our Christmas Entertaining class will set you up to host a flawless evening. First things first - welcome your guests with mulled wine that you spiced yourself. Just when they’re expecting the salted peanuts to arrive, stun your friends with homemade pork and cranberry sausage rolls, tear and share rosemary dough balls with (that traditional Christmas superstar) baked camembert, and finally a smoked mackerel pate with crudités.
With something for everyone including the veggies, the only thing left to you is to decide whether to bring everything out at once or serve each plate one by one like a luxury tasting course.
But the class doesn’t leave you hanging - you’ll also learn lifelong kitchen skills such as how to flavour regular sausage meat, knife skills, making a bread dough, and kneading.
If you’re keen you’d better be quick because we only have one class remaining on Friday 16th December! Only £65
Get Ahead for Christmas
Is it a running joke in every family about how bonkers the designated Christmas cook gets on the big day? Mums abandoning the Great Unwrapping at odd moments to take something out of the oven, dads running complex calculations about food timings, or siblings joyfully bickering about who’s better with the meat and who can do the peas.
This won't be you! When you join us for this calm day of cooking you’ll make and take away all your Christmas essentials, including cranberry sauce, bread sauce, stuffing balls and bacon and maple syrup Brussel sprouts. And if checking your calendar has got you concerned - don’t worry! You can freeze everything you make so they’re ready to whip out whenever you have your Christmas meal.
Your chef will demo two different ways to cook your turkey for BIG flavours, how to create the perfect roast potatoes (in our house this could make or break Christmas), how to make Brussel sprouts that (almost) everyone will love, and how to roast your veg. To top it off, you’ll also see how to prepare a quick ‘get ahead’ gravy.
But it’s a bit unfair on you to make all this delicious food and eat none of it! So of course you’ll enjoy Christmas lunch with us before heading back into the kitchen for the afternoon.
Join us on Saturday 4th December or Saturday 18th December - and why not bring your sous chef along too!
Festive Food Gifts
Every year I admire the friends who bake delicious treats for our Christmas catch ups, or who gift handmade goodies carefully wrapped in bows. Be the friend with the ‘yum factor’ this year and sort out all your gifts in just half a day with our Festive Food Gifts class.
Gingerbread is a Christmas favourite for very good reasons - there’s so much you can do with it! A lot of people think it’s tricky, so join us and we will make it together. Turn your gingerbread into baubles for friends to hang on their trees, or bunting to use as an advent calendar.
In this class you’ll also roll up your sleeves and make decadent chocolate truffles with your choice of flavours and coatings. You’ll be so impressed with yourself you might consider becoming a chocolatier!
But not everyone has a traditional sweet tooth - for cheese lovers or those who prefer savoury we’ll also make a wholesome, full flavour apple, date and tamarind chutney. Chutneys are a fantastic way to use up odd leftovers at home - so before you know it you could be experimenting with your own flavour combinations.
We don’t let you leave before you’ve enjoyed a feast of these delights with a Devon Cookery School spiced mulled wine.
This is another superbly popular class so there’s only one date left - Friday 17th December. Baking is always better in twos - bring a friend along to join in the fun. £65
When it comes to baking for groups of people there are two absolute fail safes at Christmas - the mince pie and the yule log. We challenge you to find someone who doesn’t like at least one of those! (Ok we know such a person might exist, and if they do, they should check out the Festive Foodie Gifts class instead!)
We’ve got a blog coming later in the month about why a homemade mince pie always wins - pitting our Devon Cookery School own recipe against supermarket favourites. But in three bullet points homemade is best because:
baking is good for happiness
You know every ingredient in them
They’re irresistible straight from the oven
Bonus fourth point - they fill your home with the ultimate christmas scent
Additionally awesome about making mince pies with us, is that you’ll also learn how to make a crumbly shortcrust pastry that is infinitely re-usable in other recipes.
But what about the yule log? A possibly intimidating-to-make centrepiece, we go through it in easy steps with a chef on hand to help you with any tricky bits (rolling out your cake without it cracking and crumbling makes our students feel like heroes).
Join us on Friday 3rd December or Sunday 19th December to perfect your Christmas desserts.
If you know someone who’d love to join us for some festive food making, or perhaps you’d like to give them something to look forward to in the new year, why not give them a gift voucher? In denominations of £25, £65 (a half day course) and £165 (a whole day course) you can help someone have a fabulous time and encourage them to make time for themselves. If you check out our Instagram feed you’ll see just how special we make the vouchers look, even sealed with red wax.
We really hope to see you at one of our Christmas events, and of course, we'd love to hear from you on social media. We've got plenty of festive recipes coming up this month that we'll be sharing across social media and our blog. See you soon!