By Jo Cooksey
A new cookery school has opened at the Waterside Hotel in Didsbury. Food Sorcery is owned and run by three friends, Joanne Goddard, Helen Jack and Mark Seymour Mead and they have big plans for it.
Rewind a few years and Joanne and Helen were work colleagues. When they were unexpectedly made redundant they started to look around for new challenges. After a while Helen invited Joanne to join a fledgling venture that she was starting with Mark, a cookery school.
They found the premises within an unused section of the Waterside Hotel in Didsbury. What had originally been a dingy, narrow corridor with cramped storerooms off it has now been opened up in to a light and airy kitchen area with workstations and a large communal dining area, where students can enjoy the fruits of their labours. There is also a roof terrace, ideal for the warmer months.
The school can take up to 16 students at a time and offer a range of scheduled and bespoke classes. The timetabled lessons include the popular Big Cook, Little Cook classes, where parents can cook along with their children, working as a team to complete a culinary project. It is also an ideal venue to hold a child’s birthday party.
Children are also catered for in the school holidays, with Food Sorcery running holiday camps for 7 -14 year olds, which combine a morning of cookery followed by lunch and an afternoon of swimming in the hotel pool and fun physical activities. The children are supervised at all times. On the last day, parents are invited to join the children for a three-course dinner that the kids have prepared themselves.
For adult students there are classes for every level of ability and confidence, from Back to Basics to Sushi Making. Food Sorcery also offers Barista courses in conjunction with their local partner Ellanos Coffee and chocolate making with Cocoa Cabana of West Didsbury . Who hasn’t wanted to learn how to put leaf or heart shapes in the frothed milk on the top of homemade lattes?
In terms of bespoke classes they have already done a team-building day for the Co-op and a corporate leaving party, where the ten men who attended asked if they could make pies.
In addition, Food Sorcery has a resident nutritionist, Debbie Gallimore who offers courses that demonstrate a holistic approach to food in conjunction with your health and well being, including weight loss and feeding your family correctly.
The school has two resident chefs. Jason, who has cooked in forty three countries and is a qualified lecturer, teaching both chefs and the public and Jan, who has spent most of his career in fine dining and providing a personal chef services to many A listers. They also welcome guest chefs so it is worth keeping an eye on their website to see who will be popping up in the coming months. As Food Sorcery is licenced you could treat your friends to a meal cooked by one of the chefs and never have lift a finger yourself to prepare it.
The Waterside Hotel has recently undergone a £10 million refurbishment, including a new spa, making it a perfect venue for a residential hen or stag party with a difference. How lovely to spend a night or two in a gorgeous hotel, with a trip to the spa and a day in the school? Perhaps making a celebratory dinner or even the wedding cake? The choice is yours.