Muddy Stilettos – Article
Over the whole Zoom Quiz thing? Getting together with friends virtually can still be fun! We’ve found the perfect solution – an online class with the The Cooking Apple!
Okay, so we’re agreed on one thing. We are all SO over the Zoom Quiz. But that’s not to say that getting together with friends virtually isn’t a good thing – particularly with those long, dark winter evenings stretching ahead.
Well, Muddy has found one solution – an online class with the The Cooking Apple! And yes, that’s my kitchen, above, BEFORE the class, it wasn’t quiiite so tidy after…
The Cooking Apple is run by Pip Porter (yes that really is her name – maiden name was Orchard!). Pip has one mission; to get more people cooking.
Following her career as a senior food buyer for Sainsbury’s Pip then formalised her cooking training at the Cordon Bleu School, London. She’s also been lucky enough to live and work across three continents; giving her a breadth of experience in cooking styles.
Passionate about food and keen to make all her workshops fun, Pip normally runs face-to-face, live classes, in her home, which is in a great location in central Sevenoaks, with free off-street parking.
Since March 2020 Pip has introduced Zoom cookery classes to continue to teach and entertain – but this time from the comfort of your own kitchen. Perfect for anyone from complete beginners to more confident home chefs that are just after a bit of inspiration.
And if you’ve got bored teens needing a bit of encouragement in the kitchen – or older off-spring about to fly the nest to University – Pip does a class for both of those age groups too.
We love the sound of The Cooking Apple ‘Explorer’ and ‘Beginner’ classes. Explorer classes are for guests to travel the world via their kitchen (classes explore Morocco, Indonesia and Scandinavia). Beginners is exactly that – all the kitchen techniques you need to get started cooking from scratch.
These classes are ideal for those who are newly working from home and perhaps fancy taking a long lunch break (classes are 75 mins @ 1pm) to learn a new skill, get away from their desk and have dinner made. Both classes are at a great price point of £17.50 – so really accessible as a gift to friends or family.
WHAT TO EXPECT
By the end of each live, online class, you will have made some delicious food, saving you thinking about dinner that night. Job done.
The teaching style of these classes is informative but relaxed. It’s your chance to make mistakes, laugh and cook with others. The classes are very hands on, so you will get plenty of experience (so much better than just watching a TV chef!). Pip’s mission is to give you the skills, confidence and inspiration to create our dishes again and again.
For teens, The Cooking Apple also offers some great classes after school or in the holidays (via Zoom at the moment – yup they won’t even need to leave the house). Weekend baking and mid-week chef are just some of the options.
MUDDY TRIED & TESTED
During half term my daughter and her friends tried out the Teen Baking class. Quick caveat here – we missed the bit in the Directions and Ingredients info that (clearly) said we should weigh out ingredients in advance! Which left them slightly on the back foot – and the chatter didn’t help! But they had a great time judging by the giggling. And the result were pretty impressive (it was Halloween themed).
Pip can also offer a pre-university private class to ensure your teen is sent off ready to cater in a small kitchen and on a budget.
The Cooking Apple is also happy to arrange a private class (also currently via Zoom) and will tailor the difficulty and cuisine totally to your preference.
Get a group of girlfriends together – about 4 is the ideal number – and hire Pip for a class, while you cook and have glass. (Private virtual classes are £35 per head for a group of 4).
Get in touch with Pip direct to reserve your time slot (Thurs or Fri evening if you like) and the menu will be created just for you. Previous groups have chosen Japanese, Big Salads, Retro 70s Supper, Italian Feast – choice is yours!
If you want to make things easy or tackle something tricky – you can set the bar where you would like. Normal classes are all run on mute (of course with the ability to ask a question at any moment you like). With only 4, you could choose to chat through it – if you wanted.
It’s a great way for friends from multiple houses to spend an evening ‘together’ if you can’t have a night out around the same table or a different experience for a family celebration or bonding time.
Lovely printed vouchers are available from The Cooking Apple – a really great Christmas or birthday present idea.
Get the busiest room in your house sorted (costs £90) and makes a great gift.
This includes a totally bespoke kitchen overhaul with a pre-edit phone call, followed up by a 90 min session going around your kitchen (virtual at present), choosing what stays and what goes and how to organise what’s left/where to order what’s needed.
Followed up with a post-edit email outlining what was discussed with links detailing where to buy what you need. Prepare to throw away that never-used strawberry huller and be given a practical list of what you do need.
We love the Cooking Apple classes for the relaxed and friendly atmosphere (no flashy chef intimidation here!). You can make mistakes, laugh and cook with others. Pip will give you the skills, confidence and inspiration to create delicious new dishes and impress your family and friends
Pip’s calm and patient teaching style can help even the most (ahem) culinary challenged among us… Why’s everyone looking at me?!