The Mersea Island Cookery School

Interactive, hands-on cooking classes with top chefs from busy successful restaurants in a relaxed and friendly environment.

See our upcoming cookery course dates

The school primarily uses seasonal and local produce with classes that range from pastry and baking to seasonal entertaining and cuisine from around the world. You will be shown how to select fresh ingredients and how to prepare them for cooking.

The courses that we offer are aimed at everyone regardless of ability or cooking experience, from the complete beginner to the more experienced. We also offer classes for those with special dietary needs such as gluten free. The classes are small and intimate, to ensure an attentive and informative experience.

More information about our courses and the latest available course dates.

About us

The Mersea Island Cookery School was set up by Amanda Woodcraft. Ben and Amanda Woodcraft run a thriving business on Mersea Island supplying restaurants with fish and other produce called Ben's Fish. With such wonderful ingredients on their doorstep a cookery school seemed like a good idea.

The school is in a restored, listed, traditional Essex barn, with views accross the Blackwater estuary, and lends itself well to a cookery workshop.

With the expertise and help of Ilia Makri and Jo Mould the school offers a unique and special cooking experience.

Where to find us

The Mersea Island Cookery School is situated, as you might guess, on Mersea Island in Essex. Mersea Island is 10 miles from Colchester which has a direct rail service from London Liverpool Street station which takes just 50 minutes. The school is located in the village of East Mersea and can be found in Rewsalls Lane near the Mersea Island Vineyard.

Directions

From Colchester follow the B1025 Mersea Road towards Mersea. When you cross the Strood causeway to get onto the island take the left hand fork, turning towards East Mersea. After about 1 mile (shortly after the East Mersea sign) turn right into Rewsalls Lane, sign posted to Mersea Outdoors and the Mersea Island Vineyard.

Mersea Island Cookery School is located in the converted barn about 200m down Rewsalls Lane on the left hand side.

Find us on Google Maps

Please contact us for more information.

 

Course Dates

Chocolate Desserts
Thursday 12th October
Build a repertoire of impressive chocolate desserts by learning how to make bitter chocolate mousse with cherry sauce, chocolate fondants with salted caramel sauce and individual rich chocolate tarts with orange and hazelnuts praline.
Seafood
Friday 13th October
In this Seafood course, you'll learn how to choose, prepare and cook different types of seafood. We'll prepare and cook dishes with prawns, scallops, clams or mussels, and calamari.
Curing and Smoking
with Mike Keen
Sunday 15th October
Learn how to make your own cured and smoked meats and fish. Mike will guide you through the process of curing, hot and cold smoking, and how to build your own smoker at home.
Vegetarian Autumn Flavours
Monday 16th October
Whether you are a vegetarian wanting to get some ideas for new flavours, or just looking for some great tasting alternatives to meat dishes, discover some gems from the Mediterranean and Middle East, and build an impressive vegetarian repertoire.
Introduction to Bread Making
Tuesday 17th October
In the 'Introduction to Bread Making' course, you'll learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of doughs. With these skills you'll be creating a white loaf, a Focaccia bread and delicious Chelsea buns
Pastry
Thursday 19th October
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. During the workshop, you'll make shortcrust pastry, pate sucre and flaky pastry. You'll put them to good use creating a Leek and Gruyere tart, a Salmon en Croute and a Lemon Tart.
Halloween cooking and baking for Teenagers
Wednesday 25th October 10am-2pm
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old, will create a Halloween themed party buffet with four savoury spooky treats and two sweet centrepieces.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Thursday 26th October
10am-1pm
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll be taught how to make swiss rolls and then they will use them to create a haunted house.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Thursday 26th October
2pm-5pm
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll be taught how to make swiss rolls and then they will use them to create a haunted house.
Learning through cooking; 'A Monster Creation'
Friday 27th October
9.30am-12.00pm
Learning through cooking is back for Halloween with 'A Monster Creation' lesson. In this lesson your child will have the opportunity to practice writing through the process of designing and decorating monster biscuits
Learning through cooking; 'A Monster Creation'
Friday 27th October
1pm-3.30pm
Learning through cooking is back for Halloween with 'A Monster Creation' lesson. In this lesson your child will have the opportunity to practice writing through the process of designing and decorating monster biscuits
Stocks and Sauces
Friday 10th November
In the 'Stocks and Sauces' course, we will learn what makes a great sauce and how to choose the right sauce that will complement your meal.
Christmas Cakes and Puddings
Monday 13th November
In the 'Christmas cakes and puddings' course, you'll make and take home (allowing them to mature) for you to enjoy on Christmas day, a Christmas pudding, a Christmas cake and traditional mincemeat.
Game with Mike Keen
Tuesday 14th November
Mike will take you through the different stages of preparing and cooking Game and let you into tricks of the trade.
Gluten-free Christmas baking
Thursday 16th November
In the 'Gluten-free Christmas baking' course, you'll learn how to make a delicious frangipane topped mincemeat and pear tart, a yule log and ginger nut biscuits that are perfect as Christmas gifts.
Greek Winter Flavours
Friday 17th November
In the 'Greek Winter Flavours' course you'll learn how to make some truly authentic dishes. With our guidance you'll make Skordlia, Bakaliaro, Pantzarosalata, Papou salad, Stifado and Ravani.
Italian Pasta
Monday 20th November
In the 'Italian Pasta' class you will learn how to make pasta dough and how to roll, cut, fill and cook fresh pasta. With these skill you will make and cook spinach and ricotta ravioli, pappardelle with a beef ragu sauce and a black pepper linguini with salmon gravlax.
Pastry for Christmas Entertaining
Tuesday 21st November
In the 'Pastry for Christmas Entertaining' course, you'll learn how to make two of the most fundamental pastries for creating festive dishes made to impress.
Artisan breads
Monday 27th November
In the 'Artisan Breads' course, you'll learn how to bake light wholemeal and rye loafs as well as sweet buns. You'll also learn how to enhance the flavour of your breads by using pre-ferments such as biga and sponges.
Sausages with Mike Keen
Tuesday 28th November
Mike Keen will guide you through the process of selecting the meat and spices to make and fill a selection of sausages. You'll then use them to cook some winter comfort dishes with a twist or two.
Seasonal Festive Entertaining
Thursday 30th November
Prepare and cook some festive dishes designed for elegant entertaining. You will prepare pre-dinner canapes with aperitif and a 3 course meal for the festive season using seasonal ingredients and classic cookery techniques.
One-pot wonders
Monday 4th December
In the 'One-pot wonders' course, we'll be cooking some delicious informal meals, perfect for everyday dining with friends and family.
Christmas baking
Monday 11th December
Join Ilia Makri for a day, preparing and cooking some traditional Christmas fayre. In this class you'll learn the techniques involved in making a Yule log, a Christmas Stollen and some festive biscotti that are perfect as gifts.
Christmas Canapes with Mike Keen
Tuesday 12th December
Mike will take you through the process of designing a selection of canapes for the festive season and let you into tricks of the trade. Under his guidance you will cook and plate at least 9 delicious canapes.
Vegetarian Christmas
Wednesday 13th December
In the 'Vegetarian Christmas' course, you'll find some great tasting vegetarian dishes for entertaining during the festive season. We'll cook with seasonal ingredients to create dishes that will look and taste delicious so that Christmas lunch is special for everyone.

Children's Parties

If you fancy doing something a bit different for your child's party why not try a Cooking Party?

Parties can be booked Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm.

For more information please contact us.

Ilias's Kitchen