The Mersea Island Cookery School

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

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

Baking for Teenagers
Monday 19th August
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old will learn how to make three classic bakes. They will make soft bread rolls, shortcrust pastry (they then use it to make mini quiche Lorraine) and brownies. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying some of their bakes.
Middle Eastern Vegetarian for Teenagers
Wednesday 21st August
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old will cook vegetarian dishes inspired by the Middle Easter cuisine. Using a range of authentic ingredients from this region, they will cook, Spinach Boreks (Turkish filo parcels), Pittas (flat breads), Hummus (chickpea and tahini dip), Ta'miyya (Egyptian falafel made with split Fava beans), Tabouleh (a Lebanese herb salad studded with bulgar wheat and tomatoes) and Tulumba (Turkey's version of the spanish Churros).
Children's Summer Baking Workshop
Friday 23th August
In this class our young chefs, 8-12 year old will learn how to make a quick cheese bread, sausage rolls and mini meringue baskets with fresh cream and fruit of their choice. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying some of their bakes.
2 day Artisan Bread Making
9th and 10th September
In the 'Artisan Bread Making' course, you'll learn how to enhance the flavour of your breads by using pre-ferments such as biga, poolish and sponges, how to create, look after and use sourdough starters and how to bake wholemeal, rye and enriched breads.
Vegetarian Indian Curry
Wednesday 11th September
Spend the day with Sandhya Oza and learn how to cook Authentic Vegetarian Indian curry dishes. Sandhya believes that teaching Indian cooking is about helping learners understand the use of spices and helping them build up confidence in creating new dishes that suits their palates and level of spice.
Macarons & Marshmallows
Thursday 12th September
In this course, we'll make some beautifully coloured French macarons and will create some delicious marshmallows in various flavour combinations. As well as instruction on how to produce perfect macarons and marshmallows, this class aims to give you tips and tricks on how to introduce flavour variations giving a contemporary twist to your confectionery creations.
Introduction to Patisserie
Saturday 14th September
In the 'Introduction to Patisserie' course, you'll learn how to create a selection of patisserie classics. During the five hour workshop, you'll make Profiteroles, Millefeuille with crème patisserie and Glazed fruit tarts.
British Pies
Monday 23rd September
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry - suet pastry, short crust and rough puff pastry. Then use them to create three delicious dishes; a steak & kidney pudding, a chicken & leek pie, posh sausage rolls and a double crust apple pie.
British Breads
Thursday 26th September
We are showing our love for British food with one of the nation's most favourite foods, the bread. Learn how to make an artisan cottage loaf, a buttery, also known as a rowie, or Aberdeen roll, English muffins and a Bara brith (a yeast bread enriched with dried fruit).
Glorious British Apples
Friday 27th September
We are showing our love for British food with nation's favourite autumn fruit. Learn how to make apple crisps, apple chutney, mackerel with apples and beetroot, a casserole of apple, cider and pork, and an apple snow pudding with gingernut biscuits.
Seasonal Family Meals
Tuesday 8th October
Focusing on good quality ingredients and home cooking techniques we'll show you how you can make nourishing and exciting meals for your family. Come and get new ideas that will become part of your everyday meal repertoire.
Indian Curry
Wednesday 9th October
Learn how to cook your favourite Indian curry dishes. Teaching Indian cooking is about helping learners understand the use of spices and helping them build up confidence in creating new dishes that suits their palates and level of spice.
French Bread
Thursday 10th October
Learn how to make three different types of French breads: a baguette, a Fougasse and a Pain aux noix (walnut bread). Instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake a selection of French breads using fresh yeast, pate ferment and a poolish.
Fish: how to prepare and cook
Monday 14th October
In this course, you'll learn how to choose fish, prepare it and cook it. Based on what is seasonally available, we'll have two types of fish for you to fillet and cook, plus some seafood. The course involves demonstrations, instructions, guidance and hands-on experience.
Autumn Flavours of the Middle East
Saturday 19th October
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Marocco and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region including Lavash, Moroccan Lamb tajine, Grilled fish Chermoula, Abergine Imam bayildi, Persian Pilaf and Cherry & pistachio cake.
Introduction to Gluten-Free Baking
Tuesday 22nd October
In the 'Introduction to Gluten-free baking' course, you will learn how to make delicious gluten-free bread, pastry and cakes. This workshop includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Monday 28th October
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll learn how to make unearthly pizzas, witches fingers, spooky sausage rolls and eyeball mini cakes.
Halloween cooking and baking for Teenagers
Tuesday 29th October
Aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old, will create Halloween themed party dishes with four savoury spooky treats and two sweet centerpieces. Designed to boost confidence and develop teenager's culinary skills and knowledge of cooking.
Parent & Child Christmas Cooking & Baking
Wednesday 18th December
Learn lots of useful skills whilst cooking as a team with family members. Make sausage rolls, turkey fillets parmigiana with spaghetti and a Christmas yule log to take home (vegetarian substitutions available).

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