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

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.
Christmas Leftovers:
Children's workshop
Wednesday 27th December
In the 'Christmas leftovers' Children's cooking workshop, children will make leftover turkey Quesadillas with guacamole & sweetcorn salsa, for dessert they will make a leftover mincemeat(nut free) and apple eccles tarts.
Festive Baking:
Children's workshop
Thursday 28th December
In the 'Festive Children's baking' workshop, children will learn how to bake and decorate a yule log with snow men. At the end of the workshop children will take their creation home.
Introduction to Bread Making
Thursday 11th January
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.
Vegan Winter Flavours
Monday 15th January
Learn how to transform ordinary ingredients into delicious and comforting dishes. With influences from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, you can create some great tasting food to share with friends and family.
Healthy Family Meals
Tuesday 16th January
Focusing on good quality ingredients and home cooking techniques we'll show you how you can make nourishing and exciting meals for your family. Discover new healthy alternatives that will become part of your everyday meal repertoire.
Greek Winter Flavours
Thursday 18th January
Learn how to make some truly authentic dishes. With our guidance you'll make Skordlia, Bakaliaro, Pantzarosalata, Papou salad, Stifado and Ravani. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying the dishes we've made.
Fish with Mike Keen
Tuesday 23rd January
Spend the day with the lovely Mike Keen. Mike will take you through the different stages of preparing and cooking a delicious 3 course lunch and let you into tricks of the trade.
2 day Sourdough & Artisan Breads
25th & 26th January
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.
Pastry
Monday 29th January
In the 'Pastry' course, you'll learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. During the five hour workshop, you'll make shortcrust pastry, pate sucre (a sweet shortcrust pastry) and flaky pastry.
Winter Flavours of the Middle East
Tuesday 30th January
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Marocco and Egypt and learn how to make Lavash, Maroccan Lamb tajine, Grilled fish Chermoula, Abergine Imam bayildi, Persian Pilaf, carrot and orange salad and a Cherry & pistachio cake.
Gluten-Free Beginners
Thursday 1st February
Learn how to make delicious gluten-free bread, pastry and cakes. Includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients.
Kitchen Confidence: short course for beginners
5th-8th February
We are proud to introduce our new Kitchen Confidence course for beginners. This course is especially designed to introduce basic kitchen skill to people that have no or little experience cooking.
Seafood
Thursday 22nd February
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.
Introduction to Patisserie
Friday 23rd February
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
Macarons & Marshmallows
Monday 26th February
Make some beautifully coloured French macarons and create some delicious marshmallows in various flavour combinations. Learn tips and tricks on how to introduce flavour variations giving a contemporary twist to your confectionery creations.
French Bread
Tuesday 27th February
In the 'French Breads' course, you'll learn how to make three different types of French breads: a baguette, a Fougasse and a Pain aux noix (walnut bread). Demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake using fresh yeast, pate ferment and a poolish.
Spanish Tapas
Friday 2nd March
In the 'Spanish Tapas' course you'll take a gastronomic journey through Spain's diverse regional cuisine. We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes using a range of authentic ingredients from the region.
British Pies
Friday 9th March
Learn the to make three classic types of pastry - suet pastry, short crust and rough puff pastry. Then create three delicious dishes; a steak and onion pudding, a chicken & leek pie, posh sausage rolls and a double crust apple pie.
Italian Breads
Monday 12th March
Learn how to make three classic Italian breads; Ciabatta, Focaccia and Grissini. You'll also be making a traditional Pizza dough. Demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake a selection of Italian breads.
Chocolate Patisserie
Tuesday 13th March
Build a repertoire of impressive chocolate confectionery, cakes and desserts by learning how to make chocolate truffles, salted caramel chocolate cake and chocolate tart with orange & hazelnuts praline.
Easter Breads
Friday 16th March
Learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of enriched doughs. With these skills you'll be creating some savoury filled brioche buns, an Easter almond and citrus filled wreath, and of course the seasonal favourite, hot cross buns.
Easter Baking
Monday 19th March
In the 'Easter baking' course, you'll learn how to bake a Simnel cake, a chocolate gateau and a white chocolate and raspberry Blondie.
Greek Easter Flavours
Friday 23rd March
Learn how to make some truly authentic Greek dishes. With our guidance you'll make Kalitsounia, pittas, tzatziki, Kleftiko and lahanosalata and Loukoumades.
Afternoon Tea
Friday 20th April
The perfect way to get together with friends or family and do something a bit different. You will learn to make your own afternoon tea, including a range of quintessentially British cakes, sandwiches, pastries and, of course, scones. Then enjoy your creations with a cup of tea.
Curing and Smoking
Monday 23th April
Spend the day with the lovely Mike Keen. 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.
Flavours of the Middle East
Tuesday 24th April
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region. These include: Pittas, Boreks, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Ta'miyya, Kofte and Baklava.
Gluten-Free Advanced
Thursday 26th April
Learn how to make delicious gluten-free brioche, rough puff pastry and choux buns. Demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients. Make brioche buns, a savoury pie with rough puff pastry and chocolate profiteroles.
Artisan breads
Monday 30th April
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. Make, shape and bake a wholemeal loaf, a rye loaf and brioche buns.

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