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

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