Philleigh Way Cookery School - Truro
We have certainly been through strange and unprecedented times and are now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are starting to emerge from our cocoons in the knowledge that things just will not be the same as they were before.
Many businesses are having to adopt major changes and rethink business practices to move forward. One such business is the local Philleigh Way Cookery School, a contemporary cookery school based in Truro, offering a number of unique dining experiences and cookery classes. One thing we know for sure they won’t have gone hungry and they have continued to keep themselves busy with their selection of quality Food Boxes, BBQ Packs, Sunday Roast and a choice of pre-cooked meals that can be ordered online and delivered to your door. They are fantastic value and remove the hassle out of cooking.
We managed to catch up with the owner and tutor Rupert Cooper, between all his commitments to discuss his love of cooking and what they have been up to during the lock-down.
What’s your first memory of your love for cooking?
"Like lots of chefs, it's my mum. She is a great cook, and I have great memories of the smell of the house on a Sunday waiting for roasts or curries on a Friday night! Also travelling to France three to four times a year and fully immersing myself into French cuisine."
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
"Well, I never had a plan of being a chef; my dream was to play rugby professionally and I managed to achieve that to a reasonable standard. I had always been involved in restaurants/bars and enjoyed the industry growing up. But it was about half way through my rugby career, I decided to pay more attention to food and cooking especially. I cooked every night for the lads I lived with, and they seemed to enjoy it! Then at the end of season dinner, I said I would be happy to do an auction prize to cook dinner for some fans. So I did, and they loved it... the rest is history!"
What do you love most about your job?
"Being creative, cooking food for people and I am just so passionate about food!"
What is your favourite British dish?
"British" food is a difficult question as Jamie Oliver's series about British food completely opens up how worldwide our classics are! I would have to say fish pie or steak & kidney!"
What is your comfort food?
"Jacket potato and tuna... honestly so simple and so, so good! Sad but true."
What is the one ingredient you can’t live without?
"Lemons or garlic!"
Favourite kitchen equipment or gadget?
Are there any foods you don’t like?
"Not really. I am not mad keen on fried eggs, but I will eat them!"
Easiest meal to impress someone?
"Honestly, simply cooked fresh fish. Easy and a great crowd pleaser!"
Do you do the cooking at home?
"Yes, I never get tired or bored of cooking."
Have you been trying out any new recipes during the lockdown?
"A couple. But actually getting back to basics has been the best bit."
We hear there are exciting changes coming to the school. What exactly are these?
"We are currently putting in place an outside kitchen/prep space, so we can do 90% of the courses outside. Given we already have an amazing woodfired cooking section it's just about utilising it even more. But more to the point giving people confidence at coming to courses in the near future."
We assume you will you continue to offer classes and in what way do you see these being conducted?
"Well, as I mentioned, more time outside in the fresh air. Reduced numbers (max 4 students) and completely individual work stations/prep."
When do you hope to open your doors again, and what can people expect?
"As soon as it is deemed safe to do so. I think it presents an amazing opportunity for people to do more cooking on fire and that it doesn’t just have to be sausages and burgers but a whole host of things. But also with the reduced numbers students will get a huge opportunity to ask questions and really go into detail on the day."
Kitchens already have to adhere to high standards of cleanliness; what further precautions will be implemented at the school, post Covid-19?
"While we are pretty hot on it anyway. It's just about providing students more access and confidence in cleanliness whilst at the school. So whether that is at individual work stations, more hand washing facilities we will endeavour to make people as comfortable as possible."
These classes are a superb experience, learn to cook new dishes, brush up on your skills in the kitchen or join them for one of the amazing supper clubs. You are made to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive and are in no way rushed throughout the class. You will leave having learned lots and having created simple and uncomplicated dishes that are bursting with flavour.
Philleigh Way Cookery School
Court Farm, Philleigh, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5NB
Telephone: 01872 580893