Healthy eating,Upcoming Courses

Six Sumptuous Summer Salads12 Apr

Summer salad

Do you love salad?
Do you struggle to make them tasty and sensational?

Six Sumptuous Summer Salads is the perfect BRAND NEW course for you!

James Claydon will teach you the methods for making the most delicious salads. You will prepare sensational salads which may be used to accompany a dish or easily make a wholesome, fulfilling and complete meal.
Click here to discover more!


Events,Upcoming Courses

Is there a pudding you are desperate to master?01 Nov

Take a look at our NEW Pudding Club.

James’ 25 years’ experience has allowed him chance to develop the perfect recipes.  This is your chance to learn from the best…the Claydons love their puddings!  
Don’t delay take a sneaky peek.
Choose your favourites and fall in love all over again.

Food news,Upcoming Courses

Focaccia, Croissant, Brioche…21 Aug

Exciting new breads…

Not long to go before James’ first bread course at Shires.  Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September.  He is looking forward to sharing his passion.

Do you fancy catching the bread baking bug?  It’s definitely contagious!


Events,Upcoming Courses

Italian Cooking Course20 Aug

Visit our new and exciting Italian courses. 
James Claydon will teach you to cook classic seasonal dishes.

Don’t miss our course on Saturday 6th September.

wild mushroom risotto

Upcoming Courses

Calling all chocolate lovers01 Feb

Box of chocolates

Taking place next Saturday 8th February, we have a three hour chocolate making course.

During the session you will learn how to create a delicious box of hand made chocolates, decorating and icing techniques.

At the end of the class if they are a Valentines gift for your loved one you can package them up ready to be delivered. If not – maybe an indulgent treat and eat them yourself!

Course starts at 9.30am through to 12.30pm, cost is £65 per student, this includes all your ingredients. Book your place





Upcoming Courses

Develop your fish skills with Waitrose20 Sep

Waitrose correct pantone






We are delighted to announce the Waitrose Specialists from Kingsthorpe Northampton will be hosting a Fish Skills Day on Friday 4th October at the school.

Using produce from in-store, you will learn from the Specialists how to scale, gut, fillet and cook three different types of fish. In addition you will glean tips on how to select quality fish, preparation and storing.

The course commences at 9.30am, through to 2.30pm, lunch is included. This is hands on course, with only 8 places available, cost per student is £105. Waitrose Kingsthorpe will also kindly be providing a goody bag. Click through to book your place

Upcoming Courses

Hen and beekeeping courses19 Jul

If you are thinking of keeping bees or poultry, Paul and Dianna Peacock are running courses at Great Billing Garden Store. The courses will be introductory and suitable for beginners.

The Urban Hen – for the growing number of people wanting to keep poultry, this course tells you all you need to know. Cost £25 or two places £30.


Introduction to Beekeeping – this course will not make you into a beekeeper, but will give you a chance to decide if bees are for you. Gain knowledge of how to care for them and what type of bees are suited to your circumstances. Cost £25 or two places £30

If you are interested in either of these courses please contact (01604) 404550. Or email

Paul and Dianna Peacock can be found at

Upcoming Courses

Last minute Father’s Day gift idea16 Jun

If your Dads only culinary claim to fame is the annual barbecue, give him a treat this year and book him a place on our sausage making class.

Taking place on 31July at Northampton College. We will show him how to prepare and tasty sausages. Dad just has to turn up at 10am wearing his favorite BBQ pinny!

This two hour course costs on £35 – book now

Upcoming Courses

Come on the lads27 Apr

Curry, lager and footie – what more could you want?

On Saturday 22 May we will be staging our World Cup Curry challenge 

Taking place at Northampton College, this three hour course is  for all you football fans who thought curries magically arrived fully formed in tin foil containers from your local takeaway.

We’ll show you how to source ingredients yourself, use authentic spices to create the ultimate chicken tikka masala. Make tasty onion bhaji’s and cook perfect pilau rice. All through easy, step-by-step, hands-on demonstration lessons with our expert chef.

And to complement the exotic flavours we’ll even select some specialist lagers and ciders for you to try, included in the price of the course – all part of your introduction to the true taste of India in your own living room.

Cost is only £38 per person – book your place now

Upcoming Courses

Do you have cold hands?25 Apr

Then you maybe a fantastic pastry maker – its a well known fact!

If there is one culinary challenge that sends shivers down the spine it is making pastry. However practice does make perfect.

There is definitely a knack to it – you may be lucky and get it right first time, but for many people it takes a few attempts before they master the technique.

On Saturday 12 June we will be running a perfect pastry course, to help you make and bake perfect pastry. You will learn how to produce fabulous puff pastry, crisp light sweet pastry, choux pastry and easy short crust pastry.

In the meantime, if  you are baking at home, here are a five top tips to get you started.

1.The basic principle to making pastry is a ratio of half fat (butter) to flour, with just enough water to bind it together. However, the more fat you can work into your pastry the richer and flakier it becomes.
2. Ensure your hands are not too warm – rinse under cold water if necessary. 
3.Try to lift the flour and butter up out of the bowl as you work, allowing the air to get in to the pastry. It is important to do this quickly and thoroughly. If you “work” the pastry too much it will cause the gluten strands in the flour to toughen and this in turn will cause the pastry to shrink during cooking.
4. Try to keep this dusting light, too much flour will affect the quality of the pastry.
5. Every time the pastry is handled allow it rest for at least an hour, after making, rolling etc. This
allows the gluten strands to relax again, as each time you handle the pastry you stretch them out.

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