If you’re bored of weekends at quaint B&B’s, maybe you need to add a little spice to your life. Why not learn a new skill on your weekend away, and what better skill to develop than cooking? There are a growing number of cooking schools opening in wineries, farms and lodges located in the gourmet hot spots of Australia. Here are a few of the best.
The Agrarian Kitchen – Tasmania
Probably the hottest cooking course in Australia at the moment – so you need to book ahead. You’ll pop on a pair of wellington boots and head off into the Agrarian garden to collect your ingredients for these full day workshops. The cost is $350 per person and there are a wide variety of classes from the broad Agrarian Experience to specialty classes such as Macaroons, Tomato Gluttony and Preserving Summer’s Bounty.
Producers of McLaren Vale – South Australia
Food, wine, cheese and olive oil classes are held most Sundays. These are passionate regional producers who care to share their love of local produce. You will find different seasonal offerings depending on when you visit. These may include almonds, oranges, lemons, mandarins, quinces, pears, apples, walnuts, mulberries, plums, apricots, nashis, feijoas, and figs.
For individuals (one to five guests) there are workshops on most Sundays with two sessions at 11am & 1pm. The cost is about $90 per person for classes, depending on the ingredients.
Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Winery – South Australia
One Sunday every month, the winery holds variously themed cooking classes conducted by their resident chef. The June 30 class, titled “Truffles, mushrooms, heirloom vegetables & other earthly delights” sounds divine. Classes occur on different Sundays so check the link below for dates.
Cape Lodge Margaret River – Western Australia
This luxury lodge offers cooking classes, master classes and gourmet events throughout the year. The quick classes run from 3.30pm to 5.30pm as you watch the creation of your evening meal. Cooking class and dinner costs $295 per person and includes cooking class, apron, and a five course Chef’s Tasting Menu in the Cape Lodge Restaurant
Spicers Estate – Queensland
Spicers has two Sunshine Coast hinterland resorts, both featuring a cooking school. Spicers Cloverley Estate has the Long Apron School and Spicers Tamarin Retreat holds regular Thai cooking classes. Class and accommodation packages are available; otherwise the cost is $165.00 per person just for the classes, which include lunch, wine and a “The Long Apron” to take away Classes run 10am to 3pm and are held mostly on Wednesdays.
A Tavola! Cooking Classes – Victoria
Three hours north of Melbourne is Pizzini winery in the King Valley. The winery runs cooking classes for up to eight people and the 2013 schedule looks delicious. Classes are mostly $130 per person with specialties such as Pasta, Ravioli & Gnocchi, Antipasti & Tapas and Home Cheese Making.
Majors Lane Cooking School – New South Wales
Hunter Valley winery, restaurant and smokehouse, Majors Lane, conducts Asian cooking classes using regional produce every weekend. There are Thai, Balinese, Sichuan, Indonesian and Vietnamese classes. Chef and cooking teacher, Ben Sales, is highly rated by the Good Food Guide. Classes are $125 per person and are held Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 1pm.
If you have been to any of these classes or have any other suggestions, we’d love to see your comments.
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