Tucked away in a quiet street in Wandsworth, London, The Avenue is a spacious and modern cookery school. A couple of weeks ago I was invited there for a vegan cooking class. A bit flustered by my day, I was welcomed with a glass of wine and a smile. With a shiny Christmas tree by the door and chilli plants adorning the table, the mood was definitely festive.
The Avenue Cookery School is a family run school headed by the dynamic Diana Horsford who taught at The Grange Cookery School in Somerset for seven years and has been with The Avenue for over ten years. With the help of an enthusiastic team, she aims to give students of all ages and levels an understanding of food and how to cook.
Fresh from a makeover, The Avenue Cookery School is a cosy space with a large dining table and four generous kitchen islands. Diana settled herself behind the teaching station to explain what we were going to be cooking while demonstrating basic knife skills.
On The Menu That Evening
Falafel Salad with a Tahini Dressing
Sesame Crusted Tofu with a Vegetable Stir Fry with a Homemade Sweet Chilli Dressing
Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Pistachios
Knife in hand and a glass of wine on the side, we set out to prepare the food from the menu above. Each kitchen island is fitted with four hobs as well as a sink and a powerful food processor.
With four people per kitchen island, we split the work amongst ourselves and were soon busy cooking and chatting with a great soundtrack playing in the background. The staff and chefs of The Avenue Cookery School were circulating to help us.
The recipes were straightforward to make and suited to all skill levels. Before we knew it the food was ready and we all sat down around the dining table to enjoy it.
The Falafel Salad with a Tahini Dressing was really delicious. I will be making this again (in the oven rather than in a frying pan though). It is a perfect appetiser that certainly looks the part too!
Simple and healthy, the sweet chilli dressing gave life to this Sesame Crusted Tofu with a Vegetable Stir Fry.
We finished off with this yummy Avocado Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Pistachios. This takes around 10 minutes to make and is as healthy and delicious as it looks.
This vegan cooking class at The Avenue Cookery School was so enjoyable and fun. Better still, after all that cooking, drinking and eating … there was no washing up to do!
The Avenue Cookery School aims to make cooking accessible to everyone, so whatever your abilities don’t be shy, there is something for everyone.
You’ll find plenty more courses available on The Avenue Cookery School website from Cooking and Knife Skills Class, Gluten Free Cookery Class, January Detox Cooking Class, Peruvian Cooking Class or even Macaron Masterclass. They also offer private events – kids/adults birthdays, hens, corporate, 1:1 classes – anything really, from 3-hour evening classes to 2-week Chalet Host courses!
What a fabulous gift to yourself or someone else. In the current Christmas Sale you can enjoy 15% off until end of December. You’ll find all the details here.