An education in eating as we check out the awesome Swinton Park cookery school.
Swinton Park may be known for its wonderful hotel and gorgeous Yorkshire Dales-adjacent location, but that’s far from all this beautiful estate has to offer to its food-fanatic guests. ETL were lucky enough to experience a day at their fantastic cookery school, taught by the ball of energy that is chef/teacher Steve Bulmer.
There are two key things to bear in mind if you’re considering a day with Steve in his hectic kitchen: one is it’s loud, very loud, with loads of laughs thrown about for the entirety of the course. And two it’s non-stop. You will be cooking for 6 hours straight at a mile a minute. This class is all hands on deck with information being flung around left, right and centre.
The course got started straight away with basic bread recipes for focaccia and flatbreads, followed by pasta dough made using chestnut flour. Whilst those were resting we moved on to preparing a crème anglaise with the assistance of Stephen to be used in the later desserts of panna cotta and a soufflé.
We started our independent cooking with a smoked aubergine dish (Iman Bayeldi) which served as the first dish to taste, and not to blow my own trumpet but the plate of food I created for myself was really rather yummy.
Next came a pheasant tagine made using game meat shot on the estate, followed by breast of pheasant on a bed of lentils. Both were really simple and utterly delicious, but both displayed a totally different set of skills that Stephen allowed us to explore on our own.
There were several dishes we tried after demonstrations, such as the stuffed calamari, prawn and salmon nori tempura, a fresh crab linguine and a mushroom pasta created using the chestnut dough we’d made that morning. Trying all of the dishes as they came out of the pan was definitely a highlight of the day, alongside the healthy amount of knowledge that accompanied each plate.
We finished off this intense but hilarious day with the panna cotta and soufflé we had begun preparing at the start of the day, both of which came with local rhubarb slow cooked in the oven. These vanilla laden desserts were the perfect end to what can only be described as a feast for the brain as well as the stomach. This energetic but in depth course would be hugely enjoyable for anybody with a passion for food and cooking.
For more information visit swintonpark.com