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The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc

The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food

We went on a ‘cooking together’ class at Manchester culinary school Food Sorcery – this is what we learnt.

If you fancy dining out a little differently, this cookery school in Didsbury is just the ticket.

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Called Food Sorcery, classes here are run by a team of professional chefs – all with their own specialist areas of expertise.

Down at the school, they host a range of classes, giving you the opportunity to learn how to create your own restaurant-quality food from scratch at home.  

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Under the guidance of a professional chef, you can try your hand at a whole host of cuisines from Japanese and Sri Lankan to Thai, Italian and French – but we opted for their ‘cooking together’ class, an easy-going option that’s designed to be just as fun as it is informative.

The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc
The outside terrace at Food Sorcery has some glorious views overlooking the river

Perfect for doing with a mate or a date, the dishes you’ll learn to cook here often change regularly.

On the night we went down, they were running a class on preparing an Asian-inspired menu of pulled chicken salad and caramelised lime fish. Big fans of that style of food, we got stuck right in.

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Greeted with a glass of prosecco on arrival and some tasty little nibbles to pick at, after a quick meet and greet we seated ourselves down on the outside terrace which has some glorious views overlooking the river. 

Bubbles done, we made our way inside for a quick Q&A with our expert chef for the night, before getting stuck into preparing our first course: the aforementioned pulled chicken salad. 

And so the class began: with us peeling ribbons off carrots, chopping and slicing shallots, coriander, peppers, and mixing in sugar to a pre-prepared dish of fish sauce and sesame oil to create the most simple yet delicious dressing (whilst quietly thinking, this is so lovely, why don’t I ever bother to do this at home?) 

The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc
All of your ingredients are laid out on your station for you ready to start cooking
The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc
Some of our handiwork on the evening, a fried rice dish and a pulled chicken salad

At times, it felt a little like a race – there are no cooking instructions on your station, so you really have to pay attention to what you’re being told as you go along. That said, it’s made as easy as possible with all of your ingredients and equipment laid out ready straight from the beginning – including some hunks of pre-cooked chicken that we merely had to pull apart with our hands and lay into the serving dish. 

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Across from us, there was a couple on a first date who looked to be having the very best time – laughing and joking as they put together their meal before sitting down in the communal dining area to share it together. 

Salads devoured and we’re back into the kitchen and onto the main event. This time, we were really cooking – not just assembling.

Once the heat is on in the pan, the pressure goes up a little bit and whilst we definitely over-watered our caramel sauce at one point our friendly chef was on hand to help advise how to correct it. 

The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc
Preparing out caramelised fish by searing it in the pan before making our sauce
The Manchester cookery school that teaches you to make restaurant-quality food, The Manc
The stations at Food Sorcery are well spaced out and all set up for cooking in pairs

Disaster averted, we ended up with a really tasty main course and a whole new skill set under our belts. Safe to say, cooking with raw cane sugar can finally be ticked off the bucket list. 

After securing a few drinks from the bar to help us get over the pressure of wanting (and failing) to get it all absolutely perfect, we sat down at the table to enjoy our caramelised fish and realised it was much, much better than we thought it was going to be. That is to say, it was lovely and we (correction, I) was stressing out over nothing. 

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To finish, the team had pre-prepared a gorgeous passion fruit creme dessert for us which we got stuck into with vigour. Sweet and moreish, the little ramekins were emptied in a matter of moments alongside further gin and tonics in what made a perfect end to the evening. 

For those looking for a fun activity to do together, we couldn’t recommend the experience more. 

Not only are you guided by an expert but all the ingredients are provided for you and you don’t even need to bother with the washing up – an absolute winner in our books. 

Having had a taste, we’re already eyeing up our next class. Baking, maybe, or Japanese. We can’t quite decide.  

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