Christmas cooking schools: Cook up classy classics in class

Nick Nairn's cooking school. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Nick Nairn's cooking school. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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EAT, drink and have a very masterchef Christmas with the pick of Scotland’s cooking and cocktail-making lessons.

Nick Nairn’s Quick Cook Christmas Premium

Where Aberdeen

When 19 December

Price £59

This exclusive class for up to ten people is the perfect place to learn essential Christmas cookery skills. Once the booking has been made, participants will be asked to select their choice of festive main from Nairn’s current menu, which includes lobster crumble, pan-fried duck and kung po prawn.

Students will watch two hours of demonstrations from a professional chef before putting their newly acquired knowledge to the test in a hands-on cookery session.

As it is the season to be jolly, it’s not all work and no play. Upon arrival the class will be treated to a glass of fizz, and all members will be able to eat their meal at the end of the session.

The package also includes a PDF recipe pack to take home and refreshments during the day.

(01877 389900,

The Cook School Scotland’s Festive Events

Where Kilmarnock

When Throughout December

Price £45-£100

The Cook School Scotland is hosting a range of festive classes this season, from private lunches to a full day of cookery.

Participants can choose from three packages depending on whether they are interested in simple observation or a more hands-on approach. The Demo and Dine option (£45) features an observation and tasting session with chefs, during which time each course is prepared in front of guests and talked through by the professionals. This is followed by a sit-down dining experience, and all participants leave with a recipe pack.

There are two hands-on sessions also available – the half-day option which lasts for four hours (£65) or the full-day course (£100).

Both also finish with a formal dinner, in which participants will be able to taste the dishes that have been prepared on the day.

(01563 550008,

Fizz and Canapé Creation

Where Humble Pie, Edinburgh

When Various dates in December

Price £40pp

One of Edinburgh’s top outside catering companies is hosting a series of evening classes to teach festive party throwers how to make the perfect canapé.

Participants will be welcomed with a glass of fizz then, after everyone is suitably watered, the class moves to the kitchen, where the company’s chefs explain how they prepare their best-loved nibbles.

All the recipes have already been tried and tested by the company at weddings and corporate events, so thsi is the perfect training ground for those who want to impress their own Christmas crowd. n

(, 01620 890 902)

Children’s Christmas Baking Course

Where Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

When 21 December

Price £45

This course, for wannabe baking superstars aged between nine and 13, aims to teach the art of making all manner of treats just in time for Christmas.

Throughout the morning class, experts will take children step by step through baking chocolate shortbread stars, decorated Christmas cupcakes, chocolate brownies and sweet orange and cinnamon bread.

All products made in class will, of course, be packed up and sent home for the children to share with their families – or just keep for themselves.

(0131-226 4314,

Christmas Cocktails

Where The Cookery School, Glasgow

When 20-22 December

Price From £42

Before learning to make your own cocktails, this course sensibly lines participants’ stomachs with a hearty three-course meal, comprising spiced parsnip soup, chicken with a mushroom and thyme source (a vegetarian option is also available) and sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce.

After dinner, participants then learn to make three festive cocktails. On the menu are classics such as the mojito, the cosmopolitan and the formidable Long Island iced tea.

Canapes, wine and a complimentary welcome cocktail are also included in the price, as are all food and cocktails. n

(0141-552 5239,

Twitter: @rebecca_monks