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Cookery courses for vegetarians: best five

From tasty tofu to Chinese feasts, you can learn the secrets to great vegetarian cooking at one of these four cookery schools across the country

Demuths

Arguably the best-known cookery course for vegetarians in the country, Demuths doesn’t rest on its laurels. From exploring the spice route to fast and delicious winter soups, they offer a wide variety of courses in different cuisines. Courses range from evening, half day or day depending on how long you want to spend learning the tricks of the vegetarian trade.

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A lot of the focus at Demuths is on oriental cooking, be it Indian, Japanese or Chinese. You can spend a day learning how to create a Chinese New Year Feast, led by Lydia. Chinese food is often meat heavy, but Lydia will teach you how to make some of her mothers dishes such as Sesame Dressed Chinese Greens and Dim Sum Dumplings. After day spent chopping, stirring, mixing and frying, you’ll be rewarded with a late lunch that includes a glass or two of vegan organic wine.

Chinese New Year Feast: 28th January 2017, 10am-4.30pm, £165.00 per person (demuths.co.uk)

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Our Lizzy

Our Lizzy cookery school, based in Malvern, is great whether you’re a novice or an expert. There are a wide range of courses on offer from a taste of Thailand to tasty tofu. On the taste of tofu course, all food is suitable for vegans, too. Tofu can be a tricky ingredient to cook with, as many vegetarians know. With this course, you’ll learn all about the different types and different ways of cooking it, from frying to braising.

The classes are small, meaning you get a lot of attention and time to ask questions. The day starts with you preparing a tofu brunch while in the afternoon you’ll watch demonstrations and make some tofu flans. By the end of the day, the meat-free alternative will be your best friend; you’ll be cooking it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Tasty Tofu: 12th February 2017, 10am-3.45pm, £80 per person (ourlizzy.com)


Abbey Home Farm

Sign up for a one day cookery course, on a 1600-acre organic farm in the Cotswolds, and with the help of US-born vegetarian chef and cookery teacher Erin Baker you can expand your meat-free repertoire, using plant-based and farm-produced dairy ingredients. There are a variety of courses on offer, but the meat free meals course aims to help those reducing their meat intake, or those who have given it up all together.

You’ll spend the day learning how to make quick yet delicious vegetarian food, using vegetables that are grown on the farm. The recipes you’re making might include beetroot risotto, pumpkin tagine and parsnip, leek and cheddar gratin. At the end of the day, you’ll have been inspired with some veggie recipes that are easy to re-create at home.

Meat free meals: 10th February 2017, 10am-2:30pm, £65 per person (theorganicfarmshop.co.uk)

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Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons

Raymond Blanc‘s luxury hotel in the Oxfordshire countryside may have a traditional focus on service and fine dining but it’s not afraid to take that vision in contemporary directions. Especially where the kitchen is concerned. The restaurant has long offered vegetarian diners a tasting menu created with as much attention to detail as its carnivorous ones. And its cookery school runs seasonal Magic of Vegetables, Herbs and Pulses one-day courses aimed at helping participants make the most of whatever is in bloom at that time of year.

When you put the cookery school in context it’s even less of a surprise how imaginatively its tutors approach plant-based cooking. The hotel has a two-acre kitchen garden that directly supplies its chefs with over 90 types of vegetables and 70 types of herbs. There’s also an orchard, and the site is home to the National Heritage Garden, run in partnership with Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library to showcase rare heritage vegetables. Blanc and his team of chefs know their onions intimately, in other words.

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Le Manoir vegetarian cookery class

Vegetarian Society Cookery School

If you want to spend more than just a day learning the techniques to vegetarian cooking, then the Vegetarian Society Cookery School, located in a Victorian mansion in Cheshire, is a great place to learn. The courses are hands on, with tutors on hand to help you through out your time there. Best of all you’ll get to eat the food yourself!

Over the two days, you’ll make over 20 dishes from soups and salads to dressings and desserts. By the end of your time there, you’ll be able to cook a variety of veggie dishes and confidently plan a vegetarian menu.

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Two day workshops: 6-7th May 2017, 9am-4pm, £275 per person (vegsoccookeryschool.org)