Welcome to Rutland Cookery School
Rutland Cookery School is the newest venture from acclaimed chef Robin Stewart and has been established so he can share his love of cookery and pass on tips, techniques, short cuts and insights which he has learned during his career working in professional, 5* kitchens.
Based just outside Oakham in purpose built kitchens, Rutland Cookery School caters for beginners, intermediate and advanced cooks and offers an array of courses from bread making to vegetarian, sushi to marmalade, knife skills to food photography.
Learn with a professional chef
Robin’s first step into a professional kitchen was in the 1970s, working as a young commis chef at the Carlton Tower Hotel in London with an inspirational chef called Bernard Gaume. He then moved to Gleneagles, before working for renowned chef Anton Mosimann at the Dorchester Hotel.
His next move was to the Michelin-starred kitchens of the Connaught Hotel, under the experienced and exacting eye of Michel Bourdin. Further experience was gained during seven years as head chef at Royal Warrant holders, wine merchants Corney and Barrow in the City of London.
Robin develops recipes for Waitrose, M&S and Sainsbury’s, runs workshops and demonstrations for the food industry and has also gained teaching qualifications, which he uses to teach evening classes, NVQ courses and cookery for adults with learning disabilities.
This impressive experience in some of the world’s top kitchens has given Robin a wealth of knowledge about how to cook a vast array of dishes…and you now have the chance to take some of this experience home.
Meet Robin Stewart
What is your favourite ingredient?
Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, compares to the aroma of a wicker basket full of fresh truffles. Almost impossible to describe flavour or aroma – and I have been asked many times. Truffles aren’t an ingredient to be used frequently, but every cook should use them at least once.
What’s the most useful culinary skill for someone to learn?
How to use and look after knives! Absolutely essential and you gain an instant sense of professionalism when using really sharp knives properly.
Do you enjoy cooking for yourself?
Honestly? Not especially, the joy is in the sharing
Share an insider secret with us…
Always bake at least two loaves of bread, it freezes well, is the same amount of work and uses energy more efficiently. Make your own pesto; cheaper and so much better. It keeps in a jar in the fridge for a month. (See Magimix Micro below). Buy a bottle of pomegranate molasses and drizzle over duck or make into a fruity/sour warm salad dressing.
Which is your favourite cuisine?
It varies depending on what mood I’m in and the time of year – but the light and fresh hot, sour, salty, sweet South East Asian flavours always work for me. Middle Eastern is high on the list too, as is Italian.
What is your top rated kitchen gadget?
Magimix Micro, this pint size food processor is perfect for chopping and mixing pesto, nuts, breadcrumbs and much more – and unlike its big brothers takes up little space and is easy to clean.
What has been the most memorable meal you’ve eaten at a restaurant?
Oddly enough the simplest; air-cured beef over-looking the ski slopes in Switzerland and really fresh red mullet in a pub in Devon (I forget the name) served with its liver – a sure sign that the chef knows what they are doing – red mullet liver is a delicacy and should always be served with the fish. I suppose El Bulli should feature, but it doesn’t I’m afraid.
If you had to choose one last meal, what would it be?
Thai Green mango salad followed by Pad Thai followed by coconut rice with mango. Or perhaps chicken pie with soft boiled quails eggs (as we served it at the Connaught), or steak and kidney pudding, apple pie and ice cream…
Can anyone learn to cook?
Of course! There has to be a desire naturally, but then it comes down to confidence, learning key techniques and tasting…lots of tasting!