Conveniently located in the centre of Belfast, at the rear of the Mourne Seafood Bar this was the city's first purpose built cookery school and it is a bright airy space with state of the art equipment and a great team of tutors headed up by proprietor Andy Rea who is well known for his mantra of 'fresh, no-nonsense and affordable' cooking.
Others on the team include resident chefs James Neilly and Matthew McKinley, and the much-praised young chef Ben Arnold who has worked at some of Britain's most famous restaurants and whose many competition successes included winning the Northern Ireland heat of the BBC’s “Great British Menu” in 2015. Franco Cutrona contributes world - and especially Italian - flavours, and the school's wine expert is Robert Neill.
A wide range of exciting courses is offered, suited to all ages and skill levels, and the aim is for all pupils to learn to prepare dishes with fresh local produce.
The school has 20 fully equipped cooking stations which can be used by individual students, or for cooking in pairs or teams - ideal when the school is used for group outings or team building events.
Popular courses include a Fish Master Class (of course), a Pasta Class and a Baking Class. Themed classes include Italian and Asian Cookery nights, and there are some brilliant guest tutors - including Northern Ireland's first celebrity chef, Paul Rankin, and the great Danny Millar of Balloo Inns (Balloo House, The Parson's Nose and The Poacher's Pocket).
Classes are of varying lengths, mostly half days, with some also held in the evening or even at lunchtime, and classes can be tailored to suit groups.
Gift vouchers are available and can be purchased on the website.