Our very own Bod Griffiths, founder and host at Vale House Kitchen, has written as article for Food Lover Magazine all about one of his real passions, Trout. Take a read of the article below….
Heres our Spring Newsletter – if you’d like to subscribe please click the link on our contact us page. Enjoy!!
Lovely to see our Foraging Course mentioned in The Culture Trip write up on Baths booming culinary scene. As spring is starting to bloom all around us we look forward to getting out into the fields and strolling along the hedgerows and picking some wild delights. Our Foraging Courses start on March 22nd with our fantastic tutor Adrian Boots.
2018 has arrived and now we all start pondering the blank slate of the new year and how to make a good beginning. Often we’re encouraged to give things up, but at Vale House we take a more positive approach – why not take up something new instead?
Our courses focus on preserving traditional country skills, from pig and game butchery, to bread-making and preserving, to fishing and foraging. Picking up a fantastic new skill is not only great fun (and a brilliant way to make a deeper connection with where your food comes from), it might even change your life – we’ve had several former attendees go on to start new businesses with what they’ve learnt, which is absolutely wonderful.
Often the excesses of Christmas leave us wanting to get a little healthier in January, but we think there are more enjoyable ways to go about it than simply hitting the celery. Learning how to cook even simple dishes from scratch can be much better for you, and our Beginners Cookery Day with professional chef Kieran Lenihan will equip even the most timid kitchen novice to get creative, starting with chopping, prepping and seasoning skills, and moving on to some of Kieran’s favourite easy recipes. Or why not come to one of our Family Cookery Days? We want to get families cooking together, because it’s a lovely way to bond with the kids and to teach them healthy habits for the future, so for every adult place booked, you can bring along a child aged 10-16 for free!
And there’s more – why not use one of our courses to help kickstart a positive change elsewhere in your life? Our Seasonal Cookery Masterclass with Tim Maddams features all sorts of gorgeous spring dishes, and teaches you how to make the most of seasonal ingredients to lower the environmental impact of your food shop. Our Introduction to Foraging goes even further, starting with a morning’s ramble through the beautiful local countryside to find fabulous fresh ingredients, followed by an afternoon of transforming them into delicious goodies to take home.
Whether there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, you’re looking for simple ways to get healthier or you want to do something good for the planet, we’ve got some fabulous courses for you to try. Click here to read about everything we’ve got coming up and don’t forget, you can always treat someone else to one of our courses too, with a Vale House Kitchen gift voucher!
It’s official, Christmas is on its way – the adverts are on TV, the Christmas lights are going up, the mornings are cold and frosty and the evenings are long and dark. It’s time to start thinking about Christmas shopping – but what do you buy for the foodie who has everything?
Our Vale House Kitchen gift vouchers are the perfect solution – choose from a range of denominations, starting from £50 and going all the way up to £400, and let your loved ones pick one of our fabulous courses for 2018. For anyone bitten by the bake-off bug, our bread-making courses are hugely popular, whether it’s the one-day Introduction to Bread-Making, covering a range of delicious British and Continental breads, or our two-day Bread Masterclass, focusing on fermented loaves including everyone’s favourite, sourdough.
Aspiring chefs who want to create showstopping meals will love our Beginners Cookery Day (all the essential skills for simple yet fabulous dishes, with chef Kieren Lenihan) or our Seasonal Cookery Masterclass, with chef Tim Maddams. For those who like to get up close and personal with their food, our pig butchery days are a fantastic opportunity to pick up a new skill, preparing, smoking and curing meats, and making sausages, salami, bacon and ham. Or why not get stuck into the whole process from field to fork? The Game Experience is a two day course, with a shoot on the first day followed by a second day in the kitchen, turning your game into an incredible three course meal.
And for anyone who likes to get out in the fresh air, we’ve got plenty more wonderful hands-on, outdoor experiences too. We offer two fly-fishing courses, a one-day introduction for beginners and a two-day course for those who really want to get stuck in, led by Neil Keep, an expert fly-fisherman and qualified instructor, and including kitchen sessions with Tim Maddams to help you make the most of your catch.
Whether your favourite foodie is into baking bread and making preserves, putting on a show with spectacular dinner parties, or learning country skills to get the best out of fresh produce, we’ve got a course at Vale House Kitchen to suit them – and all you need to do is buy them a gift voucher and let them choose what they fancy. Click here to see our full range of courses and to order gift vouchers, and remember, don’t leave it too late – our last order date for vouchers to arrive by Christmas day is Thursday 21st December.
Welcome to our latest series on the Vale House Kitchen blog! We always love meeting the people who choose to come on our courses, and over the years we’ve had some fascinating folks join us who’ve gone on to do brilliant things with the knowledge and skills they acquire. In this post, we talk to Angus, who’s been on our venison and pig butchery courses.
Angus McDiarmid works in the City, but he’s always been a country guy at heart: growing up, the family always kept their own sheep, and his father taught him to shoot as a young man. Now, he’s a keen sportsman, fishing, shooting and stalking, but he’s never lost touch with the real purpose of the process – not just to enjoy the sport of hunting, but to become a considered part of the ecosystem, by culling as necessary. He’s honestly mystified by those who go shooting or hunting purely for the thrill of killing something, and a bit horrified by the sheer waste which can occur on big commercial shoots. Instead, for Angus a key point of the whole business is enjoying great fresh meat or fish afterwards – which, of course, is exactly why our brilliant butchery courses were perfect for him.
Our Venison Butchery & Cookery Day is a celebration of this delicious meat, which not only tastes great but is also pretty good for you (it’s very lean, and a particularly rich source of iron and protein) and is abundantly available in the UK. Angus does plenty of deer stalking, particularly smaller deer like roe and muntjac, so he was keen to learn more about how to deal with the kill – and was kind enough to describe our course as a great intro that provided him with a big confidence boost. We know that dealing with a whole animal can feel pretty intimidating, but course tutor and expert chef Tim Maddams will guide you through the whole process and completely demystify the skills involved.
Now with both butchery courses under his belt, Angus is getting stuck into making his own sausages and salami at home, and even getting the kids involved too. He’s keen to make sure that they understand where meat comes from, and the importance of a high standard of welfare. They buy meat from local farmers, including a farmer who rears a pig for them each year, and turn them into all sorts of treats. Next, Angus is keen to learn more about preserving and curing meats, and has his eye on our bread-making courses too…
Fancy having a go yourself? Our pig and venison butchery courses aren’t just about getting handy with the cleavers – you’ll also learn how to make your own sausages, cover basic smoking and curing techniques, and learn some delicious recipes from expert chef Tim Maddams. Click here to book your place!