Alive alive o!

I now know how to cook a Mussel – seriously – I can now buy Mussels from a fishmonger, wash them, ascertain that they are all alive and quickly cook them in a lovely sauce. To be served with delicious crusty bread…

I can make Parsnip soup, Rack of lamb, Potatoe Dauphinoise, Butcher a Guinea fowl, make Vegetarian Ravioli, Sear an Aubergine…and all without a recipe!

Potatoe Dauphinoise

How have I gained this fabulous new found knowledge? I have just spent the day at the Duke Street Cook School, that is how…

What a wonderful day I had and what a great set up.

Dining room

Well established catering business, Humble Pie, grew into a cookery school in the old primary school building at Kingston, just south of North Berwick in the East Lothian countryside.

The successful catering company has now transformed into the Duke Street Group, a bespoke catering and events company, providing corporate and wedding event management, as well as catering for private parties in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the countryside in Scotland and the North of England.

The Countryside Cook School is run from their Headquarters in the Old Primary School. We were taught by Michael, the Duke Street Group head chef. With 15 years experience behind him, in top London hotels, the Ritz to name but one. He does not use recipes, he doesn’t need them, he just gets on with it, demonstrating and giving us hands on experience, all the while regaling us with eye-watering stories from the kitchens of fabled London hotels.

Michael, Head chef

Anyone wanting to improve their skills and have a fun day out with friends should definitely go and check this place out. We wined and dined all day, learning an amazing amount as well. The setting was beautiful, the atmosphere fun and friendly. I joined a group of strangers and we laughed all day about our calorie consumption and general behaviour, which was mixed – certain people would not stand still while I was trying to take photos…

Well behaved students?

Some, however, were very keen on being photographed…feeling that they needed to prove to their wives that they were definitely there…learning how to cook, rather than playing golf at Gullane with friends!


We all realised that cooking was about indulging and having fun.

Crunchy salmon salad

Crunchy salads and light fish platters were interspersed with melt in the mouth lamb and creamy sauces…

Melt in the mouth lamb...

The finale was an exquisite chocolate, orange and almond Frangipane…

Chocolate and Orange Frangipane

Hang on…where’s it gone??

So all in all healthy and fresh, but for special occasions, minimal worrying about our waistlines!

See more of the fun we had on Instagram – I am getting seriously addicted to this – it is a great way of keeping in touch!

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