Ballintaggart Cook School

Perthshire’s latest foodie destination. Ballintaggart Farm is a new venture set up by the couple behind the fabulous Edinburgh supper club, Charlie and Evelyn’s table, Chris and Rachel Rowley. Aiming to provide gourmet catering and aspirational, user-friendly cookery courses and workshops.

I felt very spoilt to receive an invitation to attend a course here last weekend, entitled Seasonal Suppers and Salads. I always need inspiration at meal times and realise my menus are in much need of renewal.

We started with a delicious late breakfast at 10am, I have to say, it was an easy drive from Gullane, I left at 8am and was there well in time, anyone travelling from Edinburgh or Glasgow is going to have an even easier journey. However, if you are coming from further afield, luxurious B&B accommodation, very reasonably priced, is available on site, to ensure your day is completely free of stress.

Class started with a demonstration of how to make your own pesto and I was hooked. I have already made a kale and cashew nut blend this week. The key is to steam the kale for a wee minute so the results are not too ‘kale-like’. A friend described Kale as the Jeremy Corbyn of the vegetable world – wonderful, full of goodness, but might not get elected… You never know though: kale does seem to be everywhere; Chris certainly taught us all to handle it beautifully and the new rule in politics does seem to be to expect the unexpected.

Chris guided us through a series of adventurous, but thoroughly recreate-able, cookery experiences with his effortless teaching style and very handy sense of humour.

He keeps tucked it up his sleeve in case of any emergency – yes you really could do this at home folks – you will NOT come away baffled, wondering what on earth you had been doing all day.

Look how pleased Eleanor from Edinburgh Larder and I are with our creations!

Lunch, cooked by us was served in the gorgeous, drama laden dining room, a wonderfully indulgent feast with wine and a beautiful pomegranate pudding.

Since I got home, I have been making vegetable fritters, Ballintaggart style, which have gone down a treat – I would say, rather more ‘electable’ than my kale pesto, which I think I need to refine a little. Chris actually made his using hazelnuts rather than cashews. I look forward to my next family get together now, with confidence, where I will be serving lamb salad, barley risotto and of course, pomegranate pudding…

Release of The Cook School’s Spring/Summer programme is imminent. Be sure to sign up to the newsletter at ballintaggart.com or phone 01796 482738 for more details.

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