The Green Bough Hotel owner opens Cheshire Cooks Culinary School

The owner of one of Cheshire's best boutique hotels has opened a culinary school to pass on his expertise WORDS BY RACHAEL HOGG

A culinary school with a wealth of expertise behind it has opened its doors to help those of us keen to brush up our kitchen skills.

Cheshire Cooks, Culinary School with Rooms, the brainchild of Savoy-trained chef and Green Bough hotel proprietor, Philip Martin, is providing cookery lessons in an idyllic spot near Oulton Park - and in a fun way.

‘Students’ can learn at the cookery school during the day and then be driven back to stay at the Green Bough in Hoole to enjoy relaxation and delicious food created by the ‘masters’ at the award-winning boutique hotel.

Cheshire Cooks, in the countryside 11 miles from Chester, offers 16 courses including seasonal classes for Christmas and Easter recipes, perfect pots for families, cheese and wine, and bread sessions, desserts, vegetarian, tapas and even courses for students and newlyweds. The newlywed, student and perfect pots classes focus on the economical aspect of food preparation and how to cook well on a modest budget.

Philip Martin said:‘Local produce is hugely important to the school and all the main ingredients come from near or around the Cheshire region. But the main emphasis of the school is to have fun with food.’

Courses last one or two days, and classes have a maximum of six people, meaning that each student will receive individual attention, getting the most out of the day, and of their cooking. There are five well-known experts running the classes: Philip Martin, Neil Griffiths, Pam Billington, Jane Smith and Peter Paprill, also known as the Cheese Detective.

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The kitchens are equipped with superb Villeroy and Boch products and although the fittings and appliances are top quality, it is domestic, not industrial equipment. Philip said: ‘There is no point in people learning to cook in huge industrial kitchens and then trying to replicate it at home, so in our kitchen we have domestic products and appliances which people are likely to own already.’

There are options for people to visit the kitchen for a day, stay over in the cookery school or at The Green Bough Hotel. One of the most attractive aspects of the school is its location. It is situated in a garden next to a picturesque mill pond, and there are added extras which transform the venue from a school into a luxurious escape. It’s housed in a barn conversion which, aside from containing the tip-top kitchen has deluxe en-suite bedrooms, a games room with full-sized snooker table, a gym complete with sauna and six-person jacuzzi and an incredible wine cellar.

It is obvious that this school is a labour of love, and much work has gone into transforming the building.

For further details about Cheshire Cooks, Culinary School with Rooms visit or call 01244 326241. Gift vouchers are available.

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