Seasoned is a cookery school located in the grounds of the beautiful Catton Hall Estate in South Derbyshire. It’s only a stones throw from where we live, and although I’d heard of Seasoned before, I didn’t realise it was quite so close! The estate hosts a diverse range of events from horse trials to rock concerts and even their own game shoot in the Winter Months. Seasoned is situated in the Courtyard of the estate, and the purpose-built kitchens can accommodate up to 18 people, with a large adjoining dining/meeting room. As well as cookery courses, Seasoned host bespoke private parties and team building events. For more information on this and all their course have a look at their website
Seasoned runs all manner of cookery and baking courses run by some fantastic chefs, including Tim Maddams, previously of River Cottage, Ex Masterchef contestants such as Jackie Kearney and Andrew Kojima and fresh from Great British Bake Off fame, the delights of Brendan Lynch, Ruth Clemens and Becca Lyne Pirkis.
We were booked onto the Best of British Meat Course, and I was looking forward to getting to grips a bit more with cooking and preparing different cuts of meat. I took Lee along for the ride, although with him previously being a Chef himself he hardly needed any more tips, so I figured he could just show off his knife skills and show me up!
The course ran from 10am – 4pm which included lunch (which you cook yourself) along with other bits to nibble on which have been created through various demonstrations throughout the day. Tea and Coffee is always available, as are the lovely team at Seasoned who also act as assistants (and do all the washing up!) So thanks to Katie, Beth and Lesley for all their handwork on the day too! Some of the work is on your own, some in pairs, and some time is spent watching demonstrations, so there is a good mix of things to do.
Our ‘teacher’ for the day, was really fantastic. Knowledgable, skilled and probably most important of all, endlessly patient and willing to help and answers all our questions.
Some of the things we did during the day was learning to debone chicken legs, and stuff & roll them to make a ballontine – which we stuffed with a chicken mousse. This was one of the things we had for lunch, along side perfectly cooked duck with Moroccan inspired Israeli Cous Cous.
We also looked at ways of preparing and tying meat such as pork belly, and how to confit duck, as well as lesser known cuts of meat such as Ox cheeks, and the best ways to prepare and cook these, braising them and making into a pie, which we took home with us. The day ended with another feast of the confit duck with braised red cabbage and the Pork Belly with Crispy Crackling alongside a Q&A with Chef.
The course was really enjoyable, and everyone on it from a young couple, to groups of friends, to the older generation all really seemed to have a great time. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others, and I am keen to get back there and try out something more out of my comfort zone like a Thai or Japanese Cooking Course.
You can also buy Seasoned Gift Vouchers, which would make brilliant Birthday or Christmas presents – something I’m going to bear in mind for the future!
Seasoned Cookery Courses
The Courtyard, Catton Hall,
Walton upon Trent,
01283 810 275
Disclosure: We were invited to try out a course at Seasoned free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are our own, as always and it was not required that we write a positive review.