NOT ready for another ready meal? Tired of hearing the ding and the ping of the microwave? Blue because you can’t do cordon bleu?
Well, help is at hand in a setting that wouldn’t look too out of place in a Masterchef kitchen.
Saddleworth Cookery School is serving up plenty of portions of help, advice and practical guidance under the guidance of Pam Jones, a former food technology teacher.
A one-time pupil was 2016 Bake-Off contestant, Tom Gilliford, but more of ‘Tom G’ later.
In an atmospheric unit at Warth Mill in Diggle, Pam welcomes ‘pupils’ of all ages and abilities.
There’s after-school classes, adult classes, kids’ parties, and corporate functions, all presented with enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge gained in nearly 30 years in the teaching profession.
“There’s no stigma to using a jar but I want to show people there are other ways,” says Pam who previously operated pop-up classes at Albion Farm and then established a base at the Satellite Centre, Greenfield.
“People can come, learn to cook and how to feed themselves properly.
“We have two mottos: ‘more than just good fun’ – it’s about the whole experience of cooking and eating together and then people try things they might not have done before. Breaking down barriers if you like.
“Then we’re about ‘healthy eating with a bit of a treat’.
In the kids’ parties, they will be allowed to do their cupcakes and chocolate making.
“But we also show them how to make pizzas and there are seven different vegetable toppings. We just hide veg,” she laughed.
“I do have high standards and make sure we always provide the best ingredients and where I can locally sourced.”
Saddleworth Cookery School boasts six work stations, seven induction hobs and hide and slide ovens.
Pam, whose eldest daughter Rebecca happily dons an apron to help out mum, is also in the process of adapting the entrance and facilities for wheelchair access and the disabled.
Her recipes cater for vegans, vegetarians, those who are lactose intolerant or on gluten free diets.
So, where does Rochdale born Tom Gilliford come in?
“My favourite cookery show has to be Bake-Off,” explained Pam.
“Tom was on the show last year and while he didn’t do well overall, he excelled at bread making. I taught him bread making at school when he was in Year Eight!”
“My favourite chef is James Martin because he uses butter with everything,” she laughed.
If all this talk of good food has given you the taste to have a go then email Pam at: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07779 873333.