Not content with two West End cocktail bars, several experience-based event brands and their now well-established restaurant, Bourne and Hollingsworth continue to diversify with the launch of a teaching kitchen at the top of their Clerkenwell premises.
The kitchen is a strikingly juxtaposed affair with the opulent greenhouse interior theme of the downstairs restaurant and bar set against the latest in sophisticated cooking technology, replete with induction hobs and top-end ovens built into the bespoke counter tops. A large wooden table in the centre room provides such a focal point, that you could be forgiven for forgetting that this space has been designed for teaching people to fillet fish, amongst other things.
With the intention to cover everything from sausage-making to healthy eating, changing courses in line with the seasons and the flexibility to adapt the level of technical difficulty, the offering is nothing if not diverse. Given that the classes will include a welcome cocktail, and that, as part of the lesson, you’ll be preparing your own meals, the price point is very reasonable starting at around £60 per person for a short course and £120 for a full day.
Perhaps the biggest coup of the whole undertaking is the executive chef: Adam Gray, a respected authority for over 25 years, including over ten years holding a Michelin star. Adam’s commitment and enthusiasm for the project can be seen in his decision to run the courses himself wherever possible – a huge selling point for the company. He is completely at ease in this new teaching capacity, preparing a simple but delicious Cornish mackerel, rhubarb relish and sea kale dish, and simultaneously chatting through what the Kitchen is hoping to offer.
Adam’s passion for the project clearly comes through; he speaks proudly about the kitchen’s sourcing of British produce and reiterates his intention to maintain hands-on involvement in all of the classes. Friendly and relaxed, he shows nothing of the stereotypical image of a highly strung, expert chef, instead giving the solid impression that if you want to learn how to cook, you could not be in a safer pair of hands.
Intending to appeal to people across the cooking spectrum, the kitchen is perhaps a little ambitious though. Based on the informal learning environment and the course descriptions, it’s not hard to envisage a lot of popularity amongst relatively novice cooks wanting to learn new techniques or a few dinner party dishes. However despite Adam’s obvious skill, the appeal to the professional, which is a market they do not rule out, is somewhat harder to see.
Nonetheless, for those looking to learn some new skills in a relaxed, beautiful environment with a cocktail in hand, guided by a seasoned professional, the Bourne and Hollingsworth Kitchen could be the ideal spot.