Forgotten Skills of Cooking

Darina Allen runs the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. While teaching students, she discovered that as a society, we have lost kitchen skills that our grandmothers had known.

She set about developing a series of  “forgotten skills” classes,  including “How to Keep a Few Chickens in the Garden,” “How to Cure a Pig in a Day,” “How to Build a Smoker and Smoke your own Food,” and others on foraging, gardening, dairy, and topics on eating what one grew. (She’s a bit like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – with good hair). If you’re so inclined, you can sign up for one of her demonstration classes at around €115, excluding flights and accommodation.

Or you can acquire her latest book, Forgotten Skills of Cooking. She has spun her courses into one book, with 700 recipes in 600 pages – it is not the type of book you would like to pass the time with in a meeting hall, but rather something to devour snuggled up in your most comfortable favourite chair. It’s one of those books that should stand as the sole cookbook for those who want only one book on food. For those drawn by the rural allure of sustainability and being more in control of the food that comes to your table, this book is even more of a gem.

The delicious recipes show you how to use your homegrown produce to its best, and include ideas for using forgotten cuts of meat, baking bread and making yoghurt. The vegetables and herbs chapter is stuffed with growing tips to satisfy even those with the smallest garden, and there are plenty of suggestions for using gluts of vegetables, making your own preserves, pickles and jams.

As Nigel Slater put it, when writing a review on the book for The Observer – ‘There’s not much this gourmet grande dame doesn’t know’

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, they are able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.