Food Editor - Sheenagh de Silva

New year’s resolution: Can cook, will cook!

New year’s resolution: Can cook, will cook!

It’s week 1 of the new year, so I trust the good listeners of Wandsworth Radio are still on the wagon.  If, however, you’re still in the market for a new year’s resolution, maybe I can help you out.

Being of a somewhat indulgent nature (I’m a foodie), my view is that giving stuff up is quite admirable, but there’s little fun in that.  So, each year, I resolve instead to take up new habits and learn new things.

This year i’m learning to cook.  Properly.  Who’s up for joining me?

Now as you might expect, I can rustle up a crowd pleaser when the need arises.  I don’t like to boast, but eyes light up at the sight of my especial Mexican tortilla soup, and drooling has been known to occur at the mere mention of my carbonara (no cream obvs).  But i’m talking now about learning more advanced techniques, understanding how food works and perhaps exploring some exciting new cuisines.

So, i’ll be checking out the best cooking classes to be found in Wandsworth, and sharing them with you.

To me, this means good facilities, useful content, clear instruction, lots of hands-on practice – far better than just demos.  And above all, fun and informative teaching that will inspire us to create fabulous things in the kitchen.

I’m pretty serious about this, so I got a headstart on my research just before Christmas at The Avenue Cookery School by the river on Enterprise Way…

The Avenue Cookery School

The moment I walked into this family-run school, I felt at home.

Somehow, head chef Diana and her lovely kids Sophie and Richard, manage to balance a very sleek and professional set up – the facilities, class content and instruction are all excellent – with a warm and homely atmosphere, where you simply can’t help having fun.  Their website says they “incorporate love and enthusiasm into carefully structured courses” – that would explain it.

Diana Horsford teaching Simply Suppers class

The school offers courses for just about anyone – kids, students, beginners, enthusiasts, corporate events and hen parties.  Coming up is the Detox in January course, if you’re that way inclined, and they’re back in full swing with fish, butchery, bread and baking in February.  With a sale now on, many courses are reduced, so it’s a good time to get involved.

If you know of any great cooking classes in our borough, tweet me @sheens_beans – sharing is caring!

And I’ll keep you posted with what I find, so in 2017, the hearts and stomachs of Wandsworth may be filled with the joy of fabulous home cooking.

Happy new year!



Top tips from Diana, head chef at The Avenue Cookery School: 

Lid on or off? Vegetables that grow underground should be boiled with the lid on, whilst vegetables that grow above ground prefer the lid off (‘cos that’s what they’re used to)

Getting saucy.  Food is always more enticing when it’s glossy, like shiny men on the beach!  Adding butter or tomato puree will help achieve this (with the food, not the men).

Find out more at

January 3rd, 2017

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