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EXPERIENCE REVIEW | The Cookery School at The Grand, York

By Laura Shepherd – 14th June 2020

Experience Review – Beef Wellington | Half Day Class:

Based in one of York’s finest and only 5-star hotels, The Cookery School at The Grand, York offers classes for all skill levels, from novices right up to experienced cooks and aspiring chefs. I was invited along with other foodies in the area to a press event and cookery class created and led by head chef Andrew Dixon to celebrate the first birthday of the Cookery School.

Having recently just relocated to York, I have always wanted to go to The Grand. If you want complete luxury and for excellent views over the city, The Grand would be the perfect choice.

We were greeted with a drinks reception and were offered the most delicious canapes to try, which had been freshly prepared for us that day by the very talented chefs.

I instantly felt very special walking into the hotel reception, it is Grand by name and most certainly grand in nature.

Opening its doors in March 2019 and celebrating its first birthday, the Cookery School is very impressive. With 16 well equipped and very modern cooking stations, there was plenty of room for both solo and collaborative cooking.

I shared a bench with Victoria Turner, Girl About Harrogate/ The Harrogate Girl and had the opportunity to meet and network with so many fun and interesting people before donning our aprons and heading to our workstations.

Whilst networking, we were also able to see the Cookery School in all its splendour. It is state-of-the-art, contemporary and open plan individual cooking stations, with the most stylish fixtures and fittings. Each work station is equipped with an induction hob, electric oven and great quality cooking equipment.

A cookery class at The Grand, York would be perfect for corporate away days, team building events, hen parties etc because it also has a separate meeting space adjoined to the cookery school where you are able to sit and taste the treats you have literally just produced.

In our class we got the opportunity to cook one of the Cookery School’s most popular dishes; The Beef Wellington with Loaded Potato Skins and a Port Wine Gravy. Being a true classic British dish, I was really looking forward to this.

Gathered around the demonstration area Andrew started the class by showing us how to make the Loaded Potato Skins, a tempting side to the Beef Wellington. With a variety of fresh and local produce, we were given a vast array of already provided and weighed out ingredients including spring onions, red onion, savoy cabbage and a mature cheddar cheese to add to the potato. Once Andrew’s dish was in the oven, we returned to our stations to proceed with creating our own Loaded Potato Skins.

With a clear talent in the kitchen, we gathered around again to watch chef Andrew Dixon demonstrate how to cook the perfect Beef Wellington and then it was our turn! Andrew is a fantastic teacher and really goes above and beyond to help and advise participants.

Once the Loaded Potato skins were made and in the oven, we set to work on the star of the show – our Beef Wellington. Andrew explained the secret to cooking the perfect beef. We were given a thermometer probe to check that the beef was just at the right temperature.

If you like your beef rare then the temperature should be around 40 degrees, for medium rare it is 45 degrees and for medium it is 50 degrees, but if you prefer your beef well done, then it needs to be around 55 degrees. Andrew explained everything simply and informatively so that we were able to cook our beef perfect to our own liking.

After topping our glasses up with a choice of delicious red or white wine (which certainly helped with the creativity), the chefs would walk around the benches to offer advice and guidance which provided lots of encouragement and really helped. They also provided really beneficial hints and tips which was very much appreciated for when we were cooking our own dish and obviously for future experiences.

The atmosphere was buzzing, everyone was having such a great time and we were all very much looking forward to consume what was currently cooking in the oven.

Now it was time to prepare the Port Wine Gravy which incorporated the nicest of flavours; shallots, thyme, garlic, ruby port and red wine. We met around the demonstration area for the final time, whilst Andrew prepared his gravy to show us the technique first.

Once the gravy was finished and ready to serve, we rewarmed our beef and potato skins and then plated up like true MasterChef professionals. Trying to enhance the dishes aesthetic appeal by paying very close attention to our presentation skills.

Sitting up in a separate room to the main cookery school, we got to taste what we had just cooked. It really was absolutely delicious, packed full of flavour and it was lovely to sit and chat to everyone about how they found the evening. Generally speaking, most people had really enjoyed the night and would recommend to friends, family and work colleagues. We learnt some invaluable culinary skills and had a fantastic time.

I would definitely recommend the Beef Wellington Half Day class, however there is a great range of other classes you can do as well; like breadmaking, cooking the perfect pasta, as well as some great vegetarian options too.

Choose from a selection of express, half and full day courses where you will really enhance your cookery skills. They also offer parent and child cookery classes too.

To find out more and book a course visit: https://www.thegrandyork.co.uk/cookery-school/

Laura x



This is a Girl About review. I was invited to take part in this experience free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

Laura Shepherd York
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