In an age where TV cookery shows are hugely popular, more people are heading to the supermarket, popping on the oven and cooking up a tasty treat, regardless of whether they’re culinary connoisseurs, or amateur chefs entering otherwise unchartered territory.
Cheadle Hulme based food workshop At the Kitchen is equipped with stunning facilities in which food enthusiasts can pop on an apron and heighten their skills whilst socialising with family, friends, or brand-new acquaintances.
The ambition to cook to a high standard isn’t uncommon; often it’s the case that would-be chefs harbour ambitions of learning how to make their favourite dishes but can be put off by the fear of failure. However, buoyed by her background in the food industry, Angela launched At the Kitchen eighteen-months ago and has since instilled confidence in many foodies with her friendly approach and vast knowledge.
“We provide cooking classes and workshops for all ages and abilities. We also provide a service for private classes, so people can approach us and say, ‘our group of ten would like to learn how to make fresh pasta’.
“The private, bespoke packages are currently the most popular way that people are opting to take part in the cooking classes, either in a friendship group, or a family.”
In addition to the personalised services on offer, At the Kitchen hosts seasonal supper clubs, whereby guests can enjoy a four-course meal, events that have already proved to be hugely popular.
“The supper club is a wonderful dining experience that we enjoy hosting. People come down and enjoy a freshly cooked meal. It’s a bring-your-own alcohol event and is a sociable, enjoyable evening.”
Sitting around the dinner table is often deemed the perfect opportunity to mingle and meet new people, whilst sharing a mutual appreciation of tasty cuisine. However, some value dinner time as a part of the day whereby they can enjoy the company of those near and dear to them, something that has been considered by At the Kitchen with the introduction of private venue hire.
“Here, we do offer private dining for guests. People often book the space and we cook the food for the duration of the evening.”
An advocate of serving delightful, fresh dishes, Angela Boggiano’s affiliation with the food industry began long before she decided to open At the Kitchen. Previously, Angela accumulated a range of impressive experiences, working as Food Editor for Delicious Magazine, and at BBC Good Food.
“I suppose my experience would primarily be categorised as ‘food in the media.’ I worked in London and worked in freelance roles as a Food Stylist.
“I’ve been extremely lucky to work worked alongside fantastic chefs and celebrity chefs – I worked with Nigella Lawson for a while. My background is all food-orientated and I’ve also written a few cookbooks.”
At the Kitchen is an immersive space where Angela and her partner, a food photographer, can express their joint interest in cuisine. As well as a fully equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen, the multi-functional area can also be transformed into a fully-fledged photo studio.
In opening up a cooking workshop, Angela Boggiano has deviated from the media route that has afforded her much success. Nonetheless, initial apprehension and nerves have since been put to one side, with At the Kitchen emerging as one of the most distinct offerings within Cheadle Hulme.
“When we got the property, it would’ve been easier to knock it down and start again, it was a real mess. However, we’ve worked extremely hard to get the space how we want it to be.
“The original idea has since grown more than I ever imagined; I never anticipated that I’d be hosting supper clubs etc. but I’ve met lovely people and I’ve managed to meet amazing chefs along the way, some of which are even better than me!”
Meeting fellow cooks has allowed Angela to diversify At the Kitchen’s classes, with tutorials in Indian street food amongst the offerings for fans of Asian food. The facility is also a popular haunt for Bramhall-based MasterChef finalist David Crichton, who has chosen At the Kitchen as the production hub for his trademark chocolate bars made famous by the successful cooking show.
“David was runner-up on MasterChef, during which time he made a ‘posh Mars bar.’ After receiving so many requests from people who wanted to try it, he decided to go into production and he makes it here; he’s an airline pilot by day, but two or three days per month, he pops in and makes a big batch! He’s even hosted a chocolate workshop, which is typical of the community vibe that I think is generated here.”
With a range of workshops available, At the Kitchen’s prices vary depending on which ingredients are being used, and so forth. Classes specialising in simple suppers are priced at approximately £45, while classes using more extravagant ingredients such as fish and meat cost £60 and above.
“If the session is an evening class, then they usually start at about seven o’clock and end at half-past nine to ten o’clock. In the end, the group then sit and eat together, or you can take your food home if you’d prefer – nobody ever leaves hungry!
“Alternatively, there are day courses available and there have been classes whereby local businesses have combined their services. For instance, an amazing local florist visited, hosted a workshop, and I cooked a seasonal menu.”
Although At the Kitchen isn’t promoting a brand-new concept, the establishment is a unique, local business in that it uses cookery in a bid to unite the local community.
“It’s nice to bring the local community together and I’d love to do that more often. Understandably, it can be tricky sometimes, because time can get in people’s way, but it would be great, nonetheless.
“I know there are other cookery schools who are less flexible, but we’ll collaborate and take on board what people need and make a truly bespoke package to suit individual requirements and make sure that people who visit get what they want.”
Since opening eighteen months ago, At the Kitchen has been welcomed with open arms by the local area. Now, with the hectic Christmas season due to arrive, Angela Boggiano is already planning a series of fun-filled events for budding chefs keen to brush up on their culinary skills for the festive period.
Call 0161 282 2050 to discuss your requirements, book a workshop and find out more about At the Kitchen’s upcoming events.