Looking to hone your prowess in the kitchen or expand your weekly repertoire? Cook away from it all at these beautiful schools with serious culinary chops. From masterclasses with notable chefs to getting your hands dirty in Tasmania, there’s something for every level.
1. The Agrarian Kitchen, Lachlan, Tasmania – for the serious home cook
This truly paddock-to-plate experience is full of roll-your-sleeves-up activity from foraging to cooking and eating.
Run by the former food editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller, Rodney Dunn, the classes begin outdoors on the sustainable farm in the picturesque Derwent Valley and migrate into a 19th-century school house.
There’s everything from charcuterie and baking classes to two-day Secrets of Sourdough and The Whole Hog courses at The Agrarian Kitchen.
While you can’t rest your head at the Agrarian Kitchen, the town of New Norfolk is just minutes away.
2. A Tavola at Pizzini Wines, Vic – for the inner-nonna
Katrina Pizzini slips on the apron to teach four-hour classes at the family winery in Victoria’s King Valley.
Classes at Pizzini range from traditional pasta and risotto-making, and salting and curing meats, to more focused tuition such as the Single & Loving It and Blokes & Barrels.
There’s a cottage adjacent to the cellar door, where you can flop after a class and dabble in a few tastings of the family wines.
3. Sticky Rice Cooking School, Adelaide Hills, SA – for a break from wine-tasting
There’s a little bit of Asia nestled in the Adelaide Hills and it can be found at this exceptional cooking school where they teach you how to use the new Samsung ranges.
While you can pop in for a class and not stay, we highly recommend you book one of the three beautiful villas onsite so you can retreat post-class with a good bottle of local vino.
As for the classes, Sticky Rice offers everything from Vietnamese to everyday Thai, Spanish tapas and Moroccan.
Private classes are available and guest chefs drop in once in a while, such as Luke Nguyen, David Thompson and Tetsuya Wakuda.
4. Lake House, Daylesford, Vic – for the weekend dabbler
Set at one of the most idyllic locales for a relaxing break it’s easy to do nothing here but serenely gaze upon the lake from your room, but if you’re in the mood for a side of culinary knowledge with your mini escape, the cooking school at Lake House has you covered.
With guest chefs of the likes of Mitch Orr and Adriano Zumbo regularly popping in for masterclasses, it’s easy to tee up a weekend away with your favourite cook at the Lake House.
Be sure to book ahead, they fill up fast. We already have our eye on the Summer Masterclass for a pre-Christmas break in December.
5. Cape Lodge, Margaret River, WA – for city escapees
Shouldered by wineries and just three kilometres to the beach, Cape Lodge provides harassed Perthites with a place to escape and indulge in a little luxe country charm.
Once a few deep breaths have been taken and the local vines explored, calm may be restored enough to embark on one of the lodge’s cooking classes with executive chef Michael Elfwing.
Classes cover everything from The Art of Souffle to Cooking with Truffles and, one that piqued our curiosity, Modern Lasagnes.