Being a foodie in Malton.

Malton Cookery School

It’s no surprise to anyone that I bloody love food, but actually cooking it? It’s never really been my thing. I haven’t done any ‘learning’ with regards to cooking since I dropped Food Tech back in Year 9. I say ‘learning’, as I’m not 100% that being taught how to make rock cakes quite constituted as a valuable life skill.

I was invited by Inntravel to spend a day in Malton to learn how to cook five different dishes at Malton Cookery School and then to go and meet some local businesses who are at the heart of the town with their fresh produce. As a massive fan of both independent retailers and food, this was right up my street. I remember going to Malton back when I was a kid when my aunty and Nanna would take my sister and I there for days out and we always loved going as it’s such a lovely little town. My main memories of it are going to a really old-fashioned sweet shop and then to a butchers to buy my dad a pork pie every time we went.

The cookery school is based in the centre of Malton, not far from the station and it was there where we headed to do some pretty impressive cooking. Unlike what I was expecting (I thought it might be like a Food Tech class), the school works like a kitchen. Dishes are prepared simultaneously, timings are key and it meant that we’d all be doing something at all times but would break intermittently to eat. This is pretty much my dream set up.

The concept of our menu was based around dishes from different European locations but giving them a Yorkshire twist. Malton is quickly becoming Yorkshire’s food capital and we were lucky enough to be working with ingredients which were all locally sourced. I partnered up with Louise and we were tasked with the dessert – a black forest chocolate torte. I think we definitely got the best one to begin with! We followed our recipe and it wasn’t long before we had it looking delicious and in the oven. So far, so good.

We then moved onto making our own pizzas – again with locally sourced ingredients. I personally think mine was the most delicious but of course, I would say that! This was our stop in Italy on our European food tour.

After our pizzas, we did some prep and then had a break to try the Swedish dish which was mackerel toast with cucumber and horseradish relish. I’m not a fishy person at all, but even I enjoyed this! The mackerel was so tasty and didn’t have an overwhelmingly fishy flavour plus the relish was really rich and creamy.

Following the mackerel, Louise and I got to work on our next dish which was a Yorkshire twist on Coq au Vin – instead of wine, we used a locally sourced beer. Seeing a dish come together as it did, I must admit, I was proud of us both! I’ve never done that much ‘proper’ cooking before so it was really rewarding watching everyone else enjoy it.

When we tucked into our chicken dish, we also had pork fillet with wild mushroom fricassee too. I think this was my favourite as it’s very similar to a dish my mum makes which I love – I’m clearly all about home comforts.

Last up was the dessert which Louise and I had made earlier. Our torte looked beautiful (if I do say so myself), and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. It was served with chocolate mousse and a forest fruit coulis and everything about it was delicious. It’s definitely going to become my dessert of choice should I ever become a real adult and throw a dinner party.

After our cookery class, we were taken to meet some local businesses in Malton including Brass Castle Brewery, Groovy Moo Ice Cream, Aldo’s Fresh Pasta and Food 2 Remember (a butchers). What really impressed me is how busy it was in the area on a Sunday afternoon. We’re talking people queuing out the door of the ice cream parlour and the butcher being concerned that he couldn’t get another meat delivery until Tuesday because he was running low on some products.

This is what I really love about Malton. Local people are supporting their local independent retailers and it keeps the town alive. Malton is finding it’s place on the map as a tourist destination for people who love good quality local produce and it’s the kind of place you’d want to go to for a day out. I’m personally planning on going back to the cookery school in the summer as this experience has given me a taste for cooking that I’ve never had before. Honestly, my mum will be so proud. It’s made me want to learn things that I can enjoy cooking for other people. I basically want to be able to cook something for friends which is more impressive than fajitas. Is that too much to ask?

What do you think of my new found cooking talents? Would you like to come round for tea? Let me know in the comments.

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