York-based hotel, The Grand, launched its state of the art cookery school in March 2019 and with over 3,200 guests through the door since, it’s safe to say it’s had an overwhelmingly successful year.
The 2,500 sq ft space is part of the luxury five-star hotel, despite sitting separately with its own entrance, allowing it to act as a unique activity for locals and tourists alike.
Designed by Mackenzie Wheeler, the contemporary style school comprises of 16 workstations equipped with premium goods and equipment. Guests can pick between a full day, express, or evening class, all of which are fully immersive with step by step demonstrations and tips throughout.
When head chef, Andrew Dixon, took on the expansion, he wanted to create a fun, interactive experience where guests could relax, make friends and try new flavours. The core value that the cookery school was built on was to provide classes that are informative, introducing a variety of expertise with a plethora of cuisines ranging from Yorkshire staples to a taste of India.
Andrew Dixon, said: “We’ve welcomed more than 3,000 guests over the past year, proving there is absolutely appetite for what we are offering. Yorkshire is a culinary hub and we’re excited to have brought a unique event to the city’s food and drink offering.
“The expansion was a huge investment for the hotel, so came with its risks, but aside from exceeding booking expectations, seeing the cookery school go from a derelict space to an environment full of joy and laughter, has been extremely rewarding.
“Moving into the second year, we are looking at becoming an official cookery academy meaning we will be able to offer official qualifications as well as educational classes.”
In the midst of York Restaurant Week, the team celebrate the school’s first anniversary and reflecting on the past year, are extremely proud of everything they’ve achieved. As well as gathering local traction, the one of its kind school has featured on national television as part of Channel 5’s Hairy Bikers Chocolate Challenge as well as Mark Tiling’s Extreme Chocolate Making.
The team have been invited to multiple food shows over the course of the year including The Great Yorkshire Show, Countryfile Live & Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival.