In The Kitchen with GBBO Legend, John Whaite

In The Kitchen with GBBO Legend, John Whaite

John Whaite Cookery School

Cake? Mulled wine? Great British Bake Off Alumni? Kitchen Design? Did I mention cake?

Let’s face it, I couldn’t resist when an invite from AO.com landed in my inbox to join a baking class at John Whaite’s new cookery school. For Bake Off enthusiasts, you might remember John from Series 3 (he won, hoorah!) and upon arriving to a hot mug of specially brewed mulled wine, we started work on making a Gingerbread latte swiss roll.

The Kitchen

The cookery school is in the heart of the Lancashire countryside, not far from Wigan. Thankfully, it’s only minutes from the M6 motorway which was a relief for myself and Sarah (my driving buddy and superstar blogger at Sequin This) as we tend to get lost on our road trips…

It would be understandable to assume that inside there would be bunting and twee pastel cake stands thanks to the show that made him famous, but I much prefer the style he’s gone for. Rustic yet edgy. Modern and clean but with nods to Industrial. A little moody with an almost monochrome style. It’s a really grown up kitchen but with splashes of pumpkins dotted for decoration – and it’s gorgeous.

It’s what I’d call a sophisticated baking setting.

For me, it’s the equivalent of being a parent, and whilst a glass of red wine at the end of the day after your kids are in bed is such a relief, you’re still surrounded by the noise and colour and mess of toys and pots. Sometimes it’s nice to seek out the soft dim lights and dark corners or a glossy bar to sip on your Barolo. Know what I mean?

Anyway, take a look below and see what I mean. The white herringbone tiles, industrial lightning, exposed cottage brickworks, piping taps. Juxtaposed against sleek, black utensils, charcoal accessories and shelving, and even John’s range of bowls fitted in with the aesthetic, with the gold detailing proudly standing out against his new cookbook (which I have and has SO many good recipes).

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

 

The Cooking

Onto the food!  I’m a pretty good baker but do tend to follow recipes, so I was eager to learn a few tips and tricks – and even more eager to eat.

We made a gingerbread sponge first using those gorgeous Kitchen Aids and I was thrilled to see that the ovens in the kitchen were the sliding door type like on Bake Off – so easily amused. Once this was baked, rolled and then stuck in a blast freezer (who was named Albert) we whipped up a filling – a beautifully thick cream flavoured with coffee and icing sugar. This was smothered onto our bake, rolled again and placed back with Albert.

Allowing our creations to chill (see what I did there?) we were treated to a butternut squash and chilli soup which was INSANE, and the most epic cheeseboard I ever did taste. John told me it was just from the supermarket so it goes to show how much of a difference it makes when you know what ingredients are worth the cash.

Whilst we feasted, John gave a demonstration of tempering chocolate which I genuinely could have watched all day. We drizzled the chocolate onto our cakes and then got to decorating with gold dust, chocolate coffee beans, chocolate sprinkles, and gold leaf. Feeling festive yet?

John Whaites Cookery School
John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

John Whaites Cookery School

The Experience

I really loved the event. It was a laid back and intimate venue, and John was SO nice and down to earth. He knew all of our names and made us feel really welcome. It was as if he’d had us round for dinner, but we all did a bit of cooking and gossiping.

(If you’re wondering why my hair is all over the place, I accidentally dipped my hair in gingerbread mixture – OOPS).

I know a few people who would love enjoy John’s courses so much and I might gift it as Christmas pressies to a few of my nearest and dearest!

You can find more information about John Whaite’s Kitchen on his website, and thank you so much to ao.com for inviting me along.
John Whaites Cookery School

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  • It sounds like you had a great time and the roll looks delicious! x

  • Karen

    Check you out with that roll. Looks proper yum! This looks like such a good event and the venue looks right up my street. Love the black crockery with the gold detail around the rim. Is that John’s own range?

    • It is his own range yeah! I believe it’s going to be at John Lewis at some point but is definitely online somewhere. Isn’t it beat?

  • Tiffany

    Oh yes please-what a fantastic thing to do and in such a stylish kitchen 🙂

  • Old Fashioned Susie

    You look like a professional! Love the space too xx

    • oh you! It was the look of sheer concentration so i didn’t cock up in front of the professionals haha

  • Looks like an amazing event. Your cake is making me hungry 😉 x

    • haha thanks Geraldine. It didn’t last long 😉

  • Rachel Newcombe

    It looks like you had a great and very productive time!

    • It was great Rachel – I think anyone would enjoy it!

  • Well this sounds like my kind of event. The space is very well done, I wish my kitchen was this modern.

  • Alli Smith

    This class would be so much fun! That kitchen is to die for and I would love to take a cooking class with John. Your cake looks delicious!

    • Aw thank you! It really was a beautiful kitchen!

  • Jeanette

    I would totally love to take a class like this! That is a kitchen I wish I could have! It looks like you made some delicious stuff. Do you deliver? 😉

    • Haha I think it might not look so good by the time it arrived but thank you all the same 😉

  • Paula

    You did an amazing job! I love to cook, so I’m super jealous of you. In a good way, of course!

  • I love cooking. This would be a great class to attend. It would be so much fun to take a class like this and really perfect my technique and skills.

    • 100% – and it was so relaxed too so great for learning at your own pace

  • Pam W

    That cake looks so good. How cool to meet someone from Great British Bake Off. I love cooking shows so this would be such a cool experience.

    • It was great! I’m not a massive TV nut but I did get a buzz off the celeb factor 🙂

  • What an awesome experience and that cake looks ah-mazing. I love it. I really want to have a home kitchen like that, wouldn’t it be grand?! 😉

    • Absolutely! It really was a beautiful kitchen. Very classic x

  • Kita Bryant

    Oh my gosh, this looks like it was entirely too much fun! You made a tasty looking dish as well!

    • Thank you so much! It was so relaxed, great fun!

  • OhNikka

    What a fun cooking event! You were really focused on what you were doing.

    • I definitely was focused. Didn’t want to let the team down haha

  • Wow, what an experience. Looks and sounds like fun. Your photos are absolutely beautiful.

    • Oh thank you, that’s so kind of you to say!

  • Wow – now this is how you sell a book! I am so sold, buying one straight away – so much fun!

    • haha absolutely! We’ve already started cooking from his book. Lots of beautiful recipes

  • victoria

    WOW, wwhat a fun experience I would love to try how to cook. I bet this is a fun event

  • chubskulit

    If I will be given a chance to attend to an event, cooking party will be it. Thanks for the beautiful photos you captured.

  • Dina Demarest

    that looks like so much fun! I’d love to roll something in that delicious looking chocolate. 🙂 Yum.

    • It actually wasn’t too difficult! Give it a try 🙂

  • Valerie CottageMakingMommy

    This looks like fun. I love making rolls. Haven’t made one of these yet.

  • Oh my gosh, that looks like a lot of fun. I would love to do something like that too.

    • I think it’s becoming more popular and I’d definitely recommend

  • Chrissy Hme

    Cooking with a legend – awesome! I would love an event like this and that chocolate looks amazing.

  • rika agustini

    Such a fun event.. I would love to attend an event like this!

  • Kat Buckley

    It was great to meet you at the event Karen, your photos are beautiful!

    • Thanks Kat – you too! Did you share your swiss roll? 😉

  • Claire Thomas

    You’re right, John is such a good host. It was such a hoot!
    Beautiful photos too x

    • Thanks Claire 🙂 It was a lovely evening!

  • Caro Davies

    Whaaaa? I think you and my friend Sarah must be on the same PR’s list!!! I commented on her post yesterday — and have just read that you both went to Denby too!!! LOL!! SO envious. What a brill day out — hanging out in a gorgeous venue, with a GBBO winner and CAKE!!! Heaven!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Caro #HomeEtc

  • Ah Karen it was a wonderful event I was so nervous working next to John ha ha but he was lovely, and it was fab to see you again xxx

  • Must see it one day. This is the event I keep meaning to visit! This has been really eye-opening and i`m sure recipes from sucn an event are very helpful!