Learning to cook like a professional chef was the aim of the day for key figures from the local media last week, as they took part in a ‘Cook Like Heston’ masterclass held by Nelson and Colne College.

The workshop was led by college chef Mark Taft and formed part of their National Apprenticeship Week activities.  The course was designed to combine science with culinary skills to gain a real understanding of how the two complement each other.

Alongside apprentices from the college, various media professionals took part in the class including Emma Mayah from Lancashire Life magazine.

She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the day as a whole, it was a new experience and a learning curve; it was really interesting to see how science and cooking fit together.

“I was shown how to cook vegetables at the start of the session, so by the end of the day I’d picked up a number of tips which will be extremely helpful in the future!”

Heston Blumenthal is famous for his use of scientific techniques within cooking, and it was these methods that the students were asked to concentrate on throughout the day.

One of his signature techniques is the use of liquid nitrogen to cook foods; students were given the opportunity to experiment with this, alongside creating other popular dishes such as triple cooked chips, bacon and egg ice cream and mock turtle soup; some interesting recipes that really put the skills of the class to the test.

“I enjoy cooking, but have never done anything as refined as this; the day was a great opportunity to learn new skills and techniques,” said Chris Pearson from Northern Life magazine.

“I was surprised at the accuracy and precision which is needed to make these dishes; each ingredient has an effect on the others, so it’s paramount that the measurements are correct.  The day required a lot of concentration, but it was fun and I was eager to learn.”