Relive my morning at The Healthy Eating Workshop……

I had been really looking forward to The Competent Cook ‘Healthy Eating’ workshop and it wasn’t to disappoint.


As soon as I arrived the door was opened by the delightfully friendly Matt, by simply stepping inside you had already embarked on your journey of food for the morning, chilled music was being piped from room to room, we walked past some unique artefacts and furnishings, and when entering the wonderful kitchen which was to be our study space for the next 3 hours, the smell of coffee and biscuits greeted us… I could sense that this was going to be a very enjoyable morning. I started chatting to a few of the other pupils whilst waiting for the workshop to begin, some had been before and were raving about the courses, others like me were novices to the whole thing.. Matt and Anna (who continuously topped up our teas/coffees and waters throughout the morning along with putting the ingredients in front of us for the next stage without us even realising! So thank you Anna), truly made us feel welcome.


When all attendees had arrived, Matt explained the menu that we were going to be cooking — a menu fit for a dinner party BUT healthy too, how marvellous is that! He advised us that all dishes could be made in advance and just reheated and plated up for service so being able to spend more time with your guests — what a well thought out menu. Matt also gave us some great healthy eating tips and facts, along with slight variations to our menu to fit in with the many diets/allergies that are floating around these days.


Smoked Mackerel Pate accompanied with a cucumber and celery salsa/salad

Chicken Paupiette with a lemon and tarragon sauce accompanied with Spanish cauliflower rice

Baked New York Cheesecake 


We could not wait to get started……

First off was the New York Cheesecake …… how can a cheesecake be healthy I hear you ask, well, it doesn’t have to have a biscuity high carb base and be topped with full fat cheese. Matt had divised and created a wonderful recipe to incorporate these changes, and made it a whole lot healthier but not losing the gorgeous creamy taste of the cheesecake.

Helpful tips, nutritional advice and alternatives were given throughout our step by step preparation and cooking of the cheesecake.


The next dish to prep was the Chicken Paupiettes, chicken breast stuffed with spinach, julienne of carrot and Parma Ham, we were taught various knife skills whilst preparing the main part of this dish, and some fantastic cooking tips when preparing the gorgeous lemon and tarragon sauce. Next up was the Spanish Cauliflower Rice, amazing how you can throw in a couple more ingredients and it changes the whole texture and taste…. Not only did he give us the Spanish cauli recipe we got given another 8 variations…. Can’t wait to try these.


Then finally came came the starter…. Smoked mackerel pate with a cucumber and celery salsa. Now without giving to much away this was a breeze to make, looks super appetizing, is super quick to make and is super tasty — what is there not to love about this dish.


Whilst we were having a little munch on a smoked mackerel canapé, our dishes were boxed up, bagged up and ready for us to take home… the whole morning was thoroughly enjoyable, I met some wonderful ladies, made some beautiful and and tasty dishes whilst learning new skills and given some fantastic cooking tips. We were all made to feel so comfortable and at ease, by both Matt and Anna, and you never felt silly asking any question or asking for help.

I cannot wait to return to The Competent Cook — the question is which workshop should I choose: Thai Cusine, Sushi, attend one of the dinner party evenings, or get a bunch of friends together and have our own bespoke workshop… I simply cannot decide as they all sound delicious and I’m sure as much fun as this mornings… simply food for thought….. Whilst I’m deciding, I’m off to warm up and plate up my dishes so my family can see and try what I’ve made.

Thank you to both Matt and Anna The Competent Cooks.