Underground Cookery School, London

Last week I popped down to the big smoke for an evening of wine, cooking and fun at the Underground Cookery School in central London. Not quite sure what to expect, Emily from Recipes & Reviews and I joined 18 other food and lifestyle bloggers from around the UK to find out more. 

Set up in 2003, the Underground Cookery School runs informal group cookery classes with a focus on fun and learning. They have a large underground (surprisingly) space with plenty of tables for prep and a huge dining table just crying out for a group of friends to sit and eat, drink and be merry. The school is just a few minutes walk from Old Street tube stop too so its very central and easily accessible. They cater mainly for corporate events and private parties and although the level of cooking is not particularly challenging or advanced, the team are great fun and the quality of ingredients second to none. I wish I’d known about this place for my hen do – I think it would work perfectly with prosecco on arrival and wines flowing throughout the evening. 

For our evening we cooked a three course menu – Moules Marinere, Leek & Bacon stuffed Ballotine of Chicken and Apple Tart Tatin. The moules were absolutely delicious but for me, the winning dish was the Chicken. We had to dash early so Emily and I ate ours on the train from a takeaway container but it was still lovely. Learning to joint and de-breast a chicken was really useful and I’ve never made a ballotine either – it always looks so easy on Masterchef but its surprisingly tricky!

Ballotine of Chicken with Leek & Bacon stuffing, serves 2


  • 2 large free range chicken breasts
  • 6 large savoy cabbage leaves, blanched
  • Filling: 15g fresh thyme, 50g sliced leeks pan fried in butter until cooked, 2 tbsp cream cheese, 2 rashers crispy bacon, chopped into chunky crumbs.

  • First place one breast at a time between two sheets of cling-film, and using the cling film roll, hammer into a flat escalope.
  • Mix the filling ingredients together to form a moose and add to the centre of each escalope and roll. Wrap tight in cling film and then silver foil so it resembles a cracker. Place in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes . Allow to rest for five minutes before unwrapping. Slice and serve.
  • Notes on Sauce: Reduce (that’s a chef term for boiling down) beef or chicken stock (do not use a cube only fresh stock) to one tenth of its original volume. This is called a Jus and tastes amazing.
  • If you would rather make a gravy then reduce a stock to about a fifth of it original volume. In a separate pan add 30g of unsalted butter and let it melt. At this point add 30g of flour and whisk until a paste is formed. Add the stock reduction and continue to cook over a high flame until you achieve the consistency you desire..

Thanks to the Underground Cookery School for inviting me. It was a great night and I got to meet some lovely bloggers – those I already knew and some new ones too! Find out more at Underground Cookery School.

Leave a comment

  1. 27th February 2014 / 4:09 pm

    Was so lovely to meet you! x

  2. 4th March 2014 / 7:54 pm

    Great event, what a fun evening. I love the idea of eating the food on that big table too.

  3. 9th March 2014 / 6:07 pm

    It was fun – I think it'd be great for a hen do – wine flowing… good food!

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