It feels really good to be bringing back our classes. Loaf started as a cookery school with a bakery attached. So shutting down that part of the business really felt like losing our soul.
But it had to be done. Beyond the basic issues of running anything in the pandemic, our classes are a social occasion. You learn to make the food together and sit around a table to enjoy it together. The learning comes as much from the informal conversations as the course notes. We could have delivered the content distanced in masks or remotely but it would have been a pale shadow. So no half measures. Put it in hibernation ‘til it’s safe to do it properly again.
Of course we are still in a global pandemic. It is a confusing time in the UK. It seems like half the country has returned to normality while the other half is still terrified of touching door handles. In the absence of coherent government guidance we’re playing it safe and sticking with our lockdown procedures for the rest of the year. But we’ve also had time to think clearly about our building and how safe it is.
As a commercial kitchen environment we are blessed with industrial-level ventilation. The oven sits in the centre of the building with a large extractor which pulls air through all the rooms and out the roof. Similarly the cookery school has three big extractors over the hobs. We’re confident that the air is exchanged frequently even with the doors closed.
Similarly, while surface transmission is not as big a danger as originally thought, the nature of our business means we clean and sterilise everything we use as we go.
Combined with vaccinations and people wearing masks responsibly, we feel our cookery school is certainly safer than most places, both for us and for you.
Of course many will disagree, and that’s fine. It’s a confusing time. No one is right. But this is what we’ve decided to do.
We’ve gone through all the courses this summer and made some changes. Most are small improvements and iterations, but three are worth noting here.
Firstly, we’re sorry to say Steve Rossiter will no longer be teaching. He needs to focus on bringing his butchery business out of the pandemic and doesn’t have the time or capacity. As such our Pork Butchery and Charcuterie class is now Sausage and Charcuterie as Lap-fai Lee extends his half into an all-day sausage-making masterclass. If you enjoyed our German sausage takeaway last December, you’ll know how good he is. And now you can be too!
Secondly, the Japan course now just focuses on Sushi and has been renamed accordingly. Rather than survey a whole country in one evening, you’ll now master a range of sushi culminating in a delicious meal.
Finally, Heritage Grains was a brand new class that we barely had a chance to run before the pandemic. Over the last year we’ve learned a lot more and are on the cusp of working directly with small wheat farmers and mills. We want this course to reflect that so we’re taking a few months to refine it.
All vouchers that expired during the pandemic have been extended until the end of 2022. If you can’t find your voucher code, or don’t think you received one for a cancelled class, or if the website won’t accept it, please email us and we’ll make things right.
A new waiting list system
Our classes can get very popular and sell out quickly, which is a nice problem to have. We are working on long-term plans to increase capacity without reducing quality, but in the meanwhile we’ve overhauled our waiting list system.
If a course is sold out or you can’t make the dates, please fill out this form. We’ll then email you when we have new dates or if there are cancellations.
This is not a marketing list. We will keep your details for up to six months and then delete them.