Sausages! Who doesn’t feel a little excited when hearing that? Well probably quite a few people but needless to say I was pretty excited when Grant (@boozybunchgrant) invited me to take advantage of a Nudge member offer for a 50% off class at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings. I’d been there to try out the boozy brunch (adequate but with potential) and the basement bar Below & Hidden (highly entertaining) and this was to round off the experience.
The course we choose was a 6 hour marathon of sausage making with the Executive Chef of the B&H Group who runs all the cooking courses. Adam Gray’s previous exploits include running the kitchens at Skylon and the Michelin starred Rhodes Twenty Four as well as his own award winning pub and cookery school in his home town of East Haddon. You’d think the man in charge of a number of bars/restaurants would have plenty on his plate but we learned during the intro that this was his pet project and in fact a requirement of him signing on.
Facilities: ★★★★☆ Difficulty: ★★☆☆☆ Atmosphere: ★★★★☆ Value: ★★★☆☆ Overall: ★★★☆☆
Location & Equipment
The cookery school is located in the top floor of the B&H Building where they’ve converted an attic space into a beautiful kitchen/private dining room. There are 6-8 fully equipped stations along two sides of the room and a wall of ovens take up a third side. The centre of the space is dominated by a massive solid wood table with a centre display of a veritable cornucopia of fresh vegetables. It’s pretty much everything I dream my future kitchen to be.
They’ve not spared any expense with the equipment either and you’ll be handed hundred (if not thousands) of pounds of top of the line kit to use as you muddle through the recipes of the day.
B&H Buildings Kitchen does offer a range of cookery courses from our chosen sausage making course to animal specific butchery courses and even a knife skills course for those of you who want to brush up on the many, many ways to chop a leek. Actually, the knife skills is pretty solid as it help you chop safely and much faster thus saving you a considerable amount of time prepping your food and probably a finger or two in the end. The class sizes are typically limited to 12 which means you get plenty of direct attention from Chef Gray and it’s intimate enough to allow for a bit of banter within the group without it getting out of control.
Our course started off with a leisurely breakfast of pastries, scones, and bottomless tea and coffee which set us up for the work ahead. We then headed up to the kitchen itself for a brief talk from the man himself before getting elbow deep in some ground meat. The different meats were pre-ground for us (otherwise we might have spent half the day lining up to the meat grinder) but the spicing, mixing, and then stuffing into the skins was all us. Don’t worry though, there is a recipe to follow and Chef is on hand to provide tips – in particular that sausages should only be eaten a day after they are made as the seasoning gets a lot stronger once its had time to blend.
With each recipe, we fried up a little of the mixture to taste our handiwork and then adapted the seasoning to our taste. After we were happy with the level of spices, it was time to stuff the sausage.
Our first attempt was using heavy duty piping bags but after a number of them split (likely a manufacturing flaw), we got to play with the professional equipment – a crank driven monstrosity of a syringe that would even make the Hulk flinch. Of course everyone wanted a go and soon the jokes started to flow about whose sausage was bigger.
The day was broken up by a lunch of Toad in the Hole (made by Chef) which was quite generous in portions. Again coffee and tea were provided gratis but any booze was on your own dime.
All in all, we made four different types of sausages which ended up filling a good sized tote bag to take home. The Chef was kind enough to let us store the sausages in the kitchen and pick them up later that evening (it wouldn’t do to lug them across town all day in the heat).
Worth the dosh?
At full price for £125pp, I may have baulked at sausage making and personally opted for something a bit more difficult (I’m looking at the butchery or fish preparation courses) given I fancy myself a half decent cook. That being said, in comparison to other offerings it’s reasonable given the small class size, the length of the course, and the fact you get both breakfast and lunch.
Find B&H Kitchen here