Our Facilities

Tante Marie Culinary Academy and Restaurant are just a 1 minute walk from Woking train station, just 20 minutes from central London. The Academy’s central, town centre location is within easy reach of London, Heathrow and Gatwick airport. There is extensive parking nearby and many leisure facilities including cinema, theatre and an array of restaurants and shopping centers.

Facility Overview

Tante Marie Culinary Academy is the longest established independent cookery school in the UK and our experience in delivering the highest standards of skills based, practical training underpins everything we do.

Our Poggenpohl kitchens offer modern, stylish and luxurious environments where beautiful design comes with the solid reassurance of reliability and consistency. The facilities at Tante Marie Culinary Academy are specifically designed to promote skills based learning to ensure that our graduates can adapt to any environment as they develop their careers.

Each kitchen is equipped with a variety of different appliances and cooking mediums to promote skills based training, versatility and adaptability in our students. The most technologically advanced Neff appliances are used at the Academy including a combination of gas and induction across 9 kitchens. Students will move around the school, cooking in every kitchen to ensure that they learn how to adapt their skills to any cooking environment.

The Demonstration Theatre at Tante Marie Culinary Academy is a versatile teaching kitchen and lecture theatre. It is where the learning process begins. Students can observe from the comfort of their seats as our professionally qualified teachers demonstrate each dish. They see the correct process, taste the end result, ask questions, take notes and generally develop an understanding of what is required before they are expected to carry out the process for themselves.

Unlike some cookery schools where each day is split between half a day of practical cookery and half a day of demonstrations, at Tante Marie the emphasis is on getting our students into the kitchen. Approximately 80% of the course is spent in the practical teaching kitchens, with 1 or 2 supporting demonstration & theory lessons during the week.

Events and lectures

The Demonstration Theatre has a multitude of uses and the wealth of natural light through its large windows, looking out over Woking’s busy town centre, makes it perfect for anything from wine tastings and lectures to meetings and corporate events. It is fully equipped with wi-fi, seating and presentation equipment.

Events

Across more than 6 decades of training the world’s best cooks, we have established an extensive library of cookery books to inspire our students and we are constantly adding new books into the facility.

Students can sit quietly in the library or sign the books out to use at home and with books ranging from classics such as Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cookery and Larousse Gastronomique, to those specialising in modern cookery methods such as Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure and the Fat Duck Cook Book, our library contains literally thousands of essential titles, covering hundreds of food related subjects.

We even have a few cookery books which date back to the 19th century and are kept under lock and key – one example being a copy of the original ‘La Véritable Cuisine de Famille’ by Anne-Marie Taride who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Tante Marie’ and from whom the Academy gets its name.

The Tante Marie Culinary Academy allotment is located just a short distance from our town centre location. The tranquil space offers students the opportunity to get involved with the complete process of growing and using their own produce from seed to plate. Head Teacher, Ally Molyneaux takes care of the allotment, and encourages students to join the Student Gardening Club where she shares her extensive knowledge and experience.

Practical cooking classes form the backbone of our professional training at Tante Marie and students of our professional Cordon Bleu courses spend no less than 80% of their time in the kitchens.

However, the advanced practical skills our students learn are underpinned by classes in the theory of cookery. A broad range of topics are covered by theory including menu planning, food hygiene, budgeting and kitchen management – even advanced wine training!

Students will be visited by a range of specialists: master butchers will butcher whole animals to show students where each individual cut comes from, chocolate tastings will introduce students to the delicate differences in chocolate from different parts of the world – students will gain an in depth knowledge and understanding to support the practical skills learned in the kitchens.

Our designated theory classroom provides the ideal facility for this element of the course, away from the distractions of the kitchens.

The Restaurant at Tante Marie is the latest addition to our impressive home – a fully functioning restaurant open to the public for lunch and dinner 5 days a week. The Restaurant provides a facility for our graduates to gain real experience in a high quality arena. Successful graduates may undertake a paid apprenticeship in The Restaurant learning about all aspects of running a hospitality business and gaining a foundation degree level qualification in the process.

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