Cooking Course and Classes for the Less Confident Cook
Beginner Cooking course and Classes. Become a confident home cook and establish a repertoire of simple, seasonal, healthy dishes to be proud of.
Beginner Cooking Courses and Classes
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Kitchen Confidence 101

Beginner Cooking Courses in Melbourne

Kitchen Confidence – 101



6 WEEK KITCHEN CONFIDENCE – DAYTIME : TUESDAY  : 11am – 1.30pm ending December 17th


5 DAY 101 INTENSIVE : 6th – 10th January 11am – 3pm

BOOT CAMP FOR TEENAGERS : 14th – 16th January 11.30am – 1.30pm



 6 WEEK KITCHEN CONFIDENCE : DAYTIME – TUESDAYS from 5th February – 11am – 1.30pm



 Cooking Course and Classes for Beginner and Less Confident Cooks

Are you ready to discover how cooking can be a pleasure? – A wonderful, creative and nurturing outlet that you and those you care for can be the beneficiary of.

This ever popular program is practical, fun, social, un-intimidating and a wonderful opportunity for you to master the basics of home cooking.  You will be left loaded with achievable ideas for healthy snacks, school and work lunches, weeknight dinners and simple entertaining.

Weeks 1 and 2 are a critical introduction to the Kitchen Confidence 101 Cooking Course.  Additional classes are offered in 4 – 6 week course blocks.  A minimum 4 week cooking course is recommended to get you started. Over 20 classes have been created to thoroughly instil the basics of home cooking.  You may choose to complete these over several consecutive months, every other month or over 1 or 2 years.  It is entirely up to you.

Messaging and telephone support is available to participants throughout the course.  Additionally, a complimentary Farmers’ Market visit is offered to participants in the course.

For more information about Elizabeth Peddey and the philosophy behind the Elizabeth Peddey School of Cookery and Gastronomy – Click here 

What are you waiting for?

6 Week Course: $749*
Single One-Off Classes: First class $150, Additional classes $135

3 Day Boot Camp Course $330* (January Only)

5 Day Intensive 101 Course $875* (January Only)

* Price includes a complimentary visit to a local farmer’s market and telephone or messaging support during the course and for 30 days after completion.

Additional telephone and messaging support may be negotiated.


Terms and Conditions: Please check our terms and conditions.

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There is a series of cooking classes recommended for the 101 cook.

The classes enable you to develop the cooking skills and techniques and the gastronomic knowledge necessary to become a confident cook and to be able to put your hand to a versatile repertoire of dishes and ingredients.

Most of the class names and the overall sequence of classes have been developed from Alice Waters wonderful book – The Art of Simple Food – Notes, lessons and recipes from a Delicious Revolution.  While I believe this book offers a wonderful structure for the beginner cook – I suspect it is near impossible for the beginner cook to successfully teach him or herself how to cook from a book!  Hence, I have adopted and adapted a little – most of the classes recommended in the  course structure used by Waters as a framework for my Kitchen Confidence 101 Cooking Course.

The class content  has subsequently been developed from a range of other sources and is bound in my own philosophy on food and cooking. 

Weeks 1 and 2 are considered fundamental material.

It is not necessary to complete all of the other classes at once or consecutively; you may decide to give yourself 6 months, 1 year or even 2 years to work through this material and refine how you cook.  Participants are encouraged to pick up a course as their  circumstances permit.  Some people do multiple consecutive courses, others prefer to pace themselves and have one or two months off between.

In each class you can expect to cook at least 3 recipes.  You will be given several other recipes each week, that are based on the skills and ingredients you have familiarised yourself with in class.  Participants are encouraged to cook between classes and share their successes and failures with the group.  This is how you learn and overcoming your mistakes and celebrating your wins will deliver life long skills to you that one day perhaps you will choose to share with someone else.

 Getting Started

Ingredients and the pantry

Basic cooking equipment and knives

Shopping and Farmers Markets

Recipes will be those that can be made from basic pantry ingredients

What to Cook

Planning Menus for your circumstances

Everyday meals and friends for dinner

Picnics and packing a lunch

We all have to start somewhere! We will use recipes here with minimum ingredients and processes that even the beginner cook can tackle.  Understanding picnic food and how to pack a lunch is a great way to learn about how to always have uncomplicated food on hand and appropriately packed and stored for easy transportation.  Throughout this course you will identify additional dishes suitable for transportation for either picnics or less romantically – work day lunches.

Four Essential Sauces:

You will love how knowing these simple recipes will transform otherwise very plain cooking and preparation.

The 4 essential sauces we cover: Vinaigrette, Salsa Verde, Aioli, Herb Butter

You will learn how to prepare them and how they dress up simply cooked fish, meat, poultry and vegetables.


Now you know how to make a vinaigrette it is is time to learn a few other dressings and start enjoying plant based meals from raw and cooked vegetables


Knowing what bread to buy and why it is important is fundamental knowledge to many traditional cuisines.

Properly made bread using natural ingredients is of course a little more expensive than what you can readily buy in a supermarket or chain bakery but it tastes way better and it can be used in ways you hadn’t imagined beyond its shelf life.

While we are talking bread – we can also look at making our own pizza dough and how to cook a simple pizza at home. 

Broth and Soup

It is not complex to make your own broth whether vegetable or meat based – and it is just another way to transform your cooking.

Another interesting thing that you will learn in todays class is that not all excellent soups require a broth base – water based soups are extraordinarily good – so long as your other ingredients are top notch!

The Benevolent Bean – Beans Dried and Fresh

Knowing how to prepare and cook dried beans means that you will never have to eat badly again – no matter what your budget.  These nuggets of nutrition are fundamental in many traditional cuisines and learning what to do with them is a wonderful way to introduce fibre, nourishment, and interest to your diet.  We also  incorporate fresh beans into this class when they are seasonally available.

Pasta and Pasta Sauces

A well stocked pantry will always have this dependable Italian standby on hand. Knowing how to cook, dress and serve this versatile ingredient means that you can have a quick meal in no time, with very little planning.  At its simplest pasta is delicious with butter or oil and cheese, not to mention the countless tomato sauces and meat ragus that can be served too.

There are some rules in what to buy and how to cook!


Another ingredient that is a pantry staple and fundamental to many traditional cuisines.  It is important to know what to buy for what and how to prepare and cook the different rices.  In todays class we will learn about the different types of rice and how to use them. 

We will prepare some simple rice based recipes that you will love.


As soon as you get to a Farmers’ Market you will be astonished by the quality and variety of vegetables that we have access to in Melbourne. 

Knowing how to prepare some basic vegetable dishes is of course important and a much needed skill of the beginner cook.  I also like to take the opportunity in this class though to expose you to new ways of considering vegetables and how to prepare and cook them and introduce them to your table in the most appetising ways.

Into the Oven

Meat, Fish and Vegetables alike benefit from the browning and flavour boosting effects of oven roasting.  In this class you will learn about how to salt and handle larger cuts of meat before cooking, the simplicity of baking fish and the beauty of a tray of roasted vegetables. 

You will learn the importance of preheating your oven, the effects of heat on and how to control it properly.

Out of the Frying Pan

Every cook needs to learn how to use the work horse of the kitchen – the frying pan;  In todays class we will learn when and how to pan fry and how to shallow fry.  This type of rapid cooking over direct heat with different amounts of fat requires your active attention.  Have everything ready and serve immediately – juicy and sizzling.

Slow Cooking

Nothing creates a happier household than a barely simmering ragu or braise, sitting quietly on top of the stove.  The aromas that waft through the house are deeply comforting and reassuring.  Economical cuts of meat are transformed to melting fall off the bone tenderness.  This is another lesson in how to use heat and season correctly.  Once assembled a slow cooked dish like this uses only one pot and proceeds largely unwatched.  It can be made ahead of time and if reheated the next day will often taste even better.

Simmering, Poaching

These methods rely upon the technique of cooking in liquid over low heat. 

Poached foods cook delicately over the gentlest of heat where barely a bubble breaks the surface of liquid.

Food that is simmering cooks at a slightly higher heat – and the liquid bubbles intermittently.  A chicken cooked with a piece of well marbled beef, a sausage or two and some aromatic vegetables is romantically known in France as a Pot au Feu or in Italy as a Bollito Misto, in America it is simply known as a boiled dinner!  This deep flavoured broth and tender meats is a dish not to be missed.

Omelettes and Other Egg Dishes

Knowing how to cook eggs properly virtually guarantees that you will always have access to nourishing, enjoyable, economical food.  In this class we also cover purchasing and storing eggs.

Fruit Deserts

The bounty of fruit we have access to is delicious when eaten raw but equally enjoyable and sometimes a little more elegant when chopped and cooked into perhaps a puree , made into an ice cream or a fool or poached whole in wine.  These dishes are not difficult to make and yet so enjoyable to serve that I believe that they need to be included in every beginner cook’s repertoire of go to dishes.


Birthdays are only one of the celebrations in life that calls for a cake.  Everyone loves a home made cake – lovingly prepared.  Cake baking teaches basic lessons in organisation, measurement, mixing, oven use, and clean up. 

Salt Fat Acid Heat

This 4 week cooking course has been adapted from Samin Nosrat’s award winning book and 2018 Netflix series – Salt Fat Acid Heat.

At the end of four weeks you will have an improved understanding of what all good cooks need to know – the fundamentals of how food responds to salt, fat, acid and heat, how flavour works and the ways in which these elements underwrite good cooking. 

Whether new to cooking or already an experienced cook, this course will empower you to make better decisions while cooking generally and you will find that this knowledge will improve the quality and flavour of the food  you prepare overall.  


Commonly when a dish falls flat, it responds by adjusting the salt

Salt makes almost everything taste better; It has a greater impact on flavour than any other ingredient.  Learn to use it well and your food will taste good.  It is that simple!

In this class, we learn about what salt is, the different types of salt, how to use the correct type of salt, at the correct time, in the correct quantity, and how this combination of effort favourably affects the flavour and often the texture of food.  We also explore Umami flavours through a selection of Japanese inspired dishes.


Fat is the second element of good cooking.

The correct use of fat in cooking is what makes food taste so good. The different fats we cook with need to be understood in terms of how important each of these is on its own terms, as well as a cooking medium.  There is no better illustration of this than in the use of Olive Oil in particular

As well as learning about olive oil we will examine the use and importance of other fats such as some seed and nut oils, butter, and animal fat.

We will look at what fat is, the different sources of fat and the flavour of each of these and how fat works in cooking.  We will observe Fat’s capacity to affect texture and we will examine how Salt and Fat can enhance flavour.  You will learn how to practice using salt and fat to improve flavour and texture every time you cook

Todays recipes will largely come from northern Italy, where, like everywhere else in the world – the different fats used in cooking are particularly important to the flavour of the food prepared and  how good the food tastes.


Now that you have Samin Nosrat’s ideas of the Salt – Fat Melody, this class will demonstrate how to elevate this harmony even further with your knowledge of how Salt Fat and Acid synchronise together in food and cooking.

Just like the way you have to know how to evaluate food for salt, you also need to learn how to evaluate it for acid too.  As Samin says ‘Acid is salt’s alter ego.  While salt enhances flavour – acid balances it.  Acid is indispensable in cooking because it acts as a foil to salt, fat and sugar and starch.  Understanding Acid is the third fundamental of good cooking.

In this cooking class we learn about how acid affects flavour, the different acids of the world and the flavour of these acids, and how to balance sweetness with acid.


This class is an overview of a huge topic but it gives you insight to the fourth element of good cooking – Heat

‘Heat is the element of transformation. No matter its source, heat triggers the changes that take our food from raw to cooked, runny to set, flabby to firm, flat to risen and pale to golden brown. Unlike Salt, Fat and Acid, Heat is flavourless and intangible but its effects are quantifiable.’  (Samin Nosrat).

We will learn the sensory cues of heat – sizzling, spattering, crackling, steaming, bubbling, aromas and colouring.  Knowing how to read these cues is often more important than using a thermometer.  ‘All of your senses, including common sense will help guage heat’s affects on food.

We will look at Browning and Flavour and howTemperature’s effects on Flavour.

We will learn how to use heat, different types of heat sources such as the stove top and the oven, and examine when we need gentle heat and when we need intense heat.  We will experiment with cooking with water and try our hand at simmering, blanching, boiling, stewing and braising. 

You can now approach questions of each element of cooking and have some confidence in how to proceed and improvise.  How much Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and when and in what forms? Will the ingredients benefit more from intense or gentle heat?  You are already collecting correct responses to these important culinary decisions.




The Kitchen Confidence Cooking Course is designed so that you will learn how to cook with ease and confidence.

The recipes we work through will expose you to new ways of considering food and dining at home.   You can expect to learn the pleasure of preparing simple seasonal food for yourself or to share proudly with friends and family. 

This practical, fun program will leave you loaded with achievable ideas for healthy snacks, school and work lunches, weeknight dinners and simple entertaining.

You will learn how to read, understand and follow recipes, how to plan your meals,  how to select, care for and use simple kitchen equipment, how to shop, stock a pantry and a fridge, how to store food properly and how to create inspirational meals from simple seasonal ingredients to share at the table.

You will be peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing, roasting, baking, simmering, boiling and sautéing before you know it!

You will learn how to identify the best quality, locally available, seasonal produce and how to maximise the investment you make in the food you grow or purchase, and prepare.  You will become a critical and informed consumer and clever about how you sustain and nourish yourself and those you care for. 

In a 4 week course you can expect to master at least 2 essential cooking techniques including but not limited to baking, roasting, frying, slow cooking, simmering, poaching  and grilling.  You will be exposed to a wide variety of seasonal ingredients and the gastronomic knowledge and recipes associated with them.

Each class will present some simple recipes with minimum ingredients and processes with straight forward explanation of the whys and wherefores of the instructions

Some fundamental recipes including but not limited to dressings and salads, vegetables, breads, broths, stocks and soups, pasta and pasta sauces, meat, fish, poultry, rice, egg dishes, sweet and savoury tarts, and fruit desserts are covered.

Additionally you will learn about the following:

  • Care and management of the kitchen work space
  • Care and management of basic kitchen equipment such as chopping boards, knives, peelers, mandolines, cookware, blenders, stove tops, pots and pans and ovens.
  • Basic knife skills
  • Understanding flavors and balance of taste
  • How to manage different sources and temperatures of heat
  • How salt, fat and acid influence the flavour of food
  • How to read understand and follow a recipe – creating a schedule for yourself before you even start to cook
  • Basic Kitchen Hygiene
  • Basic Food Safety Rules
  • How, why and when to measure and weigh ingredients
  • Planning and shopping for meals
  • Making the most of local Farmers Market.
  • How to shop so that you always have the ingredients for an easy meal
  • How to make some simple salads and dressings
  • How to select, store, prepare, cook and serve some simple vegetable dishes
  • How to cook, dress and serve pasta like an Italian
  • How to cook rice like a Chinaman
  • How to roast a chicken like Thomas Keller
  • How to make a curry like an Indian
  • How to set a table
  • How to present food to the table



  • Light Refreshments
  • An apron is supplied for each class
  • All ingredients and cooking equipment are provided
  • You will receive a note book and print copy of recipes
  • A sit down meal comprised of the dishes prepared, with a glass of wine
  • An exemption from the washing up



Dishes and menus may vary from the suggestions provided.

In Beginner cooking classes we move as slowly as we need to. Sometimes that means we may not be able to complete all the menu items.  We do what we have time to do and we do it well.

In each class  you can expect to learn new processes and new information about the equipment and the ingredients we are using.  We will always complete our main dish and as time permits – the salad, vegetable side or a variation on the dish of the day.

Adjustments may be made for some Food Allergies and Intolerances, some classes however will always be unsuitable. Please advise us during your initial consultation of any special food needs that you have so that we can be sure to schedule you correctly

Participants are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before the start of class to settle in.

Classes start promptly as scheduled, students arriving late are encouraged to join in on arrival.

Please wear closed flat shoes

Some of the items, such as equipment and ingredients that we use in class can be ordered and purchased through the school on request



This course is recommended for:

  • Absolute beginners
  • For less confident cooks – those of you who have tried and think you have failed
  • Young people moving out of home
  • Parents struggling with managing family meals
  • Changed personal circumstances and new responsibilities in feeding yourself and or others
  • Individuals who want to improve how they cook by expanding their cooking repertoire, techniques, knowledg and skills
  • Individuals who have just decided not to put up with eating bad food any longer