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MAKING MINI MASTERCHEFS

Cheesy veggie crumble with the kids at Mountain Thyme in Verbier.

Mountain Thyme Cookery School ~ May 2018

I’m pretty sure that when Cat Sheppard came up with the dream of owning a cookery school in the Alps years ago, she never actually thought that one day it would materialise quite in the guise that she has so brilliantly created.  It has been a genuine labour of love over an astonishingly long period of time, but, finally, she got it to the point where she needed photographs for her website.

Mountain Thyme Cookery School is set on the ‘down road’ in Verbier 1936, in a new building .  It wasn’t Cat’s first choice of location – the previous one was vetoed by inhabitants of the block for fear of ‘cooking smells’! – but in reality, the fact that it’s a new build and she was able to design the space from the ground up as a cookery school, rather than squeeze her dream into a pre-existing building, has meant that the space is not only perfectly and logically laid out, but also that it’s wonderfully airy and light, with a lovely outdoor space for BBQs and dinners.

As I arrived to photograph a childrens’ class, Cat and her business partner and co-teacher, Amy Corbett, were just putting the final touches the pre-prepared ingredients – everything was running as smooth as clockwork and the operation was clearly a well-practised drill.  Cat also teaches the classes from the International School Lemania in Verbier, and now, having moved into her new premises, looking after another 12 children and taking them through the motions of cooking their food is now clearly old-hat for Cat.

 

 

Getting...

The children all arrived promptly, dropped off by parents, eager to have a couple of hours to themselves.  It seemed that most of them had been there before already, and they too knew the drill…

Stuck...

Apron on, hands washed, no more picking of noses and then to their places at the table, which has been specially designed to lower and raise in height so that little people can be accommodated.

In!

Cat delivered the opening brief, labouring the point of clean hands and listening to what she was telling them to do.  Before you would blink they were chopping veggies with specially blunt, dog-patterned knives for children.  Let the cooking commence!

The Mountain Thyme Cookery School, Verbier

Cookery courses all year round in the Alps.

Adult and kids cookery classes through the winter and summer seasons – see the website for more details of upcoming courses.

Not just for kids...

Of course, the children are only a small part of what Cat and Amy have set out to do.  With their sights firmly set on providing an alternative to the skiing during the winter months for those holiday makers that arrive in Verbier but can’t/don’t want to ski, Mountain Thyme is geared to having a multitude of adult classes throughout the year where the two of them demonstrate how to cook dishes from around the world.

And the best part of going to a cooking class?  Well, obviously eating it all afterwards!  Mountain Thyme has not just a lovely outdoors balcony, but also a private dining room that can seat 12 people, so whatever time of year it is, you’ll be able to sit down and eat your creation with your fellow students.  Both spaces are available to hire for small private events and obviously you’ll never have a drama with kitchen space!

Getting it done.

Anyway, after a very happy 90 minutes for chopping, stirring, mixing, measuring, cleaning up and chatting happily amongst themselves, the food that the small people have made was in the oven.

Storytime!

Adults would obviously then have  a glass of wine in their classes, but the children got a story read by Cat – to much amusement!

And an art class!

Finally, they decorated the lids to their cheesy veggie crumble and almost as though it had been planned, parents arrived to scoop up their little darlings!

Above is gallery with only a small selection of shots from the class – view the full gallery here.

Use a text box to get the IDs of the photos in the right order – select them individually, not by bulk. The copy the IDs to photonics gallery.

All Year Round

Of course, the summer months will also provide a good source of business as a steady stream of people flow through Verbier, not just to enjoy the mountains and all they have to offer, but also the internationally renowned, two-week classical music festival, two weeks of showjumping straight off the international circuit and, for the petrol heads, the annual Bike Fest; the non-ski tourist offering is picking up steadily and the days of Verbier being entirely deserted over the summer months are thankfully gone.

Mountain Thyme’s offering will find a niche place in Verbier and I have no doubt that Cat and Amy will capitalise on their central location, gorgeous premises, innate skill and culinary talents to make sure that the their creation is a huge success in the years to come.

I thoroughly suggest that if you are Verbier visitor, you get involved and book yourself on one of their courses as it’s never too late to learn how to cook something…  Do you know how to cook Persian food?  Thought not.

Making Mini Masterchefs

Check out the full set of images or view the Mountain Thyme website below.