Andrea Hosfeld runs a small cooking school from her home in St Margarets. Her company is called, Talk of the Table and runs approximately two classes a month, but also will create special classes for groups and kids.
Where did you get the idea for Talk of the Table?
I come from a very large Italian American family. My husband is English and when we moved to London I found myself missing home, particularly the experience of sharing good food and conversation around a table. Cooking, for me, is more than just a skill. It’s a way of creating a mood. When people cook together they forget to be awkward. They laugh a lot and don’t worry about making mistakes. I wanted to offer a cooking experience that wasn’t about doing everything perfectly but about enjoying yourself and the company of other people.
What sort of classes do you offer?
I do all sorts of classes but mostly group ethnic classes at the moment. I am a foodie through and through so I like to offer people the chance to experience new cultures. I do regional Italian classes focusing on dishes from places like Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, and Rome. I also offer Southeast Asian, Spanish, Mexican, and Greek classes. The classes last for about 3 and a half hours. I start off with an introduction of the place and review some of the traditional ingredients and then we move straight into the cooking. We end by setting the table, lighting candles, and having a three course meal.
Do you do kids classes?
Yes, I’ve done them in the past. I don’t have any on offer at the moment but I do a lot of bespoke classes. It is easier if parents can get 6 children together and then they decide on a dish from a list of options. It’s less expensive than the adult classes because we usually only make one dish and the classes last for 1 ½ hours. I do a lot of Italian with kids. We make homemade pizza or I make pasta dough and let them run it through the pasta machine and then they make sauce. I teach after school cooking classes at Waldegrave School for Girls and I love the energy there. It’s completely different from teaching adults. I think kids have so much to gain from cooking.
Where do you do your classes?
I used to do the classes in a delicatessan in Teddington. Recently I decided to do them in my home in St. Margarets. It is a small space so I only take 6 students in each class. I prefer small numbers because it means everyone gets a chance to be involved with every dish we make. It also means that our dining experience is more intimate. People leave feeling like they’ve made new friends in a very short space of time.
How many classes do you offer in a month?
I usually offer 2 classes a month. They fill up quickly so I also take bookings for bespoke classes. I’ve done everything from hen parties to 30th birthday parties. It is more convenient for people to get 6 friends together and decide on one of the classes that I offer. They can choose the date and the price is the same.
What does a class cost?
Group classes are £45. This includes all the ingredients, a 3-3 ½ hour class, a recipe booklet, and a 3 course sit down meal. The price for bespoke classes varies but is usually the same.
Do you enjoy doing your classes in St Margarets?
I love it. This is such an amazing area. People are really up for doing something new and fun and I feel like I have met so many people through food. There is a wonderful sense of community here already and I feel like I’m helping to contribute to it.
You can learn more about Andrea and her cooking classes at www.talkofthetable.com or call Andrea on 020 8891 3308.