The Cookery School at the Isle of Wight College located in Newport has beaten dozens of other cookery schools from across Britain and Northern Ireland to win the accolade of The Best Specialist Cookery School at the British Cookery School Awards. 

The judges were looking for cookery schools that could demonstrate why they are the best at their particular area of expertise, excellent customer service and a commitment to increasing the number of Brits that partake in their cooking speciality.

The College started working with the sailing charity, United Kingdom Sailing Academy in March 2006 to provide a training course for their Marine Hospitality students.  As the course became more popular and word spread in the global yachting community demand for the course increased.  Supported by Isle of Wight Council funding to fit out a new school, the team have engaged youngsters in a profession which has literally been life changing.  The cookery school now delivers numerous and varied courses each year and there are plans to offer a 1-week  Intermediate course starting in February 2013. Dawn Cousins, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for children’s services said: ‘I send my congratulations to everyone involved at the cookery school. To beat prestigious names to the award, such as Rick Stein’s Padstow Seafood School , is truly an excellent achievement and has really put the Isle of Wight on the map.’

Nigel Barden, head judge of the British Cookery School Awards which is headline sponsored by Kenwood, said:

The Cookery School at the Isle of Wight College’s offering is so unique, which really made it stand out to us.  The course has become the lead global benchmark for galley training and although their customer base is primarily British, they have attracted students from all over the world.  Some have gone on to attain high positions working on super yachts and one student is now working as a development chef and currently appearing on television with Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck.

Nigel Barden, head judge of the British Cookery School Awards

Years of hard work have gone into the School to get it where it is today.  What the team have managed to establish is even more of an achievement – we were up against six other brilliant cookery schools, so to be the outright winner was a total surprise!  It is a real honour and shall spur us on to increase our student numbers even further.

Malcolm Alder-Smith, customer liaison officer for The Cookery School

With more than 250 cookery schools now operating in the UK, The British Cookery School Awards were set up this year to honour all those excellent cookery schools that go above and beyond to deliver a first class cookery school experience.  The awards aim to celebrate the important role that cookery schools play in driving Britain’s passion for cooking good, homemade food.

The Cookery School Awards 2012 took place at the Vintners’ Company in the heart of the City of London, hosted by BBC Radio 2’s food and drink presenter Nigel Barden and the Best Specialist Cookery School trophy was sponsored by The Bart Ingredients Co.  The judging panel consisted of Nigel, Michelin-star chef Martin Blunos, the Centre of Hospitality and Retailing at Leeds Metropolitan University and Kenwood’s development chef Martin Johns.

I am thrilled with this prestigious award for the college and the recognition that the we have the best Specialist Cookery School in Britain. This is testament to the vision and commitment of the staff involved. This excellent facility has been of huge benefit to students within business and the community and will be offering new range of courses starting in January

Debbie Lavin, CBE, the Principal of The Isle of Wight College

Best Specialist Cookery School  finalists (sponsored by The Bart Ingredients Co.)

  1. The Cookery School at The Isle of Wight College – WINNER
  2. Cookies Cooking School
  3. Curry Cuisine
  4. School of Wok
  5. Padstow Seafood School
  6. Squires Kitchen International
  7. Weber Grill Academy

For further information on the British Cookery School Awards telephone 0800 076 3850 or or visit

The British Cookery School Awards™ is the trademark of BCS Awards Ltd. Registered trademark applied for.

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