6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Learn to cook better

PUBLISHED: 07:31 13 December 2014 | UPDATED: 07:31 13 December 2014

Diane and Robbie Perry

Diane and Robbie Perry

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

Stuck for the perfect Christmas gift on need inspiration in the kitchen? Then check out Diane Perry’s fabulous Cookery Studio near Faversham

Enjoying a delightfully rural location yet very well connected (Faversham 10 minutes away, motorway ditto, Canterbury just a bit further), the new Cookery Studio in Badlesmere is well worth seeking out.

I had the pleasure of spending a morning with Diane Perry and her husband Robbie in the converted barn where they have created a stunning, spacious ground floor with space for a giant dining table, snuggly sofas and chairs – and a purpose-designed, fully equipped kitchen at its heart.

Attractive accommodation up on the mezzanine level is indication of the future direction they want to take the studio in, hosting families and groups for a weekend of cooking and exploring the region.

Sadly I just had time for a morning’s tuition, but that was enough to get me 
well and truly hooked and eager to return.

But first there’s time for a coffee at that welcoming table and to learn a bit more about Diane Perry’s journey to the Cookery Studio, which launched this September.

“My grandparents had bakeries in the north of England so I think I have this inbred baking gene,” she laughs. “I was always into food from being a youngster.”

Indeed, Diane studied food and nutrition at Bath University and taught for a couple of years in the West Country before pursuing a commission in the airforce, where she entered the catering branch.

Four and a half years later, having learnt from an excellent sergeant-chef, achieved her dream of flying and travelling – and also having met and married Robbie – she left to raise a family (their son now has 
his own boutique catering company).

Robbie’s job in logistics with the airforce meant that they moved often, and time in Holland and Yorkshire was followed by a move to Brussels when Robbie joined NATO. Deciding she’d get a teaching job, Diane was instead asked to open a school in Belgium and made such a success of being a headteacher that she transferred to another school in Brussels for 13 years, gaining an MBE for her work in the process.

Fifteen years ago, with the children at Kings Canterbury, the couple decided they needed a base in the UK. “We ended up just very casually being here in Kent – which I am delighted about, I love the county.

“We had an apartment in Brussels and commuted at weekends. I’d just given up the first headship so came here for 18 months to project manage the restoration of the oast, our new home,” Diane adds.

“But just as I’d finished I got a phone 
call for an interview in Brussels and got the second headship. We’d come back every fortnight by the Shuttle. We pretty much gutted the place, it was very outdated.”

That exhausting lifestyle has finally ended and the Perrys are throwing themselves into their new Cookery Studio.

“The foodie side of me was definitely calling, so this is perfect, as I love teaching, cooking and people,” says Diane.

Those skills and her background are evident in Diane’s teaching – warm, hands on, encouraging and practical. Under her expert guidance I swiftly turn out quite credible biscotti, chocolate mendiants (a traditional French confection consisting of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits) and some dead easy mulling syrup, which we later apply to a handy bottle of red to toast our morning’s efforts.

I just had a couple of hours with Diane, but a proper course would take much longer and she prefers a group of up to eight.

With everything from bread making to ‘essential Italian’ and Vietnamese cuisine to choose from, there is a course for all levels, from the beginner to the expert home cook seeking fresh inspiration.

And for that person in your life who 
is impossible to buy for at Christmas, the gift of a course at the Cookery Studio could prove a life saver. Or just treat yourself. n

Get in touch

The Cookery Studio

Fisher Street Oast, Badlesmere,

Faversham ME13 0LB

01227 730528,

enquiries@cookerystudiokent.co.uk

www.cookerystudiokent.co.ukw

More from Food & Drink

Artisan spirits are a booming business. You can visit any or all of Kent’s fascinating distilleries in search of your new favourite tipple

Read more
March 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019

These Kent hotels all have great restaurants, so you can indulge in locally sourced tasty food before a night in a sumptuous room

Read more

Brought to life by a family team with strong local connections, The Powell is back where it belongs in the heart of its community

Read more
March 2019

We are delighted to announce our seventh Food and Drink Awards and this year have 14 categories in which to make your nominations

Read more
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Our food and drink newsletter is brimming with all of your local foodie highlights.

Read more
Thursday, February 28, 2019

There are new faces behind the bar at historic pub The White Horse in Hawkinge, which has reopened after a £200,000 transformation

Read more
February 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Join the micropub revolution! This unique style of small, one-room pubs was born in Kent and has caught on with micropubs appearing all over the country. We have selected 12 of the best in Kent for you to visit

Read more

With a fabulous setting in the heart of the city, ABode Canterbury is not only a great place to stay but offers a fantastic dining experience too

Read more
February 2019
Monday, February 11, 2019

Whether you want slow cooked pulled pork, huge steaks or some surf and turf, we’ve got the meat-heavy restaurants in Kent that you need to visit

Read more
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Cute dogs and beer – do you need anything else? We pick 10 of the best dog-friendly pubs to bring your pooch

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life