How do I contact Food at 52?
Either email us at email@example.com or call John on 07814027067, Emily on 07854 160 750 or Natasha on 07539443301 (please note Natasha works part time, mainly weekday afternoons). We also use Facebook and Twitter.
When was Food at 52 founded?
Food at 52 opened it doors to friends and family in Autumn 2007 and launched to the public in January 2008. John Benbow had been running informal classes for friends for a while and due to increasing demand he decided to open a cooking school from home – Food at 52 was born
How does the cooking class work and what sort of cooking will I do?
All of our cookery classes are very hands-on so everyone participates in making each of the dishes during the day. We believe in this way you leave Food at 52 with the confidence to try the dishes as home and impress friends and family!
Most of our courses are day classes of 5 hours and run from 11 – 4pm at weekends (after all a lie in is important for everyone!). We also run 3.5 hour classes in the evenings. After an introduction over either nibbles and wine in the evening or tea and coffee on a weekend morning, guests go onto to usually prepare 4 or 5 dishes covering starters, mains, side dishes and depending on the cuisine, a dessert.
Unlike many cookery schools where you simply chop a few vegetables and the rest is all demonstration, here you will be guided step by step through each recipe. So if pasta is on the menu you’ll make your own dough, roll it out and then prepare the pasta from beginning to end. If you sign up to the fish course you’ll learn how to fillet and prepare seafood, by watching the chef demonstrate and then having a go yourself. Students, working often in pairs or groups, will cook at their own gas ring.
During the course John and the team plan the menu so that everyone has something to eat early on and the main meal is at the end of the class when the last 45 minutes to an hour is given way to sitting around the dinner table and eating the feast that has been created. The wine flows freely as does the conversation. Many people have commented on how they feel like they are at a dinner party rather than a formal cookery class!
Key thing is don't book a meal after as you'll be stuffed - trust us!
What do I need to bring?
We provide all the ingredients, drinks, equipment, apron and recipes so all you need to bring is yourself (in flat comfortable shoes please and hair bands for those with long hair ideally).
What types of people come to Food at 52 and how many to a class?
We have some foodies attend who are expert cooks and simply want to try out a new style of cooking such as Moroccan or Thai. At the other end of the spectrum we have novice cooks who want to learn how to cook some dishes from their favourite type of food. The love of food and enthusiasm to learn are the common factors! Students come from all backgrounds and nationalities. There are no upper age limits – we’ve had both an 80 year old and a 16 year old participating in the same class! Our minimum age limit for courses is 16 years old. It's also very friendly so don't be afraid to come alone. Our maximum public class size tends to be around 18, our private and corporate group sizes can go up to around 35.
How do I know which course to take?
On the course page of our website we have explained in general what is involved in each class although we do not specify the actual dishes as they do change regularly. At Food at 52 it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any cooking experience, our small class sizes and tailored tuition will allow you to pick up new skills and have fun along the way.
Can I book a private class?
We often have groups of friends coming together who want to have an exclusive event. We love running these classes and everyone finds it a really nice way to catch up with each other. The only restriction is that the minimum booking is 8 people for an exclusive event on a weekday and 10-14 people on a weekend.
Do you cater for corporate groups?
We have run many successful corporate team building events including Linklaters, UBS, Facebook, Microsoft and Google. We find that our three and a half hour cooking classes are a great alternative to going out for a work team meal and really help build a team. We can tailor make the menu and wines to suit your budget and can offer events for between 8 and 35 people. Please see our feedback from corporate clients on TripAdvisor.
Do you sell vouchers/gift cards?
We do sell vouchers, we call them 'gift cards' as people find they make great gifts for friends, relatives and work colleagues. If you want to buy a cooking class for a gift but you are not sure of the availability of your friend then a voucher/gift card is ideal. They will receive a voucher via email and can simply go online to choose and book a course of their choice. All of our vouchers are valid for 6 months from date of purchase. They're great if you're not sure what date they can attend as changing dates incurs a £35 fee.
If you buy a voucher through a third party please note that these cannot be redeemed through our website, so please email us the details and your number and we'll be in touch.
Help my voucher is about to expire, what options do I have?
Panic not! Firstly you don't need to attend a class before the expiry date - you just need to book it. Secondly, you can extend your gift card by 3 months by paying a £35 admin fee per person if needs be. After this they can't be extended any further.
How do I pay?
You need to pay for the full cost of the cookery course at the time of booking. We currently use Paypal to accept payment via our website. You do not need a Paypal account, simply type in your credit/debit card details and the transfer is made to our account. It is completely secure and fast way of paying.
What happens if I can’t make the course I’m booked on?
Once you have booked onto a course we are unable to transfer you onto another course so please make sure you are available at the time of booking. If something unexpected comes up we will always welcome a substitute of your choice to attend in your place. We will accept one change of date for a £35 admin fee per person providing it is more than 48 hours before the class. We are unable to offer refunds, unless we have cancelled or moved the course.
What should I do if I am unwell before the course?
If you have had an infectious illness (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) within the 48 hours before the class starts you must call us before the course.
What if I have an allergy or dietary requirement?
Please alert us to any dietary requirements or allergies before a course so we can discuss this with you whether the class is suitable. Please be aware that the following allergens may be used in some of the recipes used at the cookery school:
Celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs, mustard, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, soya, sulphur dioxide.
Please note we cannot guarantee we are free from traces of any allergen and others in the class may be cooking with that ingredient, even if you do not eat it. Further detail is available upon request.
Do you have disabled access?
Unfortunately we do not have facilities for wheelchairs due to our entrance door and staircase to get to the kitchen.
What do others say?
We're very proud of our google and TripAdvisor reviews, read more of what others thought through the links.
Where is Food at 52 located?
We are at 96 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ. Our nearest tube is either Old Street - Exit 7 (10 min walk), or Angel (10 min walk). There is a car park nearby but limited street parking.
Take A Sneak Peak
Have a look around our kitchen with Google's internal street view below or by clicking here.
What are Food at 52's booking terms?
Bookings are non refundable. If in the event of you not being able to attend a course we will allow you to change to another date once for a £35 admin fee per person, providing you let us know earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled class. Alternatively, you are also welcome to send another person in your place.
Food at 52 vouchers are valid for 6 months. You may use a voucher which does not cover the value of a particular course by paying the balance at check out.
If you have a voucher from another party please call 07814027067 to enquire about booking onto a class. We retain the right to change the sample menu or cancel classes for example due to staff availability or numbers, where possible we will give as much notice as we can if this is the case.