The Secret Ingredient: Cookery courses for young adults off to uni

While running this online magazine, we often get introduced to products or services we wish were about when we needed them. The Secret Ingredient is just such a service. When my youngest son was off to uni, we realised that as the youngest of four, with a mother and two older sisters who reigned in the kitchen, he had no culinary skills. He survived, but that is probably because he shared with girls who took care of him. Anyway, I put it all down to my poor parenting skills.

So back to The Secret Ingredient

This company is run by two friends, Francesca O’Keeffe & Wendy Walker, both excellent cooks. They also have a combined total of four children, so they have been teaching them both for Duke of Edinburgh awards and also to give them enough cooking skills and confidence to survive at university. Nowadays, with so many of our children turning to vegetarian and vegan food and considering what they put into their bodies far more than we ever did, it is important to know how to create a delicious and nutritious meal.

WENDY WALKER & FRANCESCA O'KEEFFE Co-founders of the cookery school, The Secret Ingredient

The courses concentrate on teaching a new skill each week, enabling the participant to build a comprehensive knowledge of cooking for the future. These skills will enable them to prepare home-cooked food using fresh ingredients.

  • Healthy eating
  • Knife skills and knife safety
  • Portion control
  • Food Hygiene
  • Cooking on a budget and understanding how to cook economically
  • A variety of ingredients & recipes
  • Vegetarian course available

3 month course gives 12 lessons, i.e. 1 per week & 6 monthly gives 24 lessons, again 1 per week.

All lessons are via a pre-recorded bespoke videos, which get sent out with the recipe, one per week. The participant then sends back to The Secret Ingredient weekly photos and feedback for each dish they make.

Secret Ingredient Cookery is licensed by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as an Approved Activity Provider.  Hygiene and food safety qualified. DBS checked.

The Secret Ingredient are happy to adapt their courses to suit your time and budget.

Finally, If you would like a short cooking course to keep your kids occupied during the upcoming summer school holidays, please get in touch & they will be happy to help you. I might still send my now 26 yr old son on one of their courses if he can end up cooking me Eggs Benedict as in the video.


Watch one of the Secret Ingredient videos below as an example of one of the recipes that they teach.

If you are interested in recipes, then have a browse of our 800 recipes; please click HERE