Retreat Cooking Classes

Explore some of the tastiest recipes from Thailand, Morocco, Italy and The Middle East

with passionate cook & food writer Sandy Moore

Retreat Cooking School, Deliciously Simple

Our fun classes are for all skill levels encouraging you back into the kitchen ….not for a long time but a good time, all the while highlighting wonderful local produce. Creating delicious food from around the world and sharing tips and tricks for making wonderful fresh tasty food for the ones you love.

All our classes are hands on  and working together with us you will cook each recipe. At the end of the class, take off your apron, grab a glass and sit down with your classmates to enjoy the meal you have created either in our dramatic dining tower, our glamorous sparking gallery or under the vines in the courtyard.

All of our classes run from 10-30 am to 2pm, although we do sometimes run a little later than planned!!

We only need a minimum of 4 people for a class to run (maximum of 8). So grab some friends or join in a class to meet some new cooking friends.

We are more than happy to do a private class for two, for those who prefer, for a cost of $250 each.

We are open to discuss and consider courses such as allergy specific and restricted diets. Just drop us an email or call and we can work through it together.

  • Class Cost

    From $100 per person

  • Class Duration

    3.5 - 4 Hours 

  • Start Times

    Day classes start at 10.30am

  • How to Book

    Please call 02 6766 3353 or complete the enquiry form here

Italian

Thai Spice Trail

Moroccan & Middle Eastern

Gourmet Kitchen Garden

About Me

I have been cooking since I was 8 years old. I have had no formal training but have learnt in the kitchens of my Grandmothers and my mother…then later in restaurants and the homes of people we have come to know and love. We have travelled extensively over the years with the sole purpose of learning and understanding the cultures and food from Italy, Japan, Morocco, Baltic States and Thailand, to name a few.

I was under contract to Good Organic Gardening magazine writing 6 pages each issue for home cooks highlighting the use of fresh produce. At the same time as Simon Bryant (of chef and the cook fame) was writing 6 pages of chef’s recipes. My Peter grows a lot of our produce at The Retreat so dealing with kilos and kilos of fruit and vegetables has inspired us to learn the art of preserving. Something the Italian’s have mastered.

Peter and I are owners of an award winning World Luxury 5 star boutique Hotel. The Retreat at Froog Moore Park.  After my contract finished with the magazine I devoted my time to writing a cookbook based on the recipes that have been loved by our guests over the 15 years.  

We hope you spend a day in our cooking school kitchen with us soon.

 

I've cooked with Italian Nona's through to Michelin Star chefs and have some secrets to share!

Join me on a journey through Thailand, Italy, Morocco and The Middle East.

Share a truly unique experience with your friends and treat your taste buds to some of my favourite receipes from around the world

Cooking Classes

Explore all my mouth watering classes below

Italian

Over the past 5 years we have spent 9 wonderful months cooking in every region of Italy to fully understand the food, culture and its people.

We have cooked with Nona’s who cannot speak any English. Staying in remote corners, right through to cooking in Michelin Star kitchens and meeting some of the Worlds loved super chefs.

It has been an amazing adventure. We would love to share with you the tricks that make truly "Deliciously Simple" Italian food. It is always about seasonality and regionality and we will follow the same principles as best we can.

foccaca
Italian

Italian Antipasti

In the South every meal starts with a generous selection of antipasti and due to the amazing variety and options we are dedicating a full class to it.

As this is a class that must be seasonal it will vary accordingly but some of the things we could cook include a Fresh Bruschetta, Basil and White Bean Tapenade, Fidgitelli a beautiful sweet and sour onion dish, Baby Peas and Prosciutto, Zucchini Carpaccio, Roasted Capsicum stuffed with Tuna,Luscious Pesto, a crunchy Lentil Salad and a Fluffy Focaccia to name a few.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be a vegetarian or vegan class.

Italian

Northern Italian

 

Today we make some Fresh Silky Egg Pasta with a Simple Seasonal Sauce.

Then in keeping with true regionality we master a Vitello Tonarto a yummy veal dish served cold with a Spectacular Sauce. A side of Crumbed Artichokes dressed with a Lemon Oil and a traditional Rocket and Pear Salad.  

We finish with the national desert of Italy a Crostata. Every Nona (grandmother) has her own version cooked and ready sitting on her bench for when the next visitor drops in.

Sandy Moore - Northern Italian-web
Sandy Moore - Central Italian-web
Italian

Central Italian

In this class we start with a deliciously simple fresh Fettuccini Pasta and then we will cook 3 fantastic sauces.

Firstly the classic (and everyone's favourite)… creamy Carbonara sauce followed by Alla Punttanesca and a spicy Amatriciana.

In this class we will also be talking about matching the correct pasta to particular sauces.

For desert we will make an Italian Apple Torte.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be a vegetarian class.

 

Italian

Southern Italian

In this class you will learn just how the “Cucina Provera” or poor kitchen. It came about through the creativeness of the Italian people over the years developing a style of cooking that is internationally famous, and for good reason.

We will cook the typical southern fresh Pasta Cavatelli, a delicious, meaty, egg free pasta accompanied by two wonderful sauces -  Tomato and Gorgonzola and Broccoli and Pork with a seasonal salad. We will make a Simply Delicious Biscotti and transform it into a fabulous desert with Italian Custard and Vincotto.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be a vegetarian class.

cavatellie
Sandy Moore - Sicilian-web
Italian

Sicilian Class

We start today with a luscious Mushroom Bruschetta.

Nothing says Sicily more than a spicy sauce. So in this class we will be making the famous Sweet Sour and Spicy Caponata and you will learn the secret of how to cook a perfect super moist Poached Chicken breast.

To round out the day we will cook a deliciously simple Chocolate Hazelnut Cake.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be a vegetarian or gluten free class.

 

Looking for Something Different?

We can create a class to suit allergy specific and restricted diets

Moroccan & Middle Eastern

Morocco is North Africa's most accessible and vibrant destination. Brimming with a cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. A delightful assault on the senses as the colours, sounds and smells of ancient Arabia transport you back in time.

The hues of red and orange in the rugs and lamps adorning the stalls of the souks, and the scent of perfume and spices waft in the air. Here we spent one month cooking every day with locals, in both casual and formal classes, in their homes, in busy medinas, at the sea side and out in the country.

We also spent several, huge and wonderful days in the commercial kitchens of two busy Villas. Picking up techniques and hints while being surrounded by gentle happy people. Now we are very excited to bring you some unique flavours to cook for your family and friends.

Sandy Moore - Moroccan Celebration-web
Moroccan & Middle Eastern

A Moroccan Celebration

 

In this class we cook a very traditional celebration Chicken and Lentil Rfissa with some fun to make Mmsmen Flat Bread.  This is our very favourite Moroccan dish, it's bursting with flavour and goodness.

We finish the day off cooking our beautiful Moroccan Orange and Almond Cake with an Orange Glaze.

Moroccan & Middle Eastern

Moroccan Tagine class

 

We will cook an exotic Beef Tagine and a "Deliciously Simple" roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad. We will show you how to make fail safe fluffy Cous Cous full of flavour and interest.

Today’s class finishes with a Creamy Baked Rice with Pistachio and Rosewater.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be a vegetarian class.

Sandy Moore - Tagine2-web
Sandy Moore - Cauliflower and Almond Salad-web
Moroccan & Middle Eastern

Moroccan Vegetarian & Vegan

 

This class is a wonderful flavour adventure.

We will cook 3 fantastic dishes, a "Deliciously Simple" Vegetarian Tagine, a Cauliflower and Almond Salad and a traditional warm spiced eggplant salad - Zaaluk. All accompanied by the prefect Cous Cous full of flavour and interest and learn to cook a traditional stove top bread Batbot.

I can alter this class, with a bit of tweaking, to be gluten free on request.

 

Moroccan & Middle Eastern

Middle Eastern Mezze

 

What a wonderful way to eat surrounded by the ones you love grazing, laughing and sharing "Deliciously Simple" food. In this class you will cook a wonderful selection of dishes.

A Lamb Kofta with a "Deliciously Simple" Pomegranate Jam. Roasted Beetroot 2 ways, a Dukkha spice mix, Blistered Tomatoes on a chilled Lemon Yogurt, a Silky Hummus topped with Spiced Crushed Peas, Roasted Garlic Sauce and Spice Green Olive Crush and of course some beautiful Yogurt Flat bread to mop it all up.

I can alter this class with a bit of tweaking to be a vegetarian, vegan or Gluten free on request.

Sandy Moore - Mezze-web

Combine classes and stay!

For in house guests we can cook later, that way your class becomes a private dinner party for a  minimum of 4 cooks.

Thai Spice Trail Classes

We were so blessed in our early 20s to meet and become very good friends with a beautiful Thai lady, Nida. A friendship that continues today. Nida owned the very first Thai restaurant in Tamworth and at the time it was just such an exciting and exotic food culture. We spent many a night not only eating at the restaurant but actually being in the kitchen with her. This gave us a great understanding of the food and balances between sweet, sour, salty and spicy.

We travelled to Thailand and spent time with her family in their Bangkok home and travelled to Thailand’s borders. Years later we had the opportunity to learn with a gentle Dubbo restaurateur, Tish at the famous Rose Garden Restaurant. Spending time in her busy restaurant kitchen learning straight from her and the team. Our love for the cuisine, the freshness and flavour are still as big as ever so we are excited to share some secrets with you.

Sandy Moore - Sumertime Thai-web
Thai Spice Trail

Street food

In this class we learn about flavour balance and cook some very nutty Satay Chicken and traditional Fishcakes dressed with the Sweet Chilli Sauce that we make during the class. Followed by a Chili, Basil, Bean and Chicken Stir-fry.

I can alter this class to be Gluten free on request.

Thai Spice Trail

Banquet

We will make a "Deliciously Simple" starter of luscious Prawn Toast with a Lime Chilli dressing and some Spicy Chicken Cakes.

You will also cook a dish loved by Thai locals but not seen on an Australian menu. The very tasty Put Mee Pork Noodle which is full of fresh flavours and textures. To round of the banquet some Lime and Coconut Chicken Cups

This class is Gluten free.

Sandy Moore - Thai Noodle-web
Sandy Moore - Thai Curry-web
Thai Spice Trail

Thai Basics

Everyone loves a Thai curry. In this class, learn the "Deliciously Simple" way to make a Penang Chicken Curry. Once you have the basics it can be easily adapted for a green or red curry with any protein.

We will also make a sweet Burmese Ginger Pork Curry. Over the years this has become a Retreat guest favourite. I have recreated it from a food memory when we were in the very North of Thailand at Chiang Rai with Nida’s son. Finishing the class we make the very aromatic Larb stir-fry.

This class is Gluten free.

Thai Spice Trail

Thai Vegetarian & vegan

 

Thai vegetarian & vegan class. We will cook some tasty Corn Cakes with Asian Pickles.

Then master a Chili Basil Tofu Stir-fry and a "Deliciously Simple" Green Curry with Eggplants and Bamboo Shoots.

This class is Gluten free.

Sandy Moore - Thai-web

Stay overnight in our luxury rooms

Why not totally spoil yourself and stay in-house and do a few classes back to back. Call or email us for a package option tailored just for you.

Retreat Kitchen Garden

Some of our favourite recipes from closer to home. We will make truly personal gifts for your friends and family and spice up your next feast.

From pickles & preserves through to homegrown treats, this series of classes is perfect for you.

Orange Marmalade
Retreat Kitchen Garden

Pickles & Preserves

 

Today we bottle and preserve a selection of Citrus.

We make Preserved Lemons, Pickled Oranges ...great for a cheese plate, Lemon or Lime Curd, Sweet Orange Jam and an Onion Marmalade perfect for cold meats or burgers.

You get to take home one of each "Deliciously Simple" preserve. The prefect way to extend your season and make truly personal gifts for your friends and family.

Retreat Kitchen Garden

A gourmet Christmas

 

In this class we cook some beautiful gourmet treats and you get to take home a selection of what we have done. They make wonderful presents for your friends and family…and are fantastic to have in your own pantry for jazzing up a cheese board or your Christmas table.

We will make Beetroot Jam, Pickled Pears, Balsamic Cherry Chutney (fantastic on ham), Pear Chutney perfect on a cheese board and ...

my Nanna's luscious Caramel Sauce...well its just great on anything! 

salted caramel sauce in  glass jar, selective focus

Enquire About Our Classes

Please complete the form to enquire or book a class you would love to do.

Or call me to discuss your requirements.

02 6766 3353