courses for teenagers and young people


GRAB YOUR APRONS! The Organic Cookery School are running an 8 week STUDENT LIFE SKILLS: SUMMER STREET FOOD CHALLENGE (based on their popular 3-6 month D of E Approved Street Food course for teens) through July and August 2019. Perfect for students who’ve recently completed their GCSEs and A Levels, the course aims to provide structure and support whilst fitting around other plans.


The Organic Cookery School have been teaching teenagers and young people how to cook for nearly 15 years. Just over a year ago we launched our home study Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Street Food and Brilliant Baking cookery courses (both approved by the D of E). Since then we’ve supported students from over 200 senior schools across the UK achieve the skills section of their award through 3 and 6 month home study courses.

But many of you got in touch and asked for a cookery course for students who weren’t participating in the D of E award.

Our SUMMER STREET FOOD CHALLENGE is that course - and it’s open for enrolment now!

How does a home study student cookery course work?

Upon enrolment, you will be allocated an Organic Cookery School tutor who will support you with your recipe choices throughout July and August. Your tutor will be your personal contact throughout the course, and support you with any questions about ingredients, skills or equipment. You will need to send him or her fortnightly evidence (e.g. photos/video) of what you’ve cooked (with some feedback from whoever’s lucky enough to sample your finished recipes).

We’ll provide you a list of all ingredients, and suggested equipment, plus additional support materials (videos/articles etc) through the course. We suggest you make the most of your tutor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions - they are there to help you and make your Summer Street Food Challenge as rewarding as possible.

You’ll also be invited to join an optional Summer Street Food Challenge Whatsapp group of other young people taking the course, which is moderated by your tutors.

who is this course for?

The Summer Street Food Challenge is aimed at teenagers and students who are interested in developing their cookery skills and love Street Food style food. The course is suitable for all abilities, although additional parental supervision is advised for less confident cooks. It is particularly suitable for GCSE and A Level students and those about to leave home for university. Our minimum age for enrolment is 13.

when does the course run?

We kick off on the 1st July, but will continue accepting enrolments until the end of July, as we are aware that some students break up for the Summer at different times. You will receive your welcome pack, enrolment details and access to the first module (Japanese fortnight) within 5 days of purchase. As soon as you are enrolled, you can get cooking!

The majority of students will be following the schedule below, however there is some flexibility to suit family holidays, etc:








Some of our students’ finished dishes:

The course has been a fantastic way for the girls to gain confidence in the kitchen at the same time as trying new things. They have learnt a lot of skills and how to do lots of different things. And they have produced some really great meals. It has added a new dimension to our Saturday evenings waiting to see what they cook.
— Alison Caddock, parent
I loved every minute of the Street Food course. We made so many recipes which I’ll cook again, and were given opportunities to be creative with the flavouring and presentation which appealed to my competitive side! It’s so much better than any cookery I’ve done at school.
— Ben aged 15
Brilliant course, Daniel really enjoyed cooking the meals for the family and trying new dishes that he might not have tried if someone else had prepared them!
— Nigel Cox, parent
We have all really enjoyed this course - Annie has flourished in the kitchen and we have devoured her dishes!
— Suzie Tallis, parent


Here are a few of the questions we’ve been asked about the course which may help you decide if it’s right for you.

what will i cook?

Over 2 months, we will cover four modules of delicious recipes based on popular Street Food dishes from Japan, Mexico, Italy and India. Each module contains 4-6 dishes (some main, some sides), including vegetarian and plant-based options. Download the recipe overview here.

Can I complete the course with a friend (in the same kitchen?)

Yes, you are very welcome to buddy up with a friend! When you enrol, we will send out a pre-course questionnaire (normally to the adult who purchased the course) and in this we ask if you plan to complete the course with a friend. We will then make sure you are allocated the same assessor. Working through the course with a friend is a great idea, and often means you can save time (and money) on shopping and support each other.

How much does the course cost?

Our STUDENT LIFE SKILLS: SUMMER STREET FOOD CHALLENGE costs £99, which includes access to all materials for a whole year, plus online support from one of our experienced Organic Cookery School tutors for the duration of the course.

As well as recipes, resources and support, you will receive a welcome kit of organic and fairtrade spices from our good friends at Steenbergs, and an Organic Cookery School Apron (Total RRP £22.99)

Do I need lots of fancy cookery equipment?

We devise our recipes using basic cookery equipment, wherever possible, although there are a few gadgets (such as a hand blender and food processor) which you might like to see if you can borrow, for a couple of recipes. You will receive a full equipment list before you start your course, which is broken down recipe by recipe. If you can’t complete a recipe because you can’t buy or borrow a certain piece of equipment, we will offer advice - and each fortnight there are several recipes, so there will still be plenty you can cook.

Do I need to buy organic ingredients?

Our STUDENT LIFE SKILLS: SUMMER STREET FOOD CHALLENGE will develop your cookery skills and confidence (not your shopping preferences), and you are welcome to buy whichever type of ingredients suit your budget. You will notice that we choose organic, fair-trade and seasonal ingredients, whenever we can, and we are happy to share why we might prioritise organic or non-organic for certain foods over others, with those who wish to find out more. Our experience is that many of the families who choose to learn to cook with us prefer to minimise non-organic residues in their food, and the best way to have a control over what’s in your food is, of course, to cook it from scratch wherever possible.

Do I need an adult around when I’m cooking?

With any course, whether it be home study or otherwise, safety has to be a priority. We require all applications from students under 18 to be signed off by a parent or legal guardian, and we ask that all students read our ‘Keeping Safe in the Kitchen’ guidelines (covering basic food safety and hygiene and what to do in the case of an accident or injury in the kitchen) BEFORE they start the practical part of the course.

Most students organise weekend or evening cooking sessions, when there is an adult around (often hovering and waiting to taste the finished recipes).

is this course suitable for special diets?

The Organic Cookery School’s STUDENT LIFE SKILLS: SUMMER STREET FOOD CHALLENGE features a wide range of recipes, with vegetarian recipes in each module. We will support you to adapt recipes to avoid major allergens, wherever possible, and to adapt to plant-based, Kosher or Halal principles. If you follow a special diet we suggest you request a copy of our recipe list by email ( in advance of purchase, and talk to us about any particular needs you have. Each fortnightly module contains a number of recipe options, so there is plenty of choice for participants with specific dietary needs.

What happens if I get behind or miss out some recipes?

Throughout July and August, you will have the opportunity to cook over 20 recipes, however most students choose 2 or 3 per module and average around a dozen over the two month course. We know many of you will have family holidays planned, so have designed the course in flexible fortnightly modules - if you miss one, there’s plenty of time to catch up before the next module. Our home study cookery courses are designed to be fun and relaxed, so please don’t worry if illness, or other unexpected interruptions mean you miss a couple of recipes out.

Is there any support for lower income families?

Over 70% of the cookery classes we run in the community are offered free of charge or with a large subsidy to vulnerable children, families and young people. We work with schools, children’s centres and community support organisations to ensure those who would most benefit from these subsidised classes are able to access them. Every purchase of an Organic Cookery School Summer Street Food Challenge goes towards supporting these community initiatives, but we are unable to offer a discount on this particular course.

will this course count towards a duke of Edinburgh award?

Absolutely! If you complete our Summer Street Food Challenge in July and August, you will already be 2/3 of the way through the requirements of a 3 month D of E course. If you want to carry on, we are happy to extend your course (with some extra delicious modules) and put towards the a 3 or 6 month skills course. There will be an additional fee for this - which reflects the extension and time taken to complete your D of E assessor report. Please email to discuss further.