courses for teenagers and young people

The Organic Cookery School are the only DofE Approved Activity Provider offering cookery skills opportunities to teenagers and young people across the UK.

 Complete the skills requirement of your Bronze, Silver or Gold Award with an Organic Cookery School cookery course.

Complete the skills requirement of your Bronze, Silver or Gold Award with an Organic Cookery School cookery course.

do your teenagers love to cook?

Cookery is an extremely popular choice for the Skills requirement of your son or daughter’s D of E Award. We’ve been running Duke of Edinburgh Cookery Courses for nearly ten years, and know just how much pleasure young people get from cooking great recipes and building skills that will last a lifetime.

Depending on where you live, we can support your son or daughter in achieving the Skills section of their DofE, either through face to face classes or our popular home study DofE skills ecourses.

Duke of edinburgh cookery skills ecourses

This Autumn (2018) we are focusing on our Street Food eCourse, which offers a minimum 18 hours of cookery skills, over 3 months with flexible fortnightly modules and the opportunity to master over 30 street food recipes from around the world.

For those of you wishing to complete your Duke of Edinburgh Award over 6 months, we offer the option to extend for a further 3 months (for a small additional charge), or to bolt on an extra 3 month course on a different cooking theme.

Upon enrolment, you will be allocated an Organic Cookery School tutor who will also be your DofE Assessor and complete your online assessment report at the end of your course. You’ll be invited to join a study group of up to 16 other young people, who will all be completing the same recipes and skills activities over the next 3 months.

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 Street Food course as rewarding as possible.

My favourite part about my Duke of Edinburgh course was having the opportunity to make everything from scratch (mayonnaise, pasta, sauces, even bread) and spend hours cooking! I find it very relaxing and a good way to switch off from my studies. I don’t get enough time in our kitchen at home (there’s always someone else using it) so I enjoyed the lack of interruption. I’d recommend this course to anyone to who likes eating!!
— Spencer aged 17


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.

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. However, please don’t worry if you are planning to do the course on your own, you’ll have lots of support from your tutor and have the chance to join a WhatsApp group with a small number of students completing the course at the same time as you (parental permission required for under 18s).

How much does the course cost?

Each three month course costs £147, which includes access to all materials for a whole year, plus online support from one of our experienced Duke of Edinburgh Assessors.

You can extend the course to 6 months for an additional £47 (this includes additional recipes, resources and support for a further 3 months).

If you want to continue for a further three months, but try one of our other courses, we will offer you a discount of £47 on your second three month course (offer valid until further notice).

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 at least three recipes (four or five if you include bonus recipes), so there will still be plenty you can cook.

Do I need to buy organic ingredients?

Our Duke of Edinburgh Street Food Course will develop and assess your skills (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).

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

Over the next three months, you will have the opportunity to cook over 30 recipes (including optional bonus recipes) from Thailand, Italy, the Middle East, Mexico, India and the UK. You probably only need to cook half of them to fulfil the skills section of your award. So as long as you are regularly cooking and evidencing the skills you have developed (through photo evidence and recipe feedback), you will be fine. Our Street Food course is meant to be fun and relaxed, and to fit around your life and your studies, 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’s Duke of Edinburgh Cookery Course goes towards supporting these community initiatives.

If you have any further questions please email us at

I loved every minute of my Duke of Edinburgh cookery skills 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
I was really impressed with the teenagers sushi masterclass and make sushi regularly now. It’s actually very easy (but looks difficult) and a great dish to impress your friends. Five stars for sure!
— Isla aged 14

We offer regular afterschool/weekend and holiday cookery skills courses which can count towards your Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Jamie Oliver Home Cooking Skills BTEC. Both these courses offer a great base in practical cookery skills, nutrition, cooking on a budget as well as some amazing recipes you’ll want to cook again and again.

If you’d like to volunteer on our outreach community programmes, we may be able to offer CIEH accredited training in food safety and hygiene and nutrition, and supported volunteer placements (subject to funding).