As a bastion of learning, Cambridge’s credentials stretch back hundreds of years, so it’s perhaps a little surprising that the city has only had its own cookery school for 10 of them. For that much-welcome but long-overdue addition, Cantabridgians have Tine Roche to thank. A Danish import with a professional background in foodie trendspotting, Tine has steadily transformed what started as a kitchen-table passion project into a slickly run gastronomic empire-in-miniature, comprising a chic Scandi-inflected little bistro (tailor-made for lazy Sunday brunching), and a cookery school.
Set handily close to the station amid a pleasant modern cluster of residential blocks, offices and offshoots of academic institutions, the school occupies a former stonemason’s workshop – a final stronghold of the neighbourhood’s once-industrial character. Its kitchen-classroom is a large square space floored with poured concrete and lined with Neff ovens (the bistro chefs in the narrow galley adjoining it must look in with envy). Tine’s small army of tutors take turns leading intimate classes of up to 10 people four days a week, ranging from day-job-friendly three-hour evening affairs to leisurely weekend masterclasses and covering everything from tarts to tacos.The atmosphere is convivial and easygoing, and the teaching personal and hands-on, making the school a magnet for both have-a-go home cooks and foodie professionals looking to expand their skillset. Cambridge being a student city, the school also has a strong offering of chalet-chef and uni cooking crash courses, as well as a wide-ranging culinary calendar for kids in the school holidays, and food-focused trips to Italy and Scandinavia.