The cooking school


My reason for wanting to teach people the things I’ve learned is underpinned by my teaching qualifications and fuelled by my passion for freshness of flavours and a seasonal, sustainable life.

Flinders Island Gourmet Retreat has come about because I attended cooking schools at Howquadale Gourmet Retreat in the nineties and early two thousands with the best chefs in Australia. When I was planning the guest house I discussed it with the Howquadale principals Sarah Stegley and Marieke Brugman - who both gave me their blessings. 

Cooking School Options

Full Day Cooking School Classes are hands on and begin at 9:30am with a folder of recipes for several courses, a cuppa and a comfy seat in which to read through the day's schedule and recipes.  Following that, you don an apron (which you may choose to purchase then take with you on completion of the class).  Once you have had a familiarisation of the kitchen including a discussion on timing and safety then, with an allocation of tasks, we begin the food preparation for the day.

A break at around 11:30 is accompanied by some house treats then the class continues with the final aspects of the food preparation before the grand meal is served to you (plus day visitors or guests) at 2:30pm. Each course is accompanied by matching drinks.  Your expected finishing time is around 4:00pm.


Mini Cooking School Classes are hands on classes which begin at 10:30am and end at 2:30pm.  They are great for ladies (and lads) who like to 'do' lunch.  An example of a Mini Cooking School Class is a Lasagne and Salad or a Ragout and Salad, followed by chocolate or cake and coffee. On arrival, you are greeted with a folder containing your recipes and a familiarisation of the kitchen including a discussion on safety.

You don an apron and tasks are allocated. Then the class prepares the meal, some of the ingredients you will pick from the garden, then be seated by 1:00pm. You will be served and your meal will be accompanied by matching drinks. 


Specialty Cooking School Classes  These begin at 10:00am and conclude at 12:00 midday or begin at 2.00 and conclude at 4.00pm.  You receive your folder with the recipe, a little information or stories and the schedule.  These classes are mainly designed to utilise garden produce which you prepare during the class but take home to complete.  You’ll need to bring a suitable container to take processed ingredients home for final cooking.

You will be shown an example of what the final product looks and tastes like.  Examples are: Bread making, Fermented Vegetables, Marmalade Making, Fruit Chutney, Herbed Vinegars, Cauliflower Pickles, Tomato Relish or Zucchini Recipes.

Enquire about our cooking school for the 2019 dates.



The Cooma House Kitchen

The commercial kitchen has been designed for cooking schools and is open plan. It has a Smeg Stone oven, a Smeg steam oven and a gas oven.  The cooktops are a Smeg induction and gas.  We also have a wood stove and a fire pit in the courtyard.  There's an island granite bench and wooden island benches for food preparation.  There are two deep stainless sinks and bench top.  The kitchen has a separate pantry, crockery room and an amenities room at the scullery end. The scullery end includes a Smeg commercial dishwasher. Under the veranda out the back door is a vegetable washing sink and bench for bringing produce to wash from the garden as well as another one for your hands.

The lounge and dining areas are part of the kitchen’s open plan design - an inclusive space where the Tasmanian Premier cedar dining table, (Sir John McPhee 15.6.28 - 13.3.34 made in Tasmania, circa 1850’s) serves for meals - and opinions - or discussion with vigour and warmth.  You can lounge beside the open fireplace or gaze out at the window, read in a comfy chair and sometimes have a sing-a-long.