They say the best things come in small packages, and it’s no exception when it comes to these flavour-packed, bite-sized morsels that are perfect for a party.


They say the best things come in small packages, and it’s no exception when it comes to these flavour-packed, bite-sized morsels that are perfect for a party. Dinner and snack classics can be easily transformed into one-bite wonders – with canapés, presentation and bold flavour is everything. Serve your favourite soups in little shot glasses, or invest in a selection of mini skewers and serving spoons for easy eating on-the-go. Spices and distinctive garnishes will make your canapés pop; try dustings of vibrant paprika or a curl of citrus zest. And remember, if it isn’t easily eaten with your fingers, it probably isn’t a canapé.

The French started offering canapés to their guests at the end of the 18th Century and the English adopted the practice about a hundred years later. The word canapé translates roughly as ‘couch’ and refers to the way a small piece of food was draped over a small piece of stale bread – much as a person would lounge on a couch.

A  canapé is designed to be eaten in one bite and traditionally are highly decorative – and salty, to encourage guests to drink; fine if you have a horse and carriage waiting to take you home! Today a  canapé is an ideal way to greet guests as soon as they arrive and should be designed to complement the drinks that are being served as well as complementing each other.

Generally speaking, assuming they are preceding a meal, varieties should be limited to three or four – six at the most. They should also offer a balance of meat, fish and vegetarian and be prepared with a light and healthy touch whilst being visually appealing. The traditional savoury butters spread on stale white bread are probably not the best way to go any more!

Amuse-bouche – Literally ‘mouth amuser’, similar to a canapé but may be slightly larger and served on a plate with cutlery. An example would be a little ‘cappuccino’ soup served in an espresso cup.

On this half day or evening workshop you will learn how to prepare and present a variety of canapés, meat, fish and vegetarian. Many of these will be suitable for advance preparation and freezing, saving time and effort when entertaining.

Have Fun!

Perhaps most importantly, as well as learning new skills, you will have had some fun learning in a relaxed and supportive environment. During the course the emphasis is on using personal taste, judgement and technique rather than slavishly following a recipe. This approach means that one recipe may become two or three recipes. However, a booklet containing the course recipes will be given to you at the end of the day / course.

Everyone has their own set of ingredients sharing only a 4 burner induction hob and standard size fan assisted oven with one other learner. We all work together at the same pace with each stage demonstrated before you do it yourself.

We will stop and eat as we go along so that you taste dishes at their best and we can discuss. There may be food to take home with you, but not always.

The not so small print – please read

It is essential that you wear flat shoes with a closed toe – this is for your safety and comfort, we will be on our feet most of the time.

It is essential when booking that you advise of any accessibility issues, allergies or dietary requirements. Rutland Cookery School is committed to being as inclusive as possible and we will do our utmost to accommodate you but we do need to know in advance.

Dishes prepared may vary from examples above.

Book your place on one of the available sessions below

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