An experienced cook who was once stranded in Kirkcudbright by ­accident before falling in love with the area is set to open Dumfries and Galloway’s first ever cookery school.

The venue will officially open next month, with local MSP Emma Harper set to take part in a Celebration of Dumfries and Galloway Producers cookery demonstration and special guests like Hollywood actor Gary Lewis, star of Billy Elliot, Gangs of New York and Outlander, and Chris Walker, owner of the town’s Selkirk Arms, also making an appearance to show off their cooking skills.

Named the Station House Cookery School, it will feature a ­dedicated demonstration room for 40 ­people and student kitchens with 18 ­individual workstations.

Founder Nick Morris began his search for the location for the ­venture in Cornwall, before ­gradually making his way to ­Scotland, where the campervan he was travelling in broke down in Kirkcudbright’s central square, stranding him there for ten days whilst the vehicle was fixed.

In that time Morris fell in love with the town, the surrounding area and the locals; its strong tourism sector and wealth of local food producers making it what Morris describes as “the perfect location”.

Just as he was due to leave, the ­perfect setting for the venture in the old Station Buildings came onto the market.

Dumfries and Galloway’s first ever cookery school

Founder Nick Morris with Chris Walker, owner of the town’s Selkirk Arms. Picture: Station House

Now, with the school set to officially open on the weekend of the 26 and 27 May, the chef and his team say the school will open daily from 10am to 5pm and offer a wide range of cookery classes for all ages and tastes delivered by “passionate and knowledgeable tutors”.

Guests will be able to try their hand at cuisines from all over the world, including Indian, Thai, ­British, Italian and even Ukrainian.

At the opening weekend, the individual workstations in the ­student kitchens will be given over to the local food producers who work with or supply Station House in a bid to help champion and ­support the local food and drink industry.

Mr Morris said: “Emma ­Harper has been a great supporter of ­Station House since its inception and is also a passionate supporter of the food and drink industry in ­Dumfries and Galloway. She will be conducting the official opening at 11am before taking part in the ­demonstration itself.

“Jade Ahmed from local business Treats Darling will also be ­delivering a demonstration on cake decorating on Saturday. Jade is an extremely talented and ­passionate producer and has worked with ­Station House on a number of projects including delivering a ­programme of cookery classes for children.”

Morris added that actor Gary Lewis would be talking about the “food of his childhood” as well as his career in the entertainment ­industry on the Sunday.

Emma Harper said: “I am ­looking forward to attending the official opening of the Station House ­cookery school.

“I have visited Nick on a number of occasions as the renovation of Station House was in process and I commend his passion for food and his energy to provide education and share his expertise.

“Nick is committed to ­sourcing from local producers where ­possible and I welcome his eagerness for promoting the provenance of our fantastic Dumfries and Galloway produce.”

Morris added: “It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can’t wait for the next steps. We’re lucky to be so well supported and welcomed so warmly to this gorgeous part of Scotland.

“It’s a chance to offer a unique experience and do my part for the vibrant food and drink scene in Dumfries and Galloway.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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