Chef expands cooking classes into the hotel room market gallery video

ANDY JACKSON/Stuff.co.nz

Owner of Cook Learn Love, Helen Flitcroft has started in accommodation cooking classes.

A French-trained chef is launching a new venture that teaches tourists how to cook in the comfort of their hotel room.

"I'm just testing the waters and trying something new," Cook Learn Love owner Helen Flitcroft said.

The Australian-born chef, who moved with her business to New Plymouth three years ago, is offering classes and private in-house meals to tourists wanting a taste of locally sourced cuisine. 

ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Helen Flitcroft puts on the final touches to the scallops Anne Cullen helped to prepare.

Cook Learn Love owner Helen Flitcroft taught how to create chocolate mousse at the Hosking Hotel in New Plymouth.

Crystal Hilton scoops mousse into a martini glass while Helen Flitcroft gives pointers.

The in-accommodation classes brings everything a kitchen would require.

Ronald Wortel shows off a wine to match the scallop meal that Crystal Hilton and Anne Cullen learnt to cook.

Helen Flitcroft said she wanted to try something new and reach tourists who visit Taranaki.

The in-accommodation meals will be high-class and high-quality while offering in-season New Zealand products.

Crystal Hilton waits for direction from Helen Flitcroft as they prepare to make chocolate mousse.

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Flitcroft said she wanted to give guests a high-class New Zealand experience.

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"I'm just using what I have got and trying something new," she said. 

Cook Learn Love owner Helen Flitcroft is serving up a new way to impress tourists.
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Cook Learn Love owner Helen Flitcroft is serving up a new way to impress tourists.

Flitcroft is pitching a variety of packages to hotels throughout New Plymouth.

For $85 per person, she will teach people how to create their own exquisite cuisine, while sommelier  Ronald Wortel will match each course with a glass of wine.

Or, for about $300 per person, the pair will serve up a premium three-course meal.

In addition to offering French style cuisine, Flitcroft said she had two other chefs who could cook Asian, homegrown and raw foods. 

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The options were endless, she said.

Flitcroft said she would not require a hotel room to be equipped with a kitchen since she could cook with a portable gas stove and wash the dishes off-premises. 

One of the hotels to pique interest in Cook Learn Love's expansion was Hosking House, a boutique hotel on Victoria Rd. 

Owner Rachel Church said she had noticed a growth in tourism and the addition of an in-house cooking class would be an incredible addition to her hotel.

"We are 40 per cent busier every day compared to previous years.

"Taranaki is growing in tourism and if we can offer anything additional to their experience here, we will," she said.

Not all New Plymouth hotels were open to the idea. 

No cooking would be permitted anywhere on Devon Hotel's premises, general manager Rob Davies said.

"We've got our own team of chefs, so this is not something we would allow," he said.

Davies suggested the private cuisine experience would probably be accepted by hotels that did not have their own restaurant.

 - Stuff

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