Learn to cook at your stag or hen do – who needs Prague?

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, Stag Nights often turned into weekends, Blackpool, Dublin or, more recently, Prague, becoming the destination, subject to all manner of depravity by heaving hen nights or steaming stag soirées.

However, one of the more chic activities finding popularity with both the male prenuptial party and even more pleasing for the respective bride-to-be, is the cookery class for the bridegroom and his stags. Yes, you read that correctly – single men are spending their last hours of freedom not getting an early start on a night of debauchery but learning to cook, instead.

One such cookery course is at Marmalade Cookery School, who recently hosted one groom-to-be and nine of his closest friends who hired the services of owner and hands-on operator Tatiana Bento to at least give one hapless bachelor a clue when the happy couple move into the marital home.

The guys in this particular cookery class organised the afternoon partly in a sense of fun but also because Marmalade Cookery School cater for those who have developed their own style from years of singledom and know their way around the kitchen to those who have to ask how to turn a toaster on.

According to Tatiana, the prominence of male celebrity chefs has been as good an advertisement for the cookery school as anything, although many of the male parties are still down to the best man having one last laugh on the groom. But there is another surprising statistic thrown up by this type of event.

The majority of the women, two thirds in fact, view cooking not as a past time to dive into and develop as a skill, but as a chore; more than that, one in six women who attend Tatiana’s cookery school often eat out because they are inept or rely on their partner’s prowess in the kitchen.

Tatiana started off baking her own bread, which she learnt as part of her Portuguese upbringing where women still take on the role of chief in the kitchen; subsequently, her friends encouraged her to use those cooking lessons to forge a career of her own, learning others to cook what she took for granted.

Since then, Tatiana has found her market, mainly 20-35 women, who have as much of a laugh and a chat whilst at the cookery courses as learning to cook from Tatiana’s cookery school, a world apart from her days as an archaeology student before upping sticks to Swansea, where she has moved full time to be with her boyfriend. Gower and the surrounding region has also proved to be a fertile ground for her inherent Portuguese cookery, as well as her original breads and pastries and also, that most of traditional of Portuguese dishes, sushi (?).

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