Cooking can, and should be, enjoyable and rewarding – the rewards are good food, and pride in having produced it. Some people will be more adventurous than others, but at whatever level, the important thing is to feel sufficiently encouraged by success to try again - encouraged and confident.

Many cooks don’t trust themselves to attempt anything in the kitchen without a recipe to follow. Recipes are of course wonderful – as inspiration, as checklists, as confirmation that an idea will succeed – but they can also be hampering and discouraging.

If instructions repeatedly don’t ‘work’, the cook may simply give up and resort to ready-meals or takeaways rather than risk further disappointments – which would be a great shame. The Food Room and Library gives guidance on when it is a good idea to stick rigidly to the recipe, when it can be just as successful (and much more fun) to go off-piste – and how to retrieve the situation when things have gone awry.

The Food Room and Library differs from many cookery schools in that it doesn’t set out to teach people to jump through the hoops of haute cuisine, but concentrates on the really useful and most important techniques, shortcuts and variations.