A charitable cookery school has opened its doors in Yorkshire.

Based at the The Old Fire Station in East Leeds, Leeds Cookery School offers classes in a high spec kitchen within a former fire engine bay, ideal for food lovers to optimise their culinary skills, safe in the knowledge that every penny of profit will support a local charity and vulnerable people in Leeds.

The venue has retained many of its original features, from fire buckets creatively used as light fittings to the original 80-year-old Leeds flooring and wall tiles. The Leeds Cookery School offers a diverse range of open classes, teambuilding packages and specialist masterclasses from visiting chefs.

The school, found just off the A64 York Road, a main arterial route into Leeds, is a social enterprise set up by Leeds charity Zest-Health for Life. The initiative will help the charity become less dependent on local authority funding as public-sector budgets continue to shrink.

Susie Brown, Chief Exec of Zest Health for Life, says; "Our aim is to provide a range of both premium speciality classes and affordable beginner’s classes in partnership with Jamie’s Ministry of Food Leeds. We’ll be using fresh, sustainable and, where possible, locally sourced ingredients whilst at the same time generating valuable income to support our community work.

"We aim to provide a varied programme which is fun and rewarding to home cooks and food-loving people from across the region, and already have a great programme of TV chefs and local experts lined up alongside our resident chefs, with more to be announced in the coming months.”

Leeds Cookery School classes are available to book now, and gift vouchers are also available, alongside corporate event packages and venue hire. Visit the website for more information.

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Zest - Health for Life is an independent not-for-profit organisation and registered charity based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. We address health inequalities and social isolation through activities which improve physical, mental, social, emotional and economic wellbeing.

Our vision is of a city where everyone has the same opportunities irrespective of where they live.

We aim to realise this vision by working collectively and collaboratively with some of the most deprived communities in the city, where social inequalities are greatest to:

Promote healthier lifestyles through
• Supporting and developing cooking skills
• Improving physical and mental wellbeing
• Creating pathways to healthier choices
Enable fulfilling lives through
• Preventing social isolation
• Engaging creatively with vulnerable people
• Building peoples’ skills and confidence