Joy as popular cookery school re-opens 18 months after devastating fire

Owners Lou and John Jackaman. The Ice Café and cookery school is set to re-open when restrictions a

Owners Lou and John Jackaman - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The last 18 months have been terrible for the entire hospitality industry. But one Suffolk business was dealt a double blow. As well as having to shut its restaurant due to the pandemic, Ice Cook School near Bury St Edmunds was hit by a major fire last March, caused by a faulty tumble drier.

While the restaurant (which had extensive smoke damage) was able to reopen in May with the lifting of restrictions, the cook school has taken longer to whip into shape, re-opening just recently after months of hard work to build a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.

Bookings are now open for cookery classes and exclusive dining experiences at the larger, specially configured school at Rougham Industrial Estate.

Full day classes are available in all sorts of disciplines, ranging from patisserie to plant-based eating and everything in between, and there will also be children’s cooking sessions in school holidays. All ages and levels are catered for, from complete novices to more experienced cooks. There's even a Date Night option. Priced at £120 per couple, you'll prepare and cook a three course dinner together, eating it within the Ice dining room.

The ICE Lunch Bar

The ICE Lunch Bar - Credit: Ice Cook School

All sessions are deliberately kept small, ensuring a more personalised approach and enabling each customer to have one to one time with the chefs. 

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John Jackaman, owner of the Infusions Group and ICE says:  “It has really been a tricky period for us to navigate with a complete rebuild taking place against the background of a global pandemic and we are genuinely delighted to be able to finally welcome guests back into the ICE Cook School. The new venue is bigger and better than before and we have been able to configure it in a way that makes perfect sense and works well for both us as chefs and our guests. We have been humbled by the support and patience of our customers whilst the rebuild has gone on and those who have already been inside the new cook school have just been blown away by it. We are excited now to get going with a full programme of events!”

The reopening of the cook school sees the return of the ICE Lunch Bar – a dining experience which ICE describes as “pure culinary theatre”.  The events (which regularly sell out) see an eight to ten course taster menu prepared, cooked and served in front of guests by the award winning ICE chefs. A maximum of 15 diners sit around the kitchen and watch the magic unfold in real time. ICE has also just released dates and booking details for its Christmas themed Lunch Bars, which run throughout December and offer a fun and interactive dining alternative to a more traditional Christmas party.

A typical dish from the Ice Seasons menu

A typical dish from the Ice Seasons menu - Credit: Ice Cook School

A typical dish at ICE Lunch Bar

A typical dish at ICE Lunch Bar - Credit: ice Cook School

The jewel in the crown in the ICE calendar is an event called Seasons.  Available to just 15 diners, four times a year, Seasons is, as it suggests, a celebration of the freshest seasonal ingredients. The rule book goes out of the window on these occasions and the chefs are completely unleashed as they play with textures and flavours to challenge guests perceptions and delight in equal measure. Each dish is expertly paired with drinks.

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Upcoming classes and events

Lunch Bars and Date Nights - weekly throughout October and November

Christmas Lunch Bars - throughout December

Seasons - November 12 and 19

Knife skills - October 7

Breads of the world- October 14

Kids Scientific Class - October 26

Kids Italian Class- October 27

Kids Baking Class - October 28

Patisserie - November 4

Butchery and fish - November 11

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