Logo Smeg


Tucked inside the Forestside Shopping Mall on the outskirts of Belfast city centre, you’ll find a unique little cookery school.



Tucked inside the Forestside Shopping Mall on the outskirts of Belfast city centre, you’ll find a unique little cookery school. The creation of Chef Stephen Jeffers, the new school offers cooking classes on anything from knife skills and healthy eating to dedicated kids classes.

We caught up with Chef Jeffers and found out what inspired him to open the school.

  1. You’ve come from a cooking background but what attracted you to teaching?
    I would like to call myself the accidental teacher, after being asked to do a demonstration one day I fell in love with teaching and interacting with the public.

  2. How do you structure the classes, what do you feel is the best way to help people learn how to cook?
    Show the people easy steps, inspiration and passion so they feel comfortable to cook the dishes they have learnt with us back home. I do short and simple demos so everyone can understand at any level of cookery.

  3. You offer a wide variety of classes but what is your favourite cuisine to cook?
    My favourite cuisine at the moment would be Japanese. I find myself learning everyday with this cuisine with the massive range of different ingredients compared to the ingredients I am used to using as a Northern Irish background; this cuisine never fails to excite me.

  4. Opening a new cookery school is a massive achievement but can’t have come without its challenges – what’s been the most challenging part so far?
    Everyone I have surrounded myself with have been so supportive, including yourselves and so far we have not come across any challenges compared to my previous businesses.

  5. A school is only as good as its teachers and equipment – what is the most useful piece of equipment you have invested in?
    Our fab Smeg Stand Mixer with pasta attachment has to be my favourite piece of equipment and never fails to impress our students.

  6. What is the most popular course and why do you think that is?
    So far it seems our Italian classes with pizza, pasta and risotto are the most popular. I think people love to cook Italian meals because of the simple ingredients and the perception of it being such an easy and pleasing cuisine to follow.

  7. If you could have a cooking class with any chef, who would it be?
    Marco Pierre White
    and Mark Hix are two of my favourite chefs, they cook real good food with no gimmicks.

  8. What do you hope the future brings for Forestside cookery school?
    In the future, I hope we have massive success and become an institution within cookery schools in Northern Ireland and Ireland. We aim to give people of any age the confidence to cook at home rather rely on ready-made meals.

You can find out more about the cookery school and book yourself onto a course here.