A NEW cookery school is set to be opened by a former Winchester chef on board one of Britain’s largest cruise ships.

James Martin, who was head chef at Hotel du Vin aged 22, will run a series of cookery clubs during September next year aboard the Britannia.

The clubs will have 24 state-of-the-art food stations and masterclasses from such celebrity chefs as Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and patissier Eric Lanlard.

Rob Cottam, resident chef and manager of The Cookery Club, said: “Many of the classes will reflect the ports of call so passengers can go to local markets, vineyards and see speciality producers in the morning before an afternoon learning how to use wonderful Mediterranean, European and Caribbean ingredients, herbs and spices to create exciting dishes they can recreate at home.

“For example during our call to Lisbon the classes may include traditional pastel de nata, custard tarts; or our day in Olden may have a fish masterclass to include filleting and many different cooking techniques. There will also be chocolate, Moroccan and bread speciality classes as well as more general Sunday brunch and French and Italian bistro favourites.”

P&O Cruises marketing director, Christopher Edgington, said: “There is no other cookery school in the world which combines seeing the ingredients at source and then learning how to use those ingredients with some of this country’s most celebrated and inspirational chefs. Whether you are a complete beginner, a competent home cook or simply have a passion for food then The Cookery Club will add a whole new dimension to the holiday experience.”

To find out more visit pocruises.co.uk or call 0843 3730111. The trips will also be available from local travel agents.