A Taste of the Past
A Taste of the Past

Welcome to A Taste of the Past.

Unfortunately, I have closed A Taste of the Past for a few months due to adverse trading conditions.  I will look at re-starting bread making courses once things have settled down a bit.

A Taste of the Past is a small catering company based in Surrey.  We specialise in real, home baking, producing old fashioned baking and teaching people how to cook.  Our popular bread making courses are now in their 6th year.



A Taste of the Past is an independent company set up and run by Claire Passaris, an experienced and enthusiastic home cook. It is the product of Claire's mixed but interesting career history to date.  Starting out with a degree in Anthropology which did not say anywhere nearly enough about the food that people were eating, she went on to work as an IT trainer for a large company, followed by retraining as a museum professional.  While the real jobs were happening she spent many happy hours helping a friend run a small but successful catering company that specliased in historic foods.  


Now Claire combines all these experiences to share her passion for home cooking, wherever and whenever the recipes come from.  Her bread making courses are proving to be very popular so she is expanding to run more on weekdays. 





Here are some of the people and places that are important to me or I recommend.



Vanessa is a customer who brought along her camera one day and took some wonderful pictures which really bring to life my bread making courses.  I have credited her photographs individually.


Bakery Bits is a one stop shop for all your bread making needs.  I love their pannibois wooden bread moulds and use them a lot on my courses, the dough scrapers are a must for any kitchen, whether you make bread or not.  Their recipe page is also well worth a visit.



The Real Bread Campaign is all about bread, pure and simple, no additives, no fast rising times and no fuss.  They always need supporters and are doing a great job of trying to bring back the great British loaf.



If you really really want to learn everything there is to know about sour dough then look here.  These people really are experts.



If you want to learn how to cook there is one person above all others that you should turn to: Delia Smith.



My Favourite Recipe Books

Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book

Hilary Spurling

The best resource on 17th Century cooking that I have found so far. Spurling's research and background details are extremely usefull and well tested. Even the original recipes are easy to follow and obviously written by someone who actually cooked them.



Richard Bertinet

Currenlty my favrouite bread making book.  Bertinet brings French bread making techniques to Britain and his ideas really work.  In particular, his wholemeal bread recipe is fantastic, somewhere between a Grant loaf and a more traditional one that I teach on my course.  




Claudia Roden

Roden's writing is so much more than just recipes.  The anthropologist in me loves the background and cultural details in her books.  The cook in me really appreciates the short ingredients lists and practical suggestions of substitutes you can use for exotic ingredients you can't buy outside of London.  If you have ever wanted to re-create the flavours of your holiday in Morrocco, Lebanon or Turkey then this is a really good place to start.



We are located at:

80 Orpin Road

Merstham, Redhill, Surrey


Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to book a cookery course, please contact us:


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