I am contemplating a visit to Savour in January to do 17 days of training.
Has anyone been to this school? If so, did you find the experience worthwhile? Knowing what you know now, would you have approached the courses in a different way? And lastly, how did you find the course material that you took away afterward?
Yep, I've done a lot of courses there. The staff are great and very knowledgeable. I have been doing courses there consistently since 2006 - it's good enough for me to keep going back. Also depends what you want to get out of it. The course notes are basically recipes and methods which is great because it stops you having to write as you go. If you're attentive and detailed, you will get a lot of other tips and tricks as you work through the recipes which are worth writing down as you go. I've generally re-written my materials after the course to incorporate these notes. The instructors are also happy to share if you ask further questions during classes.
Class format is generally introduction and go through the recipes for the day. Then weigh out ingredients (recipes are split between tables, so you work in a group). Depending on the course, the general rule of thumb is each recipe is made big enough for the whole class. When your table's recipe is due to be made, you actually make it yourself in front of the whole group. This is great for hands on experience. It also helps watching the occasional mistakes being fixed on the fly (by the instructor) or watching how things can go wrong.
I started off just doing the chocolate courses but enjoyed the school and staff and their enthusiasm for all pastry that I have just kept going back for all things pastry. And most importantly, I use the skills I have learnt on a regular basis in things I do at home as well.
Edited to add: you should also choose courses suited to your skill level. I had done a little chocolate work by myself at home before doing Chocolates Level 1 which helped me ask some questions about things I knew could go wrong. If you're already working around chocolate and have a good handle on tempering/moulding etc, you may want to speak with them about which level you should start at.