Would you believe that all my courses were cancelled last term due to poor uptake of places. That does not seem to be the case for this term, however. Things are looking up on the teaching front and I have courses I am teaching for Surrey County Council, The WEA (a charity) and Scola (an adult education centre)……depending on how my interview goes this Thursday.
But what I am particularly excited about is that I have been offered to guest chef for a day at David Gillott’s Four Gables Food Academy, based in Ashtead, Surrey. I am booked in on February 11th to teach a fun filled day of delicious family orientated recipes. The menu has been selected and the course is available to book HERE.
I went to meet David back at the end of last year and he showed me around his new cookery school set on farmland tucked away in the heart of Ashtead village. It is in such a perfect spot, surrounded by woodland and the kitchen is one that I know and love to work in….a professional kitchen.
David was running a catering business in London before he and his fiancee decided to come back to live where they both grew up. He has kept his catering business but now runs it from Surrey and has incorporated a cooking academy , where he offers a wide range of day courses from Perfect Puddings to Fabulous Fish to Bread and Pasta Making.
What I was impressed by was his commitment to many good projects. He supports the Slow Food Movement, Local Food Surrey, has his own bees and is a supporter of a local youth project. He has offered mentoring for young people hoping to go on and train to become chefs. David is full of energy and enthusiasm for his work and I am looking forward to spending a day at his cookery school.
He also answered a quick fire series of questions about himself. I always love a bit of background information to paint a picture of someone in my mind. So here is my Q&A.
Q When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
A I was 13, my mum was a Food Technology teacher and food was always important at home and I did lots of cooking also! I feel quite fortunate – lots of my friends have been through university and still don’t know what they want to do!!!
Q Have you always loved cooking and do you come from a foodie family?
A Yes definitely, as I mentioned above I did lots of growing of food at home along with cooking it!
Q Who does the cooking at home?
A I do the cooking but my fiancée Alice does the baking – she is brilliant and loves it! Although she always calls me as I’m coming home to say we need this ingredient and we need that ingredient from the work kitchen!
Q What is you guilty food pleasure?
A Is it wrong to say McDonalds? I guess as a chef you spend your life cooking what is hopefully lovely food – it’s really nice to just eat something easy and quick!
Q What is your all-time favourite meal. Starter , main, pud?
A Hmmmmm, what a good question. I think it would have to be sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream – you can’t beat that!
I also entered David’s mince pie competition in December and came second! I did try the winning entry and it was seriously good. So, David I must try harder next time!
As a result of the sudden influx of work, I may be a little short on blog posts for this month. But, I have made my One Ingredient entry and have been enjoying it this week for lunch. I will be posting it this weekend and am determined to make a batch of marmalade too….no matter what. And it has a twist, of course.