River Cottage inspire young unemployed into work
As part of Feeding Britain’s Future’s quest to encourage young unemployed people into work, we welcomed eight people to River Cottage with the purpose of showing them around our 100 acre farm and hoping that we could inspire them to share our passion about good food through our apprenticeship schemes.
Our young guests boarded the trailer for a bumpy tractor ride down to the farm, a ride that couldn’t be further away from their usual bus journeys around Exeter. As soon as they found their feet, we took them across our courtyard for refreshments in our Chefs’ School.
We love our Chefs’ School. It’s a beautiful state-of-the-art kitchen with everything you need to cook up a storm with the most inspirational view across acres of fields, grazing sheep and a babbling brook at the foot of it all. Instead of talking of ‘food miles’ in a dish, ours is a matter of yards from the gardens to the kitchen.
This was the perfect place to chat with our guests about River Cottage. Harry proudly talked through our award winning educational programme, explaining that our apprenticeships don’t just equate to a cookery qualification to gain chefs’ skills – there’s an underlying theme of sustainability running throughout everything we teach.
When the tea cups were empty it was time to see the farm in action. We introduced our team (which includes an arm-full of new-born chicks, curious turkeys and of course the pigs), and showed our guests around the gardens and farmhouse.
Head Gardener Will Livingstone welcomed the young guests and explained to them that, “Organic gardening does take extra time and effort, but it’s so worth it for the better flavour you get in the produce.”
After looking at the abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and fresh hens’ eggs, we felt suitably inspired to head back to the kitchen and start cooking.
Chef Tutor Adrian thought we’d begin with mastering the basics with an omelette challenge. First of all he demonstrated (with some terrible egg puns chucked in along the way), before sending our guests off to their work stations and asking them to recreate the dish. They did a cracking (sorry) job and really impressed our team.
Four guests applied for our apprenticeship scheme on the spot, and we’re hoping to see two others back at River Cottage next week. We’re really pleased to be part of Feeding Britain’s Future and hope it helps to inspire career paths for the thousands of young people who have got involved.
If you would like to start your career path at River Cottage and join our apprenticeship scheme, please get in touch. You can email email@example.com, or apply online.