Wild Food Cookery
Discover the bounty of nature with a day of cooking and feasting on wild ingredients at the River Cottage Cookery School.
We tend to associate wild food with winter, but there is plenty to be had throughout the year and endless delicious ways to enjoy it. Our one-day Wild Food Cookery course with Gill will introduce you to the world beyond farmed produce, with expert tuition from the River Cottage chefs and plenty of opportunities to sample your wares.
Using wild and foraged ingredients, you'll learn how to prepare meat and how to cook all manner of really wild dishes. Depending on the season, you’ll get to grips with rabbit, pigeon, venison, rook or squirrel, seaside goodies like limpets, mussels and crabs, and fungi, wild herbs and fruit. With the beautiful Devon countryside as your larder, there’s no better place to truly embrace what nature has to offer.
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30am and begin your River Cottage experience with a 10-15 minute walk through the pathways down to the farm, giving you the chance to soak up the views of the valley.
Make yourself at home
You will meet Gill, and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen while we teach you the basics of wild, seasonal food.
Practical session one
First off you’ll learn how to pluck and de-breast a wood pigeon, ready for roasting later on.
Next we'll take you on a tour of River Cottage HQ, foraging in the fields and hedgerows for edible treats like watermint or sorrel.
Practical session two
Back in the kitchen, you’ll make your first dish of the day by smoking the pigeon breasts and cooking an accompaniment using your foraged ingredients – such as nettle and sorrel spelt risotto. Then it’ll be time to sit down and taste your creation.
Practical session three
Next you’ll learn how to skin and butcher a rabbit, turning it into stock for a restorative summer rabbit broth.
Practical session four
Broth done, you’ll move onto curing and smoking your saddle of rabbit.
Practical session five
Next you’ll be crafting a fresh, seasonal pudding, such as summer berry panna cotta with water mint picked from our own stream.
Practical session six
You’ll make a starter – perhaps pan-fried mussels, served with chanterelle mushrooms, bacon and garlic mustard – then tuck in while it’s hot.
Practical session seven
You’ll finish your summer rabbit broth with salsa verde made from sorrel, garlic mustard and parsley, then sit down and enjoy your handiwork.
After all your hard work you’ll have the chance to relax while we serve your handmade pudding.
By now you will be probably be bursting with questions, so this will be your opportunity to take away some expert advice for wild cooking at home.
There will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before heading back up the hill at 5pm.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food and Travel Magazine 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2017
- Great British Food Awards 2018