So November has passed and Christmas is drawing ever closer, but first, let me tell you a what has been happening here at River Cottage HQ over the last month.
At the beginning of November we held a four day cookery class - the ultimate in cookery classes. The course encompasses a range of skills and techniques across all aspects of cooking, from meat and fish, to vegetables and breads. The four day course is a favourite of staff members as real relationships are built between the guests and staff. It is a course that has led to many long-term friendships & new colleagues at River Cottage. Such as Mark McCabe, who simply was not allowed to leave at the end of the course and is a fantastic chef who now works with us. There’s also the wonderful Godfrey, who on a regular basis makes the eight hour round trip to spend his spare time in the kitchen with us. This is one of the joys of River Cottage, the abundance of characters and personalities you have the pleasure of meeting each day, through both the cookery classes and dining events. This interaction with the guests is so important for us.
On a personal level I also am grateful for the friendliness & sincerity of the staff for my opportunity. My first visit to River Cottage was as a guest on a Build & Bake course. After a day of being surrounded by the wealth of knowledge, passion and pride from all of the staff it was hard to leave. I was encouraged by my teacher that day, Senior Sous Chef, Andy Tyrrell, to apply for a job and I have not looked back since. The passion from Andy was infectious and his knowledge of cooking and style of teaching was very inspiring, demonstrating how the ethos & style of River Cottage can be used in your own cooking.
Now that I am a staff member I have the pleasure of hopefully influencing others, sharing my passion for my job along with learning from our guests. Our latest four-day course in November was a huge success, you could not ask for a more genuine group with the greatest passion for all aspects of food. Friendships were established within the group, jokes were made and there was even a surprise birthday party to finish the four days. We had the pleasure of welcoming Alice, one of the guests, into the kitchen for service on the Saturday night after a full day of meat butchery and cookery in the school, an experience we are proud to be a part of and hope she enjoyed.
The title River Cottage family is often heard in passing on the farm but it really is evident when you come in and see how we all work together. Sharing a mutual passion to create the best environment to work and learn in, but importantly having fun in doing so.
I wish you all a festive holiday season and I look forward to telling you all about December at RCHQ in the new year.