Reflecting on 2021 and the first full year of Devon Cookery School
I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. Whilst it’s similar to the end of 2020 in many ways - covid is still unpredictable and I’m hopeful that the next year will be safer and kinder to us all - this New Year also couldn’t be more different.
Here at DCS we’re now able to look back on over a year of wonderful cookery classes and amazing students. Thanks to every one of you, we didn’t just keep afloat during 2021, we managed to swim to safety and can now look forward to 2022 with excitement.
Nothing can prepare you for launching a business in the middle of global turmoil, and we are so grateful for the incredible coming-together and support of a brand new community. We hoped for big things when we opened our doors (on, and off, and on again - thank you lockdowns!) in late 2020, but we couldn't have dreamed of the successes of 2021, made all the more poignant because of the shared challenge of covid.
Looking back at 2021, I think our defining word would be ‘growth’. It might seem cliched, especially at this time of year, but honestly it sums up everything we’ve experienced here at the cookery school.
We watched the piggies grow on the farm. We grew our class list. We grew our recipes. Most importantly we grew our community - that's the wonderful people who make up Devon Cookery School, from you wonderful people supporting us, to our team at DCS. And finally... we've grown. 2021 has been a year of perseverance, patience, optimism and dedication. It doubled on the joys of 2020, and we hope it has set us up to double or triple our joys in 2022! We have a jam packed exciting year ahead and we hope to share it with you.
Listening to your comments and feedback during classes, I’ve been hard at work designing brand new classes for 2022. It seems like a lot of our students are super keen to break free from their comfort zones and try new recipes. Apparently there’s a statistic that most households have 5 reliable recipes on repeat - but if you join us for our new cookery classes you’ll definitely get out of that rut!
Alongside our firm favourites like Bread Baking, Perfect Pastry and A Taste of Spain, join us in the new year for brand new cookery classes bringing you the cuisines of China, Korea and a second Thai cookery class - because the first is so popular.
You’ll learn traditional and modern recipes that will elevate your weeknight cooking and transform special occasions. The focus is always on delicious, easy and sustainable recipes that you can use as the foundation of your kitchen practice. The techniques you learn on these courses are applicable to a wide range of recipes and cuisines, meaning you’ll be able to mix and match what you know to create new confidence in the kitchen.
If one thing has come from the pandemic, it’s got to be a realisation that a slow life can be a good life. The inability to access so much of what we used to love doing, for long periods of time, meant we all turned to new ways of entertaining ourselves. Of course sourdough and banana bread were well up there as the recipes of 2020, along with other slow practices like yoga, running, meditation and crafting. That sustainable, slow living approach has continued momentum as we’ve returned to a more familiar way of living in 2021.
Being located on a sustainable farm, and really enjoying the slow, creative, ‘screen free’ process of home cooking, we absolutely advocate for keeping hold of some of the ‘slow living’ we’ve all had to adapt to in the last 2 years. I thought a really good way to keep this up in 2022 is to start the year with some ‘in season’ recipes, featuring local UK veg grown in January.
For the month of January I’ve chosen 4 in season veg to share with you, with some facts and tips for each, and a recipe featuring the veg. Find out more at the start of January when we’ll release a blog introducing our ‘Veg of the Month’ campaign.
Something else to look forward to in 2022 is of course our Farm To Fork events! We held a sell out event in 2021 so decided to bring it back for 2022. This time we’re hosting several events in May, where you can join us on Pipers Farm to prepare seasonal side dishes and sauces for the afternoon feast and go on a farm tour to learn about regenerative farming, native breeds and slow food. You’ll even get a superstar sheep dog demo from Spot the sheep dog. You’ll also learn butchery skills in a demo with Peter, before a fire pit feast.
It really is a fantastic way to spend a day learning about where our food comes from and how sustainable farm practices are both possible and beneficial.
As for when we reopen our doors - you can join us as early as NEXT WEEK for the following classes:
Thursday 6th January Bread Baking
Friday 7th January Mexican Street Food
Saturday 8th January Japanese
Sunday 9th January Sushi
If that isn’t a super way to start the year, we don’t know what is! The only question is - which cookery class will we meet you on?