ICSA is very proud to have award-winning Cookery School at Daylesford as one of our founding members. From fields of home grown organic produce and top chef tutors down to beautifully restored cottages and barns as accommodation, a visit to Daylesford will be an experience to remember.
Daylesford Organic farm operates on a holistic approach, covering every aspect of healthy, organic living, whether picked straight from the field, in the farm shop or freshly prepared for you in the café. As well as cooking, you can learn how to produce your own organic food at the Farm School, where a range of traditional crafts are taught, from hen-keeping to hedge-laying.
The Cookery School at Daylesford is a unique place of culinary inspiration housed in a beautifully restored stone barn, surrounded by stunning Cotswold countryside and 2350 acres of working farmland from which the Cookery School sources its ingredients. Half day, full day and evening courses are available, and require booking in advance at http://daylesfordcookeryschool.co.uk
At Daylesford, you will have the opportunity to work with fruit and vegetables straight from their market garden, including rare heritage varieties chosen for their unique flavours. The creamery, just next door, offers celebrated organic cheeses as well as milk, cream and yogurts. The bakery team crafts artisan organic breads and pastries every morning. Their range of organic meat includes everything from venison to our native breeds of lamb and beef. All of these wonderful ingredients from our farm will feature in your day at The Cookery School.
The Cookery School at Daylesford is led by Steve Brown. Following years of cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens, Steve followed his passion for local, sustainable, organic food in acclaimed restaurants in Europe and his native Scotland. Steve loves to inspire, and his classes deliver the skills to create dishes where the focus lies firmly on allowing the ingredients to do the talking, enhanced with simple and effective techniques to ensure that you will never cook the same way again.
How did you start out in the food industry? I didn’t really grow up around food, although I do have fond memories of incredibly humble suppers enjoyed in the french countryside with my parents, which sparked my interest in simple, seasonal ingredients. Having followed the classic route of washing dishes in the school holidays, I chose to study Hospitality Management at uni. During this time, I ended up working in the kitchens of a local hotel where I bumped into my first mentor, Lawrence Robertson. After uni, Lawrence sent me to London to train at The Savoy, which led to me traveling around London and Europe, cooking with some wonderful people along the way. I’ve been very lucky to have found an industry that is so fascinating at such an early stage, its given me so many wonderful opportunities over the years.
When did you move to Daylesford? I came to Daylesford 3 years ago, having met the team at an awards ceremony in London. My predecessor mentioned that he was leaving and I immediately applied for the job. After a rigorous application process, I was lucky enough to get the job and, since then, have continued to fall head over heels in love with what Daylesford represents in terms of food and farming.
What is so inspiring about Daylesford? Lady Bamford’s passion for organic is truly inspirational. Daylesford has therefore become a community of like-minded staff and customers who share a love for food. The fact that we rear, grow and produce the vast majority of our food from our farm, market garden, bakery and creamery- everything has a story- which we love to share with our customers at The Cookery School and across the wider business. From a chef’s point of view, its the proximity to the produce and the opportunity to learn, cook and enjoy work each and every day. I feel proud to work for a business with such incredible passion and drive.
What are you most proud of? The team around me- The Cookery School would not be in the position that it is without them.
Daylesford’s plans for the future? To cast our net farther and to continue our drive to be as sustainable as we can be as a cookery school. Having been named as The Most Sustainable Cookery School in the UK last year, we are constantly looking for ways to further improve this.