Until a couple of months ago I had never been to Bristol, then suddenly I was Bristol bound twice in the space of 8 days.
Once we were all assembled at the school, set in the converted church that is also home to Nailsea Electrical, we headed out to the wild woods, in reality a very short drive from the centre of Bristol (which gave me another reason of why I think it is time to leave central London).
Toby strode out, his trug swinging from his arm, and like gaggle of ducklings we followed Toby in single file. Firstly some foraging basics, pick flowers, fruits, leaves and fungus, take only a little and seek the land owner’s permission before digging anything up. Common sense also tells one not to forage from by a busy road or on polluted land, and if not sure of what you are gathering then DON’T!
We soon found a bounty of foods to gather. I was astonished by how much we found. In about an hour we had found all of the below, plus many others and filled Toby’s trug.
- Burdock – as in burdock and lemonade!
- Wild Raspberries
- Hawthorn – the flowers taste of almonds
- Ground Ivy – lovely with lamb
- Pine Shoots – citrusy – dehydrate and use to flavour salt
- Chickweed – lettucey
- St George’s Mushrooms
- Jack by the Hedge – garlically
Having worked up an appetite, we returned to the school to prepare our lunch of Steamed Cornish Cod with St. George’s Mushrooms, Wild Garlic and Wye Valley Asparagus. The cod was lightly salted before wrapping in cling film prior to steaming in one of 102’s Samsung ovens multi function ovens. Salting draws some liquid out of the fish, and the clingfilm helps it hold its shape. A very useful tip and one I shall be using in my countertop steamer. Lunch was made even more delicious as we had worked (and foraged) hard for it!
I really liked 102. The room is bright and airy, and teaching takes place in small groups round island units. This instantly makes the class more intimate and social, both huge plus points. The chef’s table in the corner is a lovely place to eat and enjoy all your hard work – so many schools do not have a proper dining table. Also I enjoyed the Samsung appliances, efficient, sleek and easy to use.
I was the guest of 102 Cookery School and Samsung. Many thanks for the lovely day.
102 Cookery School, 102 Gloucester Road, Bristol. 4 hour classes from around £100, maximum number in a class 8.