Relaunch for Fat Hen’s wild food cookery school in west Cornwall

A ground-breaking wild food cookery school re-opens its doors in west Cornwall this spring, with a course celebrating the Cornish coastline.

Fat Hen’s Fish and Shellfish Day on April 19 will be led by Mark Devonshire, formerly head tutor at Rick Stein’s Seafood Cookery School.

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The course will combine the sourcing, preparation and cooking of some of Cornwall’s best-loved seafood, with an insight into the local, foraged ingredients which partner them so perfectly.

Guest course-leader Mark is eager to help slow food enthusiasts get to grips with the bounty of the Cornish coast.

“The fish and shellfish day will demystify the processes of cooking with different types of seafood,” he said.

“From picking brown and spider crabs, smoking and curing fish, making ceviche, and cleaning and preparing squid – the course will be hands-on and full of useful, practical tips.

“Cornwall has unrivalled riches when it comes to seafood and our aim is to inspire enthusiastic cooks to make the most of this at home.”

Caroline Davey, wild food pioneer and owner of Fat Hen, will introduce some of the foraged ingredients that can be found growing near the coast.

“We’ll be incorporating things like sea beet, rock samphire, wild fennel, locally foraged seaweed, wild garlic and black mustard leaves into the dishes that the group prepares,” she added.

“These fresh, vibrant flavours come as something of a revelation to those trying them for the first time.

“Just a small amount really compliments and brings out the flavours of Cornish seafood.”

The group will enjoy a delicious lunch of the dishes they have prepared, along with a glass of wine to celebrate their achievements.

Established by Caroline, a former ecological consultant, Fat Hen led the way with guided foraging experiences more than five years ago.

Re-launched this spring with greater scope for an exciting range of courses, Fat Hen is now the country’s only dedicated wild food cookery school.

Development of a well-equipped kitchen and teaching facility in a converted barn at the Fat Hen site has been taking place over the course of the last year, and the whole site is available to book for bespoke wild food weekends.

This course is the first to make use of the new facilities, in what is a flagship food project for Cornwall.

The 2014 programme will showcase the astounding abundance and diversity of wild Cornish produce, as well as offering a venue for unique dining experiences.

For the active, Caroline is offering walking and cycling food forays. Those more interested in gaining knowledge and skills in the kitchen are catered for too, with a range of courses including Game Cookery or Wild Italian.

Gourmet weekends will provide unrivalled foraging and feasting experiences amongst the wild landscapes of West Cornwall.

Later in the year Caroline will be joined by a second guest-tutor, Tim Maddams, formerly of River Cottage, who will be hosting wild fish and game weekends.

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