Meet James Devonshire, our new Head of The Cookery School, who loves the autumnal produce and earthy flavours that arrive on his doorstep from the Daylesford farm during harvest season.

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‘For me, the changing seasons always brings a sense of anticipation – a new pallet of organic ingredients from our Market Garden, seasonal flavours and produce that we have been looking forward to welcoming back and exciting new recipes we can bring to our classes in The Cookery School. Although the abundance of summer is being left behind, we are by no means lacking in incredible ingredients when it comes to autumn.

I look forward to cooking with our late summer and autumn vegetables from the Market Garden. Jez, our Head Gardener and his team produce a huge variety of pumpkins and squashes, along with Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac which we roast and add to salads, use to make fillings for raviolis, or put centre stage in vegetarian dishes – sometimes salt baking for extra flavour.

Game is something we look forward to with anticipation in The Cookery School. Our own organic red deer herd at our sister estate in Wootton provide us with the best possible tasting venison which, along with partridge and pheasant, will form the backbone of our Feather and Fur courses. We like to pair these with other seasonal foraged ingredients from the Daylesford farm, such as hedgerow berries, cobnuts and mushrooms, to create simple but incredibly flavoured plates of food for our students.

Autumn also brings a wide variety of heritage apples into our kitchen. Whether made into a simple crumble served with perfectly churned bay leaf ice cream, or added to salads for a sweet sharp contrast and crisp texture, we try and experiment with all the different tastes available from our heritage orchards.

Other fruit highlights include quince, late season raspberries and plums. We may preserve these to brighten up dishes throughout the winter, as taught on our Art of the Larder class, or use them fresh in both savoury and sweet recipes.

Something that many people don’t realise is that lamb is often better in the autumn than it is during spring. This is because the animals have been feeding on our lush organic pastures all summer, putting down good amounts of fat and therefore adding more flavour to the meat.

If you’re thinking about developing your cookery skills this autumn, or giving a gift to a foodie friend or relative, these are my favourite autumn courses this year. I look forward to welcoming you to The Cookery School soon.’

Explore James’s autumn cookery class highlights below.

FEATHER & FUR

We are lucky to have a bountiful larder on our doorstep. Learn how to pluck, dress and prepare game with the guidance of our passionate cookery tutors and discover recipes that show off venison, partridge and mallard to their best, enjoying tasters whilst you cook.

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COMPLETE LARDER

A well-stocked larder is something that all cooks should try and build up. Having the right ingredients on hand gives you the ability to create satisfying dishes on the spot, in very litte time. Using organic ingredients from our farm and Market Garden, we will use seasonal gluts and a variety of preservation, sterilisation and fermentation methods, to give you lots of new larder ideas and recipes to cook from.

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wild & foraged

We are passionate about foraging and making use of the wild larder right on our doorstep, from game birds to crayfish, wild garlic and meadowsweet. Join our tutors and resident foraging expert, Tim Field, for this full day course which will get you outside hunting for wild ingredients on our organic farm, before returning to The Cookery School to create a series of delicious seasonal dishes.

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We have plenty of cookery classes taking place every week. Visit our events calendar to find out more and book tickets. We also take bookings for groups and offer classes as gift cards; please contact The Cookery School to find out more.