Chris Wood, Wednesday 18 July 2012
The young chef behind a new cookery school is offering to give talks to clubs and schools.
David Gillott, 23, opened Four Gables Food Academy at Ashtead, in January. Six months on, he has established a thriving smallholding on the cookery school’s doorstep and is celebrating achieving 25 per cent self-sufficiency. Now he is keen to share his experiences and to inspire others to follow his lead.
David’s illustrated talk for local clubs and groups, entitled The Good Life at Four Gables, charts the challenges of setting up his smallholding while running a cookery school. He is also adding the bonus of a practical cookery demonstration. David plans to talk to students at schools and colleges about his career as a chef and hopes to inspire youngsters to consider training for the profession he loves.
‘I’m still pretty young, so it’s easy for the kids to look at me and imagine themselves in chef’s whites just a few years from now,’ he says. ‘It’s so important to get them interested in good food - and they always like hearing stories of the latest happenings with the livestock – not just ours, but wild visitors, such as the deer that pop in uninvited for a feast. It’s a fun talk with a serious message.’
David’s smallholding, Four Gables Farm, covers 3.2 acres and includes an orchard, a vegetable patch, 15 beehives and a flock of egg-laying runner ducks. At its heart is a high-tech, professional kitchen, where David and his fellow chefs teach students of all ages and abilities, divulging expert tips during hands-on cookery classes of just four to six people. Classes include: Fabulous Fish, Dinner Party Delights, Foraging Followed by Food and Family Cooking.
Pigs are due to arrive soon and David also has plans to introduce goats for milk, butter and cheese. All kitchen waste is composted and water is collected for the raised beds.
Born and raised in Surrey, David was just 13 when he set his heart on a career as a chef. Ten years on, he already has a wealth of experience under his hat. He has cooked for stars, including Mick Jagger and Johnny Depp, and royalty (Prince Charles). He honed his craft at prestigious restaurants, including Michelin-starred 1 Lombard Street, and top sporting venues.
David makes no charge for the talks but is happy for donations to be made to the Epsom charity, Forces Children’s Trust. Find out about cookery courses at Four Gables Food Academy by visiting www.FourGablesFoodAcademy.com.