I’m fortunate enough to work as a feature writer for a number of regional magazines. I say fortunate because feature writing has brought me into contact with an array of fascinating people over the years.
This year for the first time I have been reviewing restaurants in Devon, the White Hart at Dartington, Dukes in Sidmouth and the Phoenix in Chudleigh (I just can’t say Chudleigh without slipping into a northern accent, don’t ask me why). The experience has been rather enjoyable!
So when I attended the launch of Exeter Cookery School it struck me that here was another, if different, foodie establishment that I could review. I’ve met the founders, Jim and Lucy Fisher, many times over the past year or so while they’ve been setting the business up, a long process which has resulted in a stunning location on Exeter Quay and a beautiful environment in which to learn to cook.
Taste Buds Magazine duly commissioned the review and I found myself signed up for a breadmaking course. Now, I can’t go into too much detail as that would pre-empt the review, due out later in the year. However I will say that as someone who hasn’t baked ‘proper’ bread for some decades, the experience gave me lots of confidence. During the course I and three fellow students (teacher Jo, Nicola from Amos Lighting and Mr Devon Hour himself) made focaccia, brioche Chelsea buns and brioche rolls, as well as a beautiful Couronne au Fines Herbes.
We left the course laden with goodies, not only the breads we had cooked, but a lovely stash of brioche dough to play with at home. The next day I proudly presented my children with a freshly baked chocolate brioche loaf, which stunned them more or less into silence, mainly because their mouths were full of the delicious bread.
Like everyone who has met Jim and Lucy, who are warm, friendly and generous, I wish them every success with the schoool – maybe I can write a feature on another course next year, something with chocolate this time?
In the meantime, feature writing is very much on the agenda for the coming months; next up are two features for Devon Life, one on hand made, Devon-made leather goods, and the other a male voice choir!