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Our team

Cassia Kidron - Founder

Root Camp was created out of a feeling of panic when I realised my teenage son had no idea how to cook – and nor did his friends. This was ten years ago. I set about teaching groups of teenagers over weekends, and we made ‘survival’ dishes, team suppers and ‘bring a friend’ banquets. It was fun.

As a teenager I had cooked for friends, and our long kitchen table was the centre of everything. I had learnt early-on that food had the power to bring all kinds of people together.

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Valentine Warner - Cook

Valentine Warner trained as a portrait painter before putting down the brush to pick up the spoon. He worked in London restaurants for eight years under such chefs as Alastair Little and Rose Cararina before setting up a private catering company, Green Pea. He has presented TV series, including What to Eat Now and Valentine: Coast to Coast, has written multiple books and regularly contributes to Countryfile and Delicious magazines amongst others.

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Jane Baxter - Cook

Jane Baxter trained at the Carved Angel under Joyce Molyneux before moving to the River Cafe. After a stint travelling and cooking around the world, in 2005 she set up the acclaimed Riverford Field Kitchen in Devon. She is co-author of the Riverford Farm Cookbook and Recipes for Everyday and Sunday. Currently based in south Devon, her latest book, co-written with Henry Dimbleby, is Leon: Fast Vegetarian.

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Martica Otto - Operations Manager

Martica brings a background of working with young people across all backgrounds – from an international summer camp to inner city youth. Brought up on mostly pizza and chocolate chip cookies, Martica didn’t enjoy vegetables until she was in University when she had the extraordinary opportunity to start an organic, completely sustainable farm with her cousin.

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Christopher Trotter - Cook

Christopher Trotter is a professional chef and food writer who has over the years run businesses from hotels and restaurants to Scotland’s Larder- a unique food destination celebrating Scottish food with a shop restaurant and education element. As well as writing several, Christopher presents cooking demonstrations from The Royal highland Show to Village halls!

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Mark Breen Cook

Mark Breen is classically trained chef with experience in some of London’s best restaurants including St. John’s and Lyle’s. Mark is now a private chef catering for events and private dinners and a cookery teacher for Central Street Cookery School and Made in Hackney. Mark is particularly passionate about cuisine that uses quality, locally produced, seasonal ingredients – […]

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Frank Hannon - Cook

My starting point (with food as a big part of my life) began at the River Cafe. Many years ago a friend got me a job as a waiter. I wasn’t a very good one, but the impact the kitchen had on me was enormous. From there I went to Moro and learned to cook. […]

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Sylvain Jamois - Founder Cook

I started cooking at the age of six when I was entrusted with vinaigrette-making duties at home in eastern France, where my grandmother owned a traditional bistro. It was she who taught me to really taste and experience food.

We soon moved south where I tasted new flavours and an abundance of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. I was also exposed to merguez, rose petals and the scents and spices of Moroccan cuisine.

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Oliver Rowe - Cook

Oliver Rowe first cooked properly at the age of fourteen when he spent a summer cooking in Tuscany. The spectacular seasonal produce forever changed his relationship to food. Fast forward and Oliver has worked in many of London’s famous restaurants including his own café and restaurant ‘Konstam and Konstam’ at the Prince Albert, which sourced as much of its produce from in and around London as possible.

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Anna Colquhoun - Cook

Anna trained at Alice Waters’ legendary restaurant Chez Panisse in California. Her cooking is inspired by her culinary travels and the changing seasons. Her passion is discovering the stories behind food and sharing them with others. Anna has travelled extensively to learn about her favourite subject. She is author of Eat Slow Britain, undertakes academic research in the anthropology of food, and works as a consultant for her brainchild, BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet.

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Sumayya Usmani - Cook

Sumayya grew up in Pakistan and and learnt to cook from her mother and grandmothers who didn’t write recipes down – a tradition called Andaza (in Urdu). Andaza is the backbone of Sumayya’s approach to cooking. Sumayya is passionate about the food of Pakistan and – as a natural communicator – vividly and eloquently describes the atmosphere of her homeland and the spices/dishes of its cuisine.

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Lisa Silcock – Cook

Lisa runs Black Pot catering, providing food for events and parties using seasonal produce inspired by world flavours. She began her career making anthropological television documentaries but was always obsessed by food and read recipe books in the African jungle when she was meant to be working. Alongside her catering business she has been a […]

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Hayley North - Cook

Hayley North has been in the catering industry for over 30 years. Over the past 10 years, Hayley has been pioneering a holistic approach to cooking and food education – that integrates cookery with nutrition (western and eastern approaches) yoga, mindfulness and meditation. During this time, she has been working internationally as a retreat chef and […]

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