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.
While working with Riverford (organic farm), I gained an understanding of ingredients and their origin. I also formed strong relationships with some really creative, independently minded chefs.
From there, the idea for a new kind of cookery school was born. Aimed at young adults and teenagers, it offered an opportunity to work both in the kitchen and in the fields. It seemed crucial to connect the two experiences in order to make informed decisions about buying, cooking and eating food.
We had our first Root Camp in October 2010 and the format and magic of that first Root Camp remains largely unchanged.