Ashburton Cookery School‘s championing of locally sourced and seasonal Devon food has inspired the launch of a new London restaurant by a former tutor and student at the cookery school.
29 year old James Pacheco-Knight from Exeter was a tutor at the cookery school last year when he met 26 year old Alicia Whitby from Taunton who was a student on the two day intermediate course. The pair have now gone on to set up the Assemblage restaurant which has just opened in Shoreditch which specialises in modern British and seasonal cuisine.
James, who recently featured in the BBC TV series “The Restaurant” and the spin off series “Out of the Frying Pan” was also mentored by Raymond Blanc but he turned to Ashburton Cookery school to gain valuable teaching experience.
He and Alicia were inspired by the ethos at the cookery school which sources high quality local seasonal food for its courses and which was a principle they both wanted to replicate at Assemblage.
James believes that Ashburton Cookery School has played a pivotal role in inspiring them to set up their new restaurant: “Assemblage would not have happened without Ashburton Cookery School, it has been a catalyst for the whole project. I went to Ashburton to learn how to teach and to be able to speak in an eloquent way about food. Their support continues as they help us with food suppliers and some of our kitchen staff are also from the cookery school.”
Alicia and James want to attract a young clientele to the concept of modern fine dining based on locally sourced seasonal produce but at affordable prices. Alicia who runs the financial side of the business says that although their restaurant is based in London it is still able to champion South West food producers; “We would like to reach more people in their twenties by making prices for good modern food affordable. We want to take the intimidation out of fine dining and everything on our menu is sourced from the South West. Our beef is from a butcher in Ashburton and we use the Husbandry School which is also in Devon to supply salad leaves and flowers for our dishes. A tutor at Ashburton Cookery School, Rob Dawe also helps us with supplies of vanilla.”
The Chef Director at Ashburton Cookery School, Darrin Hosegrove says that he is delighted with what Alicia and James have achieved; “We always knew James was talented and we are thrilled that they have realised their dream of opening such a fantastic restaurant. This is what we are all about at Ashburtion Cookery School helping young people like Alicia and James who want a high level career in catering to make the next step towards that goal and which will also be the aim of the Chefs Academy which we are launching next year. Hopefully, interns from the academy will gain valuable work experience at Assemblage so we will continue to build a long lasting relationship with James and Alicia.”
For more details about Assemblage, please visit www.assemblagerestaurant.com
Regularly voted on of the leading cookery schools in the UK, the Ashburton Cookery School offers more than 40 cookery courses aimed at enthusiastic home cooks from 18 old, beginners to advanced levels. The courses are delivered by a team of 7 professional chef tutors in state of the art kitchens at a purpose built facility in Ashburton, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.
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