Well Festival 2014 went well - we all had a great deal of fun and very great thank you to all who took part - do check back for information on 2015 but in the meantime click on the link below for some great coverage of this year.
Authentic Puglian cooking set in an elegant, rural converted
masseria (farmhouse) – total immersion
in the food and culture of this unspoilt region of Italy. Plenty of hands on
cooking, make orecchiette ‘ear shaped’ pasta regional to Puglia. Learn how to
taste olive oil ‘the Italian way’ in an area that produces 70% of the total oil
production in Italy.
Atlas mountains and
An exotic Moroccan cooking holiday starting in the village
of Imlil in the Atlas mountains and ending, by way of contrast, in the bustling
and colourful markets of Marrakech where we enjoy two cooking sessions in Riad
Monceau. A truly authentic experience – discover the food culture that is so
intertwined with every day life, for example, the boulangerie and the hammam in
Imlil share the same building and wood fired stove!
A Roman gastronomic
experience in Frascati, Rome
On our gastronomic tour of Castelli Romani, just beyond
Rome, we stay in the pretty town of Frascati (name sake of the sparkling wines)
where we are treated to an exclusive Roman culinary adventure, with our very
own Roman resident guide Stefano Spinetti. Markets, restaurants, wine and food
tastings, authentic pizza making, and lakeside Roman picnics…..
Classic Wine Tour of
Piemonte, Northern Italy
Enjoy a wine tour of Piemonte during truffle season – a
beautiful region bursting with delicious wines including Barolo and Barbresco.
We guide you to some of the most famous, and unusual wineries in the area,
including subterranean cathedrals – how mysterious! Taste, learn, walk the
vines, mooch around Alba, taste the truffles, learn about abbinamento – the art
of pairing food and wine.
If you travel alone, you might like to know that over two
thirds of our guests are single travellers too. So far in 2014, 60% of our
guests have travelled with us before.
...to win a whole year's supply of our gourmet quality 100% extra virgin olive oil, direct from the farm in Cyprus.
That's 12 x 500ml bottles of the most exciting new brand in the industry for you to use on salad, as a bread dipper or for your everyday frying, baking and roasting. And as our bottles look so good, you can even give some away to friends as birthday, housewarming or dinner party gifts.
PS If you are near Cambridgeshire you can avoid P&P charges by collecting from us here at Olive Tree Cottage. Just choose 'Aland Islands' as your country code and you won't be charged for shipping. But don't forget to come and collect!
Have your cake and eat it!
FVL are making a cake for the Tetbury Food Festival in the shape of a car which will be raffled to a winner! To celebrate they are offering a special tasty discount on the admin fee for one of their swanky new cars.
The Orchard Restaurant at Highgrove is opening its doors
once again for this year’s Tetbury Food Festival, working in partnership with
the Fabulous Baker Brothers of Hobbs House on Thursday 18th September 2014 at 6pm
We would like to invite you to this special evening,
starting with a 90 minute tour of the Highgrove Gardens.
Over thirty years in
the making, Highgrove is one of the most creatively inspired gardens anywhere
in the world. A series of interlinked areas, each with their own character and
purpose, weave around the house, reflecting the gardening ideals and organic
principles of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Your tour, led by one of our experienced garden guides will
be followed by a Champagne and Canapé reception on the Orchard Restaurant
Guests will have the opportunity to visit the Highgrove
We will then serve a 2 course Supper, using local produce
from across Gloucestershire, and a selection of Hobbs House Breads. Supper will
include a glass of Highgrove Organic wine.
Following your supper, Tom and Henry Herbert of the
“Fabulous Baker Brothers” will give a give an entertaining 30 minute talk on
their passion for food and the importance of supporting local producers whilst
you enjoy a selection of Hobbs House sweets and pastries with coffee or tea .
Tickets are £75 per person. Places are limited so we
recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.
To book, call 0333 222 4555. Lines are open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Calls cost up to 5p a minute from UK landlines. Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.
All profits from Highgrove Garden Tours and products are donated
to HRH The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
Holidays in Puglia, Italy with Authentic Adventures
Join us on 25th
October 2014 for a seven night break. £1,399 with no single supplement.
exciting adventures in 2015 including cooking holidays in India and Morocco.
Written by Cooking tutor, Ylenia Sambati
Puglia, in the south
of Italy is a delight to explore because it has all the right ingredients for a
first class culinary holiday. There are a few elements that will capture your
heart and inspire your imagination: among these, food, wine and lifestyle.
Puglia has a very
laid back pace of life. Its vivid colors and unique architecture, quiet country
roads, olive groves and farmlands will inspire and delight you. You will be
amazed by todays local culture of first class food, particularly olive oil,
farm fresh vegetables, wine and healthy Mediterranean food.
Prepare yourself for
sensory overload in Puglia: Greek influenced towns, the musicality of the
Italian language, the smell of the sea, the light of the Leccese stone, the
variety of wines, the warm locals and the sensational tastes of Puglia cuisine.Every day will be filled with memorable experiences that will make you
want to stay forever.
Pugliese cuisine relies
heavily on its local vegetables and wild greens, extra virgin olive oil, wine,
and wheat production. The region also provides much of the durum wheat for the
dried pasta in the South. Pane Pugliese and Pane di Altamura are both breads
famed in Italy and beyond. Puglia has a noted antipasto culture.
Restaurants usually parade six or more at the start of a meal. Other
places only serve antipasti: lots of fried dishes of course, but also many
interesting pickled items, and a number of antipasti that just emphasize the
local vegetables. Some of the most famous dishes of the region:
orecchiette pasta topped with bitter greens and also fried peppers and
lampascioni, a bitter bulb that is typically pickled,
pasticciotto, ciceri & tria pasta, fava bean purea and chicories.
Puglia is also
famous for its bread and focacce, and for the “taralli” and “friselle”,
flavored with the local herbs and spices.
Puglia was always a
prolific producer of wine and has often been referred to as the “wine cellar of
Italy”. Until a few decades ago this very stout and strong wine was exported to
the northern regions and to France to be used as “cutting” wine. The results
are spectacular, and wines such as Primitivo, Salice Salentino, Negroamaro,
Squinzano, Verdeca are now appreciated by the best sommeliers.
And Puglia is also
famous for its cheeses: the burrata, so creamy that it melts in your mouth
just like whipped butter, ricotta, giuncata, primo sale, Caciocavallo
Canestrato Pugliese, pecorino fresco, stracciatella and many more.
Puglia is packed
with whitewashed villages, diverse art and architecture, white sandy beaches
and a fascinating history of people interconnected with the land and the sea.
The land is host to olive trees and vineyards. The area sees blue sky days all
year round and typically has mild wet winters and hot dry summers.
Puglia is one of the
world’s largest producers of olive oil contributing around 70 percent of
Italy’s production and close to 15% of the worlds. They produce in fact some of
the best known extra virgin of great quality.
Under the expert
guidance of our friendly chef, you will learn how to prepare traditional
Puglian dishes, which vary according to the fresh ingredients available each
season. At the end of each session all participants eat what they have prepared
together, tasting great food and wine. Every day you will be guided through
different aspects of the Puglia cuisine: ingredients, techniques and
traditions, discovering their secrets and tasting new flavours.
Each day you will
explore a complete menu from appetizers to desserts. You will learn how to
prepare fresh pasta and the art of making sauces, tasty second dishes and
For more information contact
Authentic Adventures on 01453 823328.
Life Food & Drink Awards is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in the
Cotswold calendar. The awards are designed to champion, highlight and offer a
showcase to the good and the great from the regions food & drink industry
including local producers & suppliers, small farming businesses, chefs,
restaurants, pubs and hoteliers, and people who care about the countryside and
the future of our local environment.
black-tie awards ceremony will take place on Monday July 7 in the Centaur at
Cheltenham Racecourse from 6.30pm to midnight.
the awards ceremony are available for £60 +VAT per person or £600 +VAT for a
table of 10. Tickets include a champagne reception with canapés, superb goody
bags filled with local produce, local wines and soft drinks and a three course
locally sourced meal with coffee followed by a fantastic Cotswold cheeseboard.
After dinner Adam Henson from BBC Countryfile will host the award ceremony and
announce the winners of this year’s highly coveted awards.
great opportunity to network with the great and the good from the Cotswold
Longer days, daffodils, tree blossom, lambs, sunshine, happier people... but as a chef, I'm not yet satisfied. We are in the hungry gap. There is an Organic Wagon at the end of my road (it used to be the Veg Shed but is now a colourful old cart run on an honesty box basis). I stop there, if not to buy something for supper, then to seek inspiration in the abundance of colours and shapes. At the beginning of the month, I collected a beautiful purple sprouting cauliflower but since then there has been little more on offer than potatoes, cauliflowers and kale, diminishing daily. That is set to change: spring has sprung and although there is a frustrating gap, I am excited that tomorrow I am going to collect fistfuls of wild garlic leaves. In a few weeks, they will produce white flowers, with a spicy allium scent, that will daintify any salad or soup.
MasterChef 10th anniversary series
Last autumn, the BBC came to film me cooking at home and at Westonbirt. They were revisiting the finalists from the last ten years (pictured above) to find out how their careers and lives have changed since MasterChef. I was also invited back to the studio to taste some of the new contestants' food - it brought back memories and although the quality was very mixed, it did remind me how far I have come in two years.
My appearance will be screened in Episode 7, at 8pm on Wednesday 9th April 2014.
I was recently asked to cater for an 80th birthday dinner. I have already cooked for 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th and 80th birthday dinners! If you're turning 90 or 100, please get in touch. kojcooks.co.uk/specialoccasions
I'm currently designing a Japanese street food banquet for an investment management company offsite. There's a range of ideas to involve food and cooking in your teambuilding events. Visit kojcooks.co.uk/corporate
I have had a lot of requests recently for lunch, often Sundays but mid-week as well. If you fancy entertaining your friends, but don't fancy the time in the kitchen that comes with it, visit my website. Menus start from £45 per person for weekday lunches and include nibbles, three courses and petits fours. Here are some of my favourite lunch dishes this year.
At long last, in follow up to a series of village hall cookery demonstrations that I have held over the past year, I am pleased to announce the launch of Shipton Moyne Cookery Club. If yoga, pilates or male voice choirs aren't your thing, I'll be running a 5 week course of cooking classes on Tuesdays beginning on 29th April and running until 27th May. The course will cost £99 for 5 sessions, which includes the tuition and ingredients to create a meal for two people.
For more details, visit kojcooks.co.uk/shiptonmoyne
Perfect for holiday cottages, or in other words, self-catering holidays where you don't really want to cater yourself. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for your entire party. If the weather turns bad, join me in the kitchen for a cooking lesson. kojcooks.co.uk/privatechef
If you're stuck for ideas for someone's birthday, have a look at some of the private cookery classes that I offer. kojcooks.co.uk/giftvouchers
Food Festivals and demonstrations
The Food Festival season kicks off in May. First up, Marlborough Food Festival on Sunday 11 May, followed two weeks later by Foodies Festival at Marble Hill (a new venue).
For a full list of demonstrations, visit kojcooks.co.uk/demonstrations
I'm honoured to be chosen as the first guest chef at Lucknam Park Cookery School. Head Chef Kesh moved from the restaurants at Lucknam Park just over a year ago and in that short time has built a first class cookery school, with a wide array of courses on virtually every single day of the week. Now, they and some of their regulars are ready to take on Japanese.
On Thursday 22 May, I will lead a day course in Japanese cookery, introducing the ingredients and showing how simple it is, once you have a few basic building blocks under your belt.
To book a place, please visit: lucknampark.co.uk/cookeryschool
I am now working with Celia Duplock, a macrobiotic chef, consultant and cookery teacher. There is already a strong overlap in the Japanese cooking that I offer, but with her advice, I can now produce delicious food that not only satisfies the gastronomic hedonist in you, but that is also exceptionally good for your health and wellbeing in the longer term.
For more details, visit: kojcooks.co.uk/macrobiotic
Looking for part time staff
I am looking for part time staff, both to work front of house and in the kitchen with me. Experience preferred for front of house but not necessary for kitchen - all I need is someone who is quick to learn, enthusiastic about cooking, hard working and fun to work with. The role is broad and versatile - don't apply if you're afraid of a bit of washing up - that happens in a kitchen.
To apply and for more details, email me