Inside Welbeck - The School of Artisan Food
21 February 2014
Set in the premises of the Welbeck Estate’s old fire station sits the pioneering School of Artisan Food, a centre of excellence for learning all aspects of artisan food production.
The not-for-profit company, and registered charity, opened its doors in September 2009 after extensive building works to the old fire station, transforming two thirds of the building into state-of-the-art teaching rooms for breadmaking, cheesemaking, butchery, charcuterie and preserving.
Five years on and the school has run over 5,000 short courses and the fourth intake of diploma students are busily immersing themselves in their course work. The School of Artisan Food offers the UK’s first advanced diploma qualification in artisan food production alongside a successful programme of short courses; from beginner to professional, the school offers courses to suit all skills levels. They are very proud to offer courses taught by some of the most skilled and experienced practitioners in the UK, Europe and beyond, winning them several prestigious awards in 2013.
Last year thanks to the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme, the school appointed an education officer to teach all aspects of artisan production methods, healthy eating and food science to school children and community groups. Most recently the school has launched a new range of services including venue hire, bespoke training courses, corporate events, new product development, and demonstration and team building days.
What does the future hold for the school’s dedicated team of 12 staff members and 25 tutors and practitioners? The school’s director Joe Piliero would like to see the expansion of the butchery and dairy course programme, and the introduction of an annual lecture series, the first of which is scheduled for the 10th and 11th of May 2014. Aptly named ‘Food for Thought’, the weekend offers fascinating talks by some of the world’s leading food thinkers. Further details for the ‘Food For Thought’ talks and everything on offer at The School of Artisan Food can be found on the school’s website.