A Spotlight On: Devon Cookery School
After being made redundant during the pandemic, Jazzi Curley decided to create her very own cookery school.
When experienced chef Jazzi Curley was made redundant from her full-time role at Exeter Cookery School during the pandemic, she searched for a series of part-time jobs while she worked out her next steps.
Jazzi explains that when the cookery school shut;
“It left me in a position with no job like many other people. I searched for a job for about two weeks and got one in a cafe near Cullumpton as I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
With extensive experience teaching cooking, including a stint at the Jamie Oliver Cookery school in Notting Hill, opening up her own school was a no-brainer. When an appropriate plot of land became available at Piper’s Farm just north of Exeter, she decided it was time to take the plunge!
“Peter, the owner of Piper’s Farm [where Devon Cookery School is based] got in contact with me and said he had a space where a school would work well… I got there and it was in a gorgeous farm setting. There’s cows sheep, sheepdogs and pigs. It had a really nice country feel which I instantly fell in love with.
I came home and spoke to my boyfriend and it had loads of potential, if I didn’t snap it up someone else would’ve. It was slightly crazy setting up a new business during a pandemic but it was worth it!”
Devon Cookery School managed to open for a short period of time in November and December 2020, but paused when England re-entered its third lockdown. In May 2021 they re-opened and have since been going from strength to strength.
Today the school offers a fun, relaxed, informative cooking experience in a gorgeous countryside setting. With classes catering to a variety of experience levels and tastes. Covering everything from Mexican Street Food, Pastry, Japanese, Fish Filleting, Bread Making plus much more!
Jazzi describes a typical day at Devon Cookery School:
“We start the day with a coffee and talk about the day and the running plan. People are usually hungry by 10:30 so we have a little break and Pain au chocolate.
We might take time to go and see the animals which is a little walk away or have a wonder to see if we need herbs from the herb garden. It’s really rustic and our motto is ‘doing not demo’ which you see a lot of other cookery schools spending half the day demoing and then the class making, we’re different as we’re very hands-on.”
In 2022 a major achievement for the small business was to expand industry awareness of their brand by part-taking in local fairs and food festivals. In September Jazzi and the Devon Cookery School attended Foodies Festival in Exeter. Jazzi took the stage and did a delicious demo of how to make ‘Molotes’ which you can find on the Devon Cookery School blog!
When reflecting on building her small business over the past two years Jazzi said;
“If one thing has come from the pandemic, it’s got to be a realisation that a slow life can be a good life. The inability to access so much of what we used to love doing, for long periods of time, meant we turned to new ways of entertaining ourselves.
Being located on a sustainable farm, and really enjoying the slow, creative ‘screen-free’ process of home cooking, we absolutely advocate for keeping hold of some of the ‘slow living’ we’ve all had to adapt to in the past two years.”
So if you are looking for a few hours to slow down, enjoy beautiful scenery, and cook some delicious food, why not head over to The Devon Cookery School and book yourself in for their next course!