Future of food on the menu at Welbeck weekend

Leading experts, writers, nutritionists and cooks will gather for a series of public talks, demonstrations and debates about the future of food in Britain at the ‘Food for Thought’ event taking place over the weekend of May 13-14 at The School of Artisan Food.

Organised and hosted by the School of Artisan Food on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire, ‘Food for Thought’ is a two-day event looking at issues such as encouraging good food habits in children, sustainable diets, food as medicine, and the impact of social media on food culture.

Nicole Pisani, ex-chef at Ottolenghi restaurant Nopi, food writer and cook Felicity Cloake, and Prof Tim Spector, author of ‘The Diet Myth’ (see below for full list of speakers and subjects) will be among the ten speakers. They will give a series of talks on trends in food production and consumption, and examine how artisan producers and others committed to improved diet and food quality can help shape Britain’s food culture.

Felicity Cloake. Photo by Alastair Levy

Up to 160 people are expected to take their places for the talks and demonstrations at the School of Artisan Food, which is located in the old fire stables on the Welbeck estate, ancestral seat of the Dukes of Portland. Demonstrations will take place in the recently refurbished training rooms which are specially equipped for the teaching of breadmaking, cheesemaking, brewing, butchery, charcuterie and preserving.

Founder, Alison Parente MBE, will give the opening address and said: “We are thrilled to welcome such eminent and interesting speakers to the School of Artisan Food, the home of fermentation and non-industrial food skills in the heart of England.

Tim Spector

“The School is right on the button in the contemporary food scene. We are not talking about fads and fashion, but subjects that affect our environment, health and economy. It is a privilege to be able to listen to the leading voices in the field and to learn about subjects that range from the gut microbiome to starting your own microbakery.”

Arun Kapil, author of Fresh Spice and founder of Green. Picture: Clare Keogh

The School of Artisan Food is a not-for-profit organisation. It exists to teach all aspects of artisan food production (‘What is going on here at the School is of enormous importance.’ HRH The Prince of Wales). It offers an opportunity for people of all skill levels to expand their knowledge through a wide range of short courses and a ten-month, full-time, Advanced Diploma in Baking.

Food For Thought Schedule

Saturday May 13

‘Does is taste good? Farmhouse cheese and the moral value of flavour’.
Co-authors of the forthcoming book, Re-inventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the fight for Real Cheese.

‘The more interested the children are in food, the less likely they are to throw it under the table’.
Ex-chef at Ottolenghi restaurant Nopi, now chef at Gayhurst Primary School, East London, producing 500 school meals a day. Co-author of Magic Soup and the forthcoming Salt, Butter, Bones.

‘Magic in the soil: The biodynamics of wine’
Journalist and owner of le Cellier de l’Abbaye in Cluny, France for 25 years.

‘Sustainable diets: What food systems should deliver’
Professor of Food Policy at City University, author of many books including Food Wars and Sustainable Diets.

‘When two seasons become four: Transporting my subcontinent cooking to Britain’.
Food writer and broadcaster who grew up in Pakistan, author of Summers under the Tamarind Tree and Mountain Berries and Desert Spice.

Sunday May 14

‘Cora Millet-Robinet, unsung heroine of French cuisine bourgeoise, and her maison rustique des dames’.
Publisher of Prospect Books and editor of 2nd and 3rd editions of the Oxford Companion to Food. Publishes food newlsletter/journal Petits Propos Clinaires

‘Food as medicine: Diet myths and microbes’
Professor of genetic epidemiology and author of popular science books about twin studies as well as The Diet Myth.

‘Spice – the route to flavour, health and joyous eating’
Founder of award-winning company Green Saffron and author of the cookbook Fresh Spice.

‘Tweet first, eat later: The impact of social media on modern food culture’
Freelance journalist and author of the Guardian’s How to Make Perfect column and of four books.

‘How to start a ‘Small Food’ revolution’
Founder of the Small Food Bakery in Nottingham.


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