Ten years ago a food loving couple set up Manna from Devon Cooking School in Kingswear, South Devon. At that time, David and Holly Jones had no idea that it would become the country’s leading place to learn to cook on a wood fired oven, as well as hugely popular for its other courses.
This much loved cooking school is now at the heart of the current trend for creating outstandingly good food outdoors.
Commenting on their success over the last decade, co-owner David Jones says: “We’ve enjoyed every moment of it, from creating new recipes to share with others who have the same passion for cooking, to meeting both enthusiasts and professional chefs from all over the country. We couldn’t have predicted the rapid growth in the trend to cook with a wood fired oven, as well as on other outdoor cooking implements, but we’re delighted that we’ve been a part of it.”
Holly adds: “Highlights over the last ten years have been having our first cookbook published, being highly praised by a number of leading food journalists and chefs who we have always admired, and being an integral part of Dartmouth Food Festival.” David was chairman of this impressive celebration of food and drink for six years before handing over the helm at the end of last year. The pair will continue to run the Manna from Devon workshops, which have always had a great level of interest and attendees at the food festival.
So, what will the next ten years hold for this dynamic duo? In addition to extending the outdoor cooking offering to include cooking on Big Green Eggs and similar, David and Holly hope to help women gain more confidence in the previously fairly male dominated wood fired oven and barbecue cooking arena. Having recently completed their revamped outdoor cooking tree house, Holly and David’s outdoor cooking courses will run year round.
David and Holly are embarking on a new Kitchen Garden for 2016, just up the road from the cooking school at Fountain Violet Farm. Overlooking the glorious Start Bay, the space will be used to teach a wide range of outdoor classes and will include an allotment, which will be used to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
The pair also plan to fit in some exploratory trips to keep their international courses, which currently include Spanish, Asian and Indian at the fore front of trends. David and Holly recently returned from a three-week trip around North America discovering the art of Southern barbeque, picking up tips and tricks from the Southern States’ pit masters.
After the amazing success of David and Holly’s week long cooking courses in Las Chimeneas in the Alpujarras, a region to the south of the Sierra Nevada, Spain, a third date has been secured and is now open for booking (1st – 8th October 2016). David and Holly will of course be continuing their bread making sessions, preparing and cooking with fish, European cooking, private lessons, pop up suppers and their wonderful cooking days at the quintessentially English Deer Park Country House Hotel.
Established in 2006, Manna from Devon Cooking School is run by Holly and David Jones who teach cooking skills to small groups in the relaxed environment of their Victorian home, positioned in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Kingswear, South Devon. The stylishly decorated, homely kitchen and the outdoors’ decking overlook simply stunning views across the Dart estuary to Dartmouth. In addition to the main kitchen, there is a second kitchen that is in the style of a bakery. As always, Manna from Devon only use locally sourced ingredients, cooking recipes and dishes the owners have discovered during travels around Europe, Asia and America.
To book one of their wood fired courses please visit www.mannafromdevon.com, or call 01803 752943. To hear their latest news follow Manna from Devon on Twitter (@mannafromdevon) or link up with them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/mannafromdevon.