Pershore Patty meets Alice Robertson, owner at Alice Through The Year to ask a few personal questions and for a general nose…
Tell me a little bit about how you came to own or work in your business.
I grew up helping my Dad in the kitchen, he is a brilliant cook, and he started to teach me from knee high. We would gather in fruit and veggies from the garden and take them back to the kitchen to cook up something delicious. Fresh, seasonal food has always been my passion and I knew I wanted this to be my career. After leaving catering collage I started to write a seasonal cookery blog, I would write a recipe every week championing whatever was in season at the time. After working in the food industry for over ten years, I decided to venture into teaching. I started running cookery workshops at the weekend for friends and family, this escalated and became so busy that I left my job to start up “Alice Through The Year” full time.
What achievements, awards or accolades are you proud of?
I feel a huge sense of achievement at the end of every workshop, when the guests are sitting down to their creations, chatting about what they have learnt and what they are planning to re-create when they get home. I am just so pleased and honoured to be able to share my love for cooking with others and help them to re kindle that love for themselves. We live such crazy lives that cooking and eating can become a chore, it is my aim to help people enjoy spending time in the kitchen and most importantly enjoy what they are eating!
Any news announcements, or events that you’d like new and existing customers to be aware of?
I am launching evening classes starting in September, “Autumn Evenings.” These are all about enjoying the glory of Autumn, we will forage for blackberries and apples, then take them back to the kitchen and use them to make some delicious autumnal bakes!
It seems scandalous to mention it in July, but I have a choc ‘a block Christmas schedule, from “Christmas Canapes” to “Bake and Make Gingerbread Houses” there are a whole host of festive workshops heading your way starting in October, bookings open September.
What makes your business unique?
My workshops are the total opposite of a professional cookery school. There is no pressure to perform, no frightening ovens or un-achievable dishes. I welcome guests in to my cottage kitchen; we gather around the AGA and create dishes together. It is a chance to get together with friends and family, relax and have fun and of course enjoy some delicious food. Every recipe is achievable for anyone of any ability, these are dishes that you can and hopefully will make when you get back to your own kitchens.
Favourite restaurant to visit if you get a night off?
Sojo in Oxford, the best dim sum ever!
Last thing you watched on TV?
The Good Place – Absolutely brilliant, the perfect way to switch off from a mad day.
Which person in your life do you most admire and why?
My Mum. An absolute trooper, she spends all her life helping and saving (she was a doctor) others. She lives life to the full and doesn’t let anything stand in her way of making the best of things.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
An embroidered picture hoop for my brother in laws wedding, after cooking, sewing is my second love.
What’s your favourite smell in the whole world?
There are so many! At the moment my garden roses, they are just glorious.
What’s your favourite kind of sandwich?
Crab and cocktail sauce with marie rose sauce
Who would you want to cook your last meal on earth, and why?
Pasta with tomato sauce, my Dad always makes it for me. So simple, so delicious. It would definitely offer comfort during my last hours on earth!
What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
Buying pre made mashed potato
If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Pasta, tea (okay it’s not a food, but I would be lost without it), purple sprouting broccoli.
What’s your claim to fame?
I wrote Delia Smith a letter when I was 10 and she wrote back. I am her biggest fan!
Which food & drink business (other than your own) do you wish you had created?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Be Anxious for Nothing”
If you could be anywhere else right now, where would it be?
In Cornwall by the beach.
What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?
Cotswold Life wrote a feature of my business in there July issue.
Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson.
Cornish Tea – Smugglers Brew.
As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A TV chef.
What is the perfect combination of pizza toppings?
Caramelised red onions, goats cheese and Parma ham.
What was the worst job you ever held and why?
I wouldn’t like to say in case they read this….. 😉
Simon and Garfunkle.
What was the last thing you ate?
Butternut Squash, Spinach, Feta Filo Pie.
Favourite cut of steak?
Fillet. What else!
What website do you visit most often?
My own! To check it’s all working
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
Bake, make and construct gingerbread churches!
What do you hope never changes?
My love for my husband.
Any finally a question from those who are married to you…When are you coming home?
I’m waiting for you!