One of the best aspects of my job (and there are many) is the fact that I get to work with the graduates from the Jamie Oliver Fifteen apprentice programme. I am one of the lucky ones here in the office as I have been present at every graduation of each group of apprentices since Jamie opened Fifteen in 2002. I now work with the graduates helping them on many levels including professional development and also with social media strategies.
So it was with great pleasure that I asked 2005 graduate Joe Gray to accompany me to take part in the Taste Great Southern Food and Wine Festival in Denmark, Western Australia. Running for a whole month, the festival celebrates the best that the region has to offer in terms of food and wine producers. Joe and I were asked to run one of our pop up supper clubs to raise money for the Fifteen London Outreach Programme. The Outreach Programme provides graduates with the opportunity to go out into the community and teach cooking skills to vulnerable groups of people.
It was great to be back in Australia and to experience that good old fashioned Aussie warmth - both from the sun and the people. Eighty people booked for our pop up supper club and we raised a substantial amount of money for the apprentice programme. Joe and I showcased some of the finest produce from the region including honey comb ice cream for dessert that was donated by the lovely people at Bartholomew's Meadery and the freshest herbs and veg donated by Andrew and Jocelyn Bathgate from their farm. We held the Supper Club at Castelli Winery and the Castelli family were so generous as they donated all of the wine for the event from their estate.
During the day Joe and I were taken on a tour of the region tasting and experiencing all that this beautiful part of Australia has to offer. I have always believed in the magic that happens at Fifteen and I felt so proud that I was able to take some of it back with me to my home country and to run the fundraising dinner. Thanks to everyone for your support, Joe and I are looking forward to seeing you all in Denmark next year. Check out my Food Tube video on our foodie adventure of the region:
Thank you to everyone for supporting us:
For more information on the Fifteen Apprentice Programme.