Our Lizzy Cookery School is ten years old this year. During this time I’ve seen many small businesses come and go. This makes me proud of my achievement. 2020 also marks the 30th anniversary of me becoming a vegan, I’d hoped to have a year of celebration but it hasn’t quite worked out that way! I thought I’d put a few words here sharing some of my story.
Dream to reality – ten years of Our Lizzy
After gaining my Cordon Vert Diploma at the Vegetarian Society, I became a cookery demonstrator, sharing recipes with groups and at festivals. I had many adventures with the sat nav in country villages, searching for Women’s Institute (WI) meetings in village halls. When people asked about classes I decided to combine my love of cooking with my passion for teaching and Our Lizzy came into being.
Growing up in the Midlands, the Malvern Hills had always been one of my special places, so it seemed right that this would be the place to start my new venture. A house was found that is a bit like a tardis, with a huge space for a teaching kitchen. After months of renovating it was an achievement to open the doors to my first customers in spring 2010. Regular supporters of my cookery demonstrations came, and it was lovely to welcome new faces.
The autumn and winter courses that year were really special. It was always my favourite style of cooking, for family and friends, so it was good to share the recipes with my customers. It was so exciting the following spring to discover wild garlic in the garden and to explore using it in cooking. It’s one of my favourite ingredients now! Having a kitchen rather than just a hob meant I could have a baking course. It was and still is a delight to bake with others and share a homemade vegan cream tea on a warm summer’s day!
I now offer a wide variety of courses, and it is a privilege to inspire others to cook. Since my childhood, there has been a huge increase in packaged ready meals and the availability of take away food. However there is nothing more rewarding than cooking a simple meal to feed yourself or creating food for family and friends to share.
In recent years it has been interesting to see a rise in people choosing to eat vegan. Naturally, all my food is vegan, but courses are open to all. The food I cook can be enjoyed by anyone. It’s cookery with a difference, and by cooking and eating my recipes people can make a difference for animals, the environment, and their health.