The first few weeks of the New Year have flown by, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day and time is running out for JF to get in his training for the charity trek to Nepal with Springboard which is only a couple of weeks away.

We all know how much Martini chef likes to escape out of his development kitchen to learn new skills and techniques but his latest adventure was really nothing short of a “Taste of the Wild”.

Natalie from I.O.Shen knives had literally been cooking up a real treat with Nick Weston from “Hunter Gather Cook”. Nick teaches the craft of foraging, living off the land and wild camping – he’s done it all for real! Who else do you know that has built a tree house in a wood and lived off the land for six months?

In 2008, Nick was selected for the position of Survival Expert for the Channel 4 Series ‘Shipwrecked’ and spent 3 months living in the Cook islands teaching fellow islanders everything from making fire from scratch to building shelters and hunting & gathering for food. He now runs foraging & game cookery courses to suit everyone from a stag or hen party (no pun intended!) to a group like today of professional chefs brought together on a development day by I.O.Shen knives.

JF and the rest of the group including chef lecturer Rob Allsworth from East Kent College foraged in the forest near Lewes in Sussex, surprisingly there was an abundance of plant life on offer despite it being February. Next came the outdoor butchery class, there’s something real caveman like about preparing meat outside. The whole group loved getting stuck in and soon the fires were roaring, pans bubbling and wonderful aromas wafting through the trees.

Nick teaches his students to work with nature, respect it, enjoy it and nurture it making sure only what’s needed it taken from the land. It was an inspirational day of learning new skills – out of the comfort zone without the use of high tech equipment or familiar stainless steel fabricated surroundings.

The days was not only working with nature and wild surroundings but also connecting with the people around you and drawing from each other’s strengths, working together to achieve a goal. Getting back to grass roots and working as a team doesn’t get much tighter than this inspirational day, where the students learn as much about themselves as the new skills they are taught. JF finished the day buzzing and hungry for more – ready for the next culinary adventure!

I.O.Shen’s amazing range of beautifully crafted knives are available here.

Get in touch with Nick Weston at “Hunter Gather and Cook” to book your outdoor experience day in his tree house.Images by Richard Budd photography screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-21-35-27