Charity & Fundraising
The School of Artisan Food is an award-winning charity dedicated to inspiring and teaching people from all walks of life about healthy and sustainable food.
Our mission is to develop skills at all levels. From our flagship Advanced Diploma in Baking, to our Foundation Degree in Artisan Food Production (delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University), to our acclaimed short courses, the School caters to everyone, from the complete beginner to the seasoned professional. We also partner with other organisations to deliver charitable projects, and hold acclaimed public events focused on nutrition, the food system and sustainability. Here, you can learn to transform the best simple ingredients into remarkably good food, and to extend its value into your community.
The School of Artisan Food is a registered charity whose aim is to teach artisan food skills to as wide a group of people as possible. Learning the skills that can transform raw ingredients into delicious, nutritious and accessible food paves the way for enjoyment, social inclusion and employability.
We are committed to the widest possible access to the School. We do this by fundraising for bursaries for the Advanced Diploma in Artisan Bakery and some shorter courses, and by partnering with Nottingham Trent University to deliver a Foundation Degree in Artisan Food. We strive to embed our commitment to equal opportunities into all our activities. Our charitable work ranges from helping schools to implement creative and realistic healthy eating policies, to our partnership with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum. At present, for example, we are in the process of creating recipe sheets and videos for Bassetlaw Food Bank.
From its foundation, the School has aimed to foster an awareness of current issues in the food world. We have always been proud of our independence, which gives us the freedom to explore the context in which we are teaching about good food. We are looking forward to re-establishing our popular annual Food for Thought conference, a forum for open discussion about many different aspects of the food system. Innovative work ranges from therapeutic and mindful baking classes to online instruction in how to start a micro-bakery.
We are acutely aware of the climate emergency and the effect that this is having, and will have on all of us. We try to be as careful as possible to behave sustainably and to teach about the value of reducing waste, avoiding single-use plastics, conserving energy, sourcing locally, and reducing our carbon footprint. Our interest in the health of ecosystems leads us to try to learn more about soil health, biodiversity, agroecology and regenerative farming methods. Our interest in human health leads us to try to learn more about the central part played by what we eat in our cultural, physical, emotional and economic life.
We aim to teach traditional, small production methods which can be scaled up with integrity. Students learn how tastes and processes (such as fermentation) can be allowed to develop slowly and naturally, rather than curtailed for mass-production. Industrial food production, centred as it is on standardisation and shelf life, can sometimes necessitate processes that have consequences that range from long supply chains to harmful additives. We teach students to understand and respect the raw materials with which they work, and to know where these materials come from and what impact they have on health and the environment. We encourage students to perfect their craft and to gain an historical, experiential, intuitive and scientific understanding about what makes their work successful. In order to increase our students' employability we offer a wide range of classes in the business of artisan food.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted issues around inequality and food. How we are able to eat has been seen to have an impact on how we can cope with serious illness. Our interest in food and health has led us to be particularly interested in gut health and in the adverse effect that ultra-high processed food has on metabolic systems. We are working to address these issues by teaching people about good, enjoyable, affordable food.