Alison Swan Parente founded The School of Artisan Food in 2009 when she realised she couldn't find any good artisan bakers for the bakery she had set up.
“My background - working with challenging adolescents - led me to believe that everyone has the potential to contribute to society, however unpromising a start they have. Showing people the magic of transforming flour and water into bread, milk and rennet into cheese and curing raw meats to become charcuterie was where we started. This soon widened out into an interest in the whole food system and how basic it is to our culture, health and economic life."
"The School of Artisan Food is a small beacon of good practice in education about healthy, sustainable food. Our students are not only eminently employable, but also take into the workplace fine skills, a great work ethic, environmental awareness and open, entrepreneurial minds."
"My greatest pleasure is to see students of all ages from all walks of life producing delicious food in a thoughtful way. They leave SAF with the confidence to develop new products and sometimes to start their own new businesses."
In 2018, Alison will appear in a brand new BBC Two series, Top of the Shop, to find Britain’s best artisan food producers. Hosted by two-Michelin starred chef and presenter Tom Kerridge, the programme will showcase the wares of up and coming amateur food producers. Judging alongside food writer and restaurateur Nisha Katona, Alison will examine products from categories including home brewing, charcuterie, chutneys and preserves, cheese and chocolate.