How it all began.

Venetia Cameron-Rose and Tricia Samways started the Company in 1997 to teach the basics of cookery - and beyond. This was in response to a plea from friends whose children had not been taught to cook at school - and who had spent an enormous amount of money on buying ready made food during their first term self-catering at University! Sounds like a familiar story?

Venetia's love of cooking and professional experience began in 1975 when she completed a Cookery Diploma Course in London. She used her new found skills to provide directors' lunches in the City of London and St.James for the next three years.

Having two children forced a break and she returned to cooking in 1985, working for a well known London based company 'By Word of Mouth'.

She branched out with her own catering business, 'Pumpkins' in 1987, continuing with servicing Directors' Dining Rooms and Corporate functions in the City, working from her London home. She has also spent time running a chalet in Val d'Isere.

Her main interests are Canapes, Starters and Puddings. She loves trying new recipes and ideas and has an especial flair for presentation and garnishes.
Tricia's career in catering began with an HCIMA Hotel Management and Catering Diploma Course at Weston-Super-Mare in 1972, gaining credits in City and Guilds Food Preparation and Food Service along the way.

She worked in York and London with Centre Hotels 'front of house' and also at Taunton's own Castle Hotel before taking a break to raise a family. An Outside Catering Business, started in partnership in 1986, catered for local functions- often with very high profile clients and celebrities.

Tricia is an Advanced Food Hygienist - the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene Diploma in Food Hygiene and Safety (Honours) - and an Authorised Tutor for the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health's 'Level 2 Award in Food safety in Catering' on a freelance basis. She has had her own 'Centre' for examinations since 1991.

In 1994 she achieved a Certificate in Education with the University of Plymouth and gained the NVQ Assessors' Awards - D32/D33

She was also admitted as a Full Member of the Hotel and Catering International Management Association in 2002 (MHCIMA) now renamed the Institute of Hospitality (MIH).
A change of lifestyle saw Venetia's family move to Devon in 1997 and Venetia and Tricia were introduced by mutual family friends. The rest, as they say, is history!

Tricia and Venetia are delighted to be able to pass on their vast wealth of experience and knowledge to new classes of young (and not so young!) would-be self-catering gourmets and conduct their classes with enthusiasm and panache.

In the busy months two houses are up and running (usually 8 students per venue) and Venetia and Tricia are ably supported by a well trained team of cook-helpers.

Courses for 16 - 24 year olds

CookAbility Food Pictures