Events company Rogue Village launches online workshops with GBBO star Flora Shedden

Rogue Village are usually responsible for al fresco events, but now they’re bringing their brand indoors.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Portrait of Flora Shedden
Portrait of Flora Shedden

In common with most other events businesses, North Berwick based company, Rogue Village, has spent most of 2020 crossing things out of their diary.

On a normal year, their regular happenings include East Lothian’s popular Canteen Street Food Festival and Hobo Cinema.

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However, to keep the company going, owners Jenny and Peter Maniam have thought laterally, and are launching The Village School later this month (29 October).

Portrait of Jessica Elliott Dennison

This platform will capitalise on the rise of crafting, and the fact we’re all stuck at home, by offering professionally shot online pre-recorded workshops and masterclasses.

“Through our events we work with so many amazing independent artists from a range of backgrounds who, like us, found themselves struggling to work, “ says Peter. “We were keen to develop something that could help both us and others develop some long-term stability, as well as showcasing a rich breadth of independent British talent. We know the public are keener than ever to support local and independent businesses – we hope that we’re providing a really valuable way to do exactly that”.

Their mentors will include Great British Bake Off 2015 runner up and owner of ARAN bakery, Flora Shedden, Pyrus Botanicals and author Jessica Elliott Dennison (of Edinburgh’s 27 Elliot’s), who will be demonstrating pickling and fermenting.

We spoke to Shedden, below.

What will you be teaching at The Village School?

A course on sweet tartlets, including hints, tips and ideas for your own patisserie. I’ve always loved teaching and passing on skills (particularly in a workshop style). In the current circumstances, but also for those who live more rurally, online courses are the perfect option.

Which of the other workshops would you like to try?

The Pyrus course.

What was the filming like?

Remarkably enjoyable. I’ve shied away from the camera for three or four years now as it isn't something I’m very natural at (I much prefer being behind a camera) but I said yes as I loved the concept and idea of skill sharing.

What have you been up to and how is the bakery surviving?

My partner and myself spent lockdown at my parents’ house with my two sisters, our puppy and the family dog. It was a shock at first but we quickly found the change of pace enjoyable, as we’ve both spent the last three years being constantly busy. I also loved getting back into cooking for more than two people.

Since we reopened the bakery we have been, thankfully, very busy. We are now only open fours days a week and this has been a great change. We have a full day to prep, then four days trading. Everyone also has two days off a week, which is heaven. Before, we felt a big pressure to open as much as possible (prior to lockdown we were open six days a week) and it was exhausting. I worked seven days as our one day closed was the only chance I got to catch up. Hopefully some good can come from this.

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