Each year Nathan Outlaw runs a fantastic series of events called Master Classes, where he invites a guest chef, generally from out of the county, to come and cook in his kitchen for an evening of incredible food. Both chefs have an opportunity to show off their talents by creating tempting dishes for the guests to devour. Chefs who have taken part include Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth, Sat Bains and Glynn Purnell. The events are hosted by a non-chef, usually Daphne Skinnard from BBC Radio Cornwall: the guest chef and Nathan both have an opportunity to speak to the guests about their passion for food and their techniques and also to answer interview questions from the host.
The fantastic thing about the Master Classes is that they give Nathan and his staff the opportunity to see another chef working in their kitchen: they really get to see somebody else putting their own ideas into action and the guests also get to see the chefs sharing ideas and sharing techniques and sharing their experiences. It’s clearly beneficial to both sides: to the kitchen that’s hosting the event and also to the guest chef who is cooking in it.
It’s something that photographers really don’t seem to do and definitely something that I think that a lot of businesses could learn from. I know that it seems risky; inviting the competition into your business, but there’s definitely something to be gained from seeing somebody else’s approaches and way of working. Obviously, for Nathan and his guest chefs, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages; as demonstrated by the fact that he often invites chefs back to repeat the experience and that a number of previous guest chefs have made an appearance in the audience! I’d be a bit wary of inviting other photographers in to see me work, but it’s definitely a tempting thought when I see the creative mixing pot you get when Nathan works with other chefs. Perhaps some food for thought!
You can read about the Master Classes from the ‘Outlaw’ perspective over on their blog: it’s clear to see that the entire team is full of enthusiasm for what their guest chefs are cooking and also for the whole Master Classes experience. You can keep an eye out for when his next Master Classes are happening here.