But who is Rav and what is Damson Jelly?!
Rav here! I'm a pastry chef, author of two books, regular recipe writer for The Guardian and The Telegraph and now I do a bit of TV. Like, most recently I became the new judge on Channel 4's Junior Bake Off. WILD right?!
Anyway, I'm here to tell you up straight: I wasted too much time being fearful in the kitchen and thinking I had to be super rigid in my works in order to produce nice things. I was like, "Right, if this works exactly like this, then I can't possibly try anything differently just in case I mess up." Well let me tell you, you can TOTALLY do that. Adding your own flair and personality to food and pastry is a skill that I want to impart to you through the courses at DJA.
I trained professionally as a pastry chef at a culinary school and left before the last term because I needed to go and earn some money...! I plunged myself into kitchen after kitchen and immersed myself into the life of being a chef. I met incredible people along the way who helped to build my skills and knowledge in a practical way and taught me things I would never have known had I not worked in kitchens.
I learnt the beauty of working with seasonal ingredients and developed my own way of cooking, baking and teaching any young budding pastry chef that wanted to learn; by foregoing the restrictive teachings and plunging them straight into the useful stuff.
Over 9 years later and I've worked on restaurant opening teams, taught in person pastry classes and run pop ups all over London which famously led to queues around the block in the pouring rain and sold out signs within the first 2 hours of opening the doors.
I love cooking and baking, through these courses I will break down those barriers and open your eyes to the knowledge and skills you need to be more confident in the kitchen. As well as this I'm giving a course back to a kid in a school for every beginners course we sell, eventually DJA will set up a fund for ingredient and equipment packs to be sent out to schools too. It's important that we all grow together!
Part of the DJA team; Mattie Taiano
Mattie Taiano is a chef with over 12 years of restaurant experience in both New York and London. He started to teach me formally on my days off, helping me to get really comfortable cooking joints of meat, working seasonally, and understanding how to adapt my skills to what was available.
I can't express how much having this instruction and input has helped me. Overcoming something that once seemed daunting and gaining a sense of mastery and confidence and excitement is a great feeling. This is exactly why I want to pass this on to you. Working together with Mattie, we have designed a beginners level savoury course that will teach you all of the fundamentals. We're swapping fear for confidence and flexibility, teaching you how to adapt recipes according to what you have, and helping you to become a more instinctive and self-assured cook that can trust their own judgement as opposed to being confined by recipes and overly concerned with following rules.
Cooking is a freedom, let’s keep it that way.
Damson Jelly Academy video tutorials
Each 4-week course is a mixture of theory sheets, recipes, practical exercises and video tutorials, focusing on respect for produce, understanding of seasonality and practical, real- life skill learning and application. Our beginners courses are suitable for ages 13 and up, throughout the year we will be releasing more advanced modules aimed at aspiring professionals and highly competent home cooks, there are both savoury and sweet programs at each level. Expect additional specialist modules covering butchery, chocolate-making and more. Each beginners course is taught by Ravneet herself and the future includes videos by down-to-earth expert chefs who know the importance of guidance, insight and freedom.
Ravneet believes that cooking should be inclusive, approachable and most importantly FUN. DAMSON JELLY ACADEMY is the confidence boost you need in the kitchen – and beyond.
Ravneet Gill's Published Cook Books
For every basic sweet baking or savoury cooking course sold we gift one to a kid who wants to learn - for free! To find out more about eligibility and to apply head over to this page and find out more.