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ABOUT FAT HEN & CAROLINE DAVEY | back

Fat Hen was the culmination of years of internal ruminations that united my two great loves, Food and Nature. This union had no form for many years but gradually became a concept which finally became a reality in 2007, when Fat Hen was born.

Fat Hen is a celebration of wild food and cooking and a coming together of people to enjoy the outdoors, to create fabulous food from nature's humble ingredients and to eat together in great company.
 
Caroline Davey - Foraging
Fat Hen
Fat HenCaroline Davey
I have been interested in food for as long as I can remember and thank my mother, one of a long line of traditional Welsh home cooks, for handing down her love of food, cooking and entertaining. Food has always been a central theme in our family growing up, and now, in my own family, it is the rhythm of our lives.

Alongside my love of good food I have had a lifelong interest in the natural world. I spent a colourful and idyllic childhood living in the Far East, Africa and England and experienced the beauty of Nature in all its glory and diversity.

My first wild food experience was as a 7 year old in Kashmir. Mr Marvellous, the flower seller, took me out on his boat in the early morning mist to eat the seeds of the lotus plant. It was a wonderful and mystical experience that has stayed with me to this day. I was a child of the '70s and spent many a day picking blackberries, puffballs and sweet chestnuts in Somerset and Wales and as an adult have been fascinated by wildlife and wild food for many years.

After gaining my BSc. in Zoology and MSc. in Environmental Impact Assessment I had a career as an Ecological Consultant for 12 years, 11 of those in Cornwall at CEC Ltd. (www.cecenivironment.co.uk) This career took me to all of Cornwall's semi-wild landscapes to record and document habitats and species. I honed my plant identification skills during this time and developed a deeper understanding of the impacts of farming and development on our natural ecosystems. I spent over a decade advising land owners and developers on wildlife conservation issues.
Fat Hen
Fat Hen
Although I loved my job I began to feel it was missing a vital element. I wanted an interactive and deeper relationship with nature than merely being a recorder of it. I didn't just want to know what these plants were and if they were rare or not, I wanted to know what they meant to us and what they could be useful for.

So, I took the plunge and set up Fat Hen. For the first 12 months I supplied restaurants with wild food but after seeing all the seasons through, on my hands and knees, realised that I wanted to be with other people enjoying it together. I set up the courses in 2008 and gave up my position as an Ecological Consultant in 2009 to focus solely on Fat Hen.

I have found that I now have a much deeper relationship with the natural world, its seasons, rhythms and places. I now feel intrinsically a part of the places I forage from and feel so energised by a life in meaningful contact with nature. The result of this is that I am a much better botanist for not studying botany but for living with the plants by using them for my table and for my medicine.
 The Davey Family - Caroline, Jed, Frank and Ella
Fat Hen
Fat Hen
Fat Hen
Fat Hen

Location & Contact : Fat Hen, Gwenmenhir, Boscawen-noon Farm, St Buryan, Penzance, Cornwall TR19 6EH | Tel. 01736 810156 | caroline@fathen.org