Adapt and survive in the face of a crisis – Elizabeth’s cookery skills go online

Yum yum! Fawcett boys, Bailey Harry and Zac, tuck in to their home-made supper.

By Betsy Everett

Less than a month after realising her life-long dream of opening a small cookery school in the Dales, Elizabeth Fawcett, like so many small businesses, has had to close her doors for the foreseeable future.

But with her positive outlook and refusal to be beaten she is exploiting a new and unexpected talent.

Here is Elizabeth’s uplifting story in her own words.

“At the end of February this year, I realised a long-held dream and started a cookery school in the picturesque market town of Hawes, North Yorkshire, investing in a bespoke purpose-built kitchen facility of which I was immensely proud. (

“Sadly, just three weeks later, I was unable to trade because of the coronavirus.  The set-up was a major investment for me. I used all my savings and took out two loans, confident I could succeed in this exciting new venture.

“Being a new business, I was was waiting for Richmondshire District Council to come to assess my rates. I realise that I am unlikely to qualify for any of the grants announced to date.

“I had a few minutes of self pity and a private rant: who wouldn’t? Who hasn’t? There are so many others suffering terrible losses, not just of precious businesses and livelihoods, but of life itself.

“However, I am an optimist, so I set to work thinking of ways to make a living as best I can in my beautiful kitchen.

“I started a home-cooked ready meal service delivered to the door in the locality (which I am still doing – menu attached) but I also decided to take the bull by the horns and devise some “Let’s Cook Together” online cookery classes. These are particularly aimed at keeping the children amused while school is closed, and giving them some family-friendly activity, too.

“I did the first one at 5pm on Monday so they could make the supper and the next morning I was stopped in town by a dad whose boys had cooked along with me, and made the supper last night.

“They were so excited to have a Joe Wicks work-out in the morning and then cooking with me at teatime. They made a delicious family meal.”

You can follow Elizabeth’s daily demos at around 5pm on her Facebook page. Follow the link
And here’s a video she made earlier.

Fawcett boys honing their skills in time for supper.