CELEBRITY chef Sophie Grigson has come a long way since she made fudge in a teaspoon over a mini cooker as a student of Oxford High School.

But she still believes cookery should be fun, and that's the guiding principle of her latest venture — a pop-up cookery school which she runs with business partner Emma Collen.

She said: "It was an idea I had been nursing for a long time. I love teaching and one day I bumped into Emma in Summertown. I had met her at the Italian cookery school La Cucina Caldesi in London, where I teach, and I thought she was the perfect person to do this with me."

The only stumbling block was the cost of permanent premises, but she has found 'pop-up' space at Will's Deli in Woodstock Road and other venues. Ms Grigson said: "We don't have high overheads, which means we can keep our prices down. It means we can afford to make mistakes."

They both have other jobs, with Ms Grigson working part-time for Cook in Summertown as well as continuing her media career, while Ms Collen works at D'Overbroecks college.

They are experimenting with new venues, and are also in demand for corporate events and private cookery parties.

Ms Grigson added: "We can go anywhere, that's the beauty of it, as long as there is work space and running water. We can bring gas rings and even an oven if we need to, plus all the cookery equipment.

“People don't know each other to begin with, but by the time you sit down to eat, everyone is friends."