I don’t want to dazzle you with science,” Emily Watkins told us, “by demonstrating some of the more complicated vegetarian dishes on our menu, because I’d rather you learnt something you can actually go home and cook for yourself.”

This was the third of a series of cookery classes which famous chef Emily Watkins is running as part of the Kingham Plough’s 10th anniversary celebrations, game featuring last time. Finishing with a vegetarian offering was timely scheduling, coinciding as it did with National Vegetarian Week

But as Emily points out, more and more people are choosing vegetarian food either permanently or with increasing frequency by eating less meat.

We were a mixed group who had come from far and wide to watch her cook first hand. At £35 per place, including lunch, it was an absolute bargain of a cookery course and we were in for a treat because the menu was certainly inventive. I certainly hadn’t encountered any of the dishes previously. No stereotypes here thankfully and as seasonal and local as ever.

To give you an idea, the menu consisted of courgette spaghetti with a wild garlic and herb pesto made with preserved lemon and pumpkin seeds. Emily used a spiralizer to concoct the dish, and admitted that while at first she had written the new gadget off as being faddish, she is now addicted.

She made the pesto with handpicked local wild garlic, telling us exactly where to find each patch in the local woods, which she served with courgette and garlic flowers, chatting as she cooked, and then serving us each a little bowl for us each to try, which was divine.

Don’t expect a grand kitchen though, perched as we were rather awkwardly at the end of the dining room, crammed around her and her kitchen paraphernalia, where she still managed to produce some really inspiring food.

Then a heritage tomato and pinhead oatmeal risotto, which was really interesting and emerged as a small and nutty variation with a good bite.

The sauce is best when you have a glut of tomatoes, but Emily gives you options for other flavours, as well how to mould any leftovers into arancini for deep frying.

The risotto was a class favourite, and the depth of flavour from the tomatoes was quite something.

Then roast beetroot and thyme toad-in-the-hole with Windrush goats cheese or horseradish cream. You can use celeriac or carrots otherwise and it tasted heavenly. Really novel and a wonderful range of textures.

In a more healthy vein, a warm purple sprouting broccoli with orzo, pickled walnuts and blue cheese salad finished with broccoli flowers (who knew?). Orzo is a rice shaped pasta perfectly suited to the vinaigrette dressed combination of seasonal ingredients.

And then to conclude, mushroom eggy bread, which was quite delicious, made with brioche dipped in mushroom custard and served with sautéed field mushrooms and a poached gg.

All the while we made notes, watching in awe at how easy she made it look, sampling the results with glee. It was also fascinating to witness how Emily’s mind works, how she concocts things and matches the components so effortlessly, while talking us through her vegetarian challenges and what she puts on the menu, mentioning a particularly complicated hay-baked celeriac dish. She inspired us to diversify, take risks, challenge yourself, try something different and experiment.

There is a recipe book on the way for her fans, hopefully it’s with the publishers at the moment, and if so I’ll be at the front of the bookshop queue.

After such a wonderful morning, hilariously, it was lunch. A light bite I might add with some relief. Some beautiful croquettes stuffed with the additional ingredients of a steak tartare – the gherkins, capers, herbs – all served with asparagus and hollandaise. And then a baked Alaska of such epic proportions, such a lightness of touch, such simple but dazzling flavours of rhubarb and ginger, that we were all stunned into submission, silently thanking the culinary gods for our feast. Amen