Meet the team

Claire Peeters  – Chief Executive

Claire brings over 15 years’ experience in food charity management to her new role at Food Connections. 

Having spent eight years developing community cooking and growing projects for Ecoworks in Nottingham, Claire has most recently been with Bristol’s own Sustainable Food Trust as their Head of Operations and Development – a role she retains on a part time basis.

A keen allotmenteer and container grower in her small concrete front garden, Claire believes ardently in the power of growing food, cooking and eating together as the ultimate recipe for individual and community wellbeing.  

Gemma Thorogood – Creative Development

With a career in event management spanning over 10 years, Gemma has developed food and wellbeing areas for well loved festivals such as Bestival and Camp Bestival, Shambala, Port Eliot Festival and the recent Wild & Well festival. She is passionate about viewing these spaces as platforms to entertain, educate and inspire people to think more about what they eat.  

She was the Community Events Producer for Bristol Food Connections from 2014-16, working across the city to incite change in the way people look at food and explore some of the challenges around eating well. Now driving the Creative Development team alongside Lorna Knapman, Gemma continues to feel inspired by facilitators, foodies and survivalists challenging us to explore healthier lifestyles whilst taking responsibility for our own wellbeing.

Lorna Knapman – Creative Development

Lorna Knapman is a mum on a mission, and a believer in the power of good things. She is currently creative developer for Bristol Food Connections, development consultant for Bristol Farmers’ & Producers’ Market and Bristol Fruit Market, as well as organising Love Food Festival and the hugely popular St Nicks’ Night Market. Through Love Food Festival she has curated and delivered events for a wide range of clients including The BBC, BBC Introducing, 6 Music, Bristol City Council, Camp Bestival and the British Dal Fest!

Her passion for the land, seasonality, farming and food stems from having spent much of her life in farmhouse kitchens or hedgerows, and further strengthened by having worked in numerous kitchens and run her own food businesses. Lorna works to deliver unique, thought provoking events which come with great atmosphere and a community spirit.

Laura Humphreys – Event Partner Support

Laura has worked most of the jobs in the food industry, from barista to bartender, restaurant manager to head chef. With a career in hospitality spanning over 20 years including event management and digital marketing, she brings a wide range of experience to Bristol Food Connections. She is passionate about reducing food waste in the restaurant and catering industry and inspired to discover better ways to reduce and reuse.

Katrin Deeg – Event Production and Programming

Katrin’s interest in the ever-changing, complex world of food comes from her work with local food aid in the Pacific NW of the United States, community urban gardening in Madrid, and her French & German family who taught her that butter has a place at every meal. Katrin has worked with Bristol Food Connections since 2016. When she’s not in the Food Connections office, you can find her providing support to various event projects, studying towards her massage certification, hiking, cycling and dancing. 

Lottie Storey – Communication and Marketing 

Lottie is the sort of person who reads cookery books in bed. Her career in food stretches back to the early days of the internet, when she wrote for the BBC Food website in 2002. Since then, she’s worked in marketing for arts organisations, co-wrote a book, established a lifestyle blog, and manages her successful career as a freelance journalist, editor and host of the Body Cons podcast

Emma Heesom – Public Relations

Emma Heesom has been a PR and Campaign Manager for 20 years and has worked extensively across food, environmental and community charities and organisations. She was part of the team who campaigned for Smoke Free legislation in the UK, worked on the School Food Trust campaign, set up after Jamie Oliver’s Turkey Twizzler expose and now works with several Bristol charities including City to Sea, Soil Association and Bristol Food Connections.

Passionate about good food, protecting our soils and seas for future generations Emma can often be found doing a 5 minute beach clean in Cornwall where recently moved to.

Nancy Wilkinson – Communications and Administration

Nancy is the newest member to the Bristol Food Connections team, after moving from her hometown, Norwich, in January 2019. In her previous role, Nancy worked with a charity focussed on social development and created a cookery course to bring communities together, improve health and wellbeing, and increase overall resilience in one of the poorest boroughs of London. She see’s food as a gateway to happiness, health, and development, and is particularly interested in the role that food has to play in building an environmentally sustainable future.

Nancy is very excited to explore the city through food, and is currently working on a map detailing the recommendations she has received from her team. Always accepting new additions, she is a huge fan of big fresh salads, sharing food tapas style, and anything to do with bread.

Sophie Trecourt – Event Production

Sophie has been working in the hospitality industry as far as she can remember and her favourite part has always been about hanging out in the kitchens. Massive foodie with a love for people and unique venues so no wonder she ended up in the events world. You can also find her promoting the incredible independent food scene for Bristol by foot or by bike on her guided tours organised by The Bristol Food Tour.

Bringing people and good food together