Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall leads tributes to young chef

River Cottage team left devastated by the loss of a friend and colleague with a passison for “real” food

RIVER Cottage star Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall this week led tributes to his “bright and passionate” young Axminster chef, Philippa “Pip” Corbin, whose sudden death has shocked the town.

The 27-year-old died at the Uplyme home of her parents, Hugh and Pam Corbin, on January 21.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Colleagues at Axminster’s River Cottage Canteen, where she worked for several years, were left reeling from the devastating news.

Now Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall has spoken of their great loss.

He said: “Everybody at River Cottage loved working with Pip – she was a very bright spark with a real passion for locally produced, ethical, artisan food. Her knowledge and talent were respected not only by her colleagues here, but, through her work at our festivals and with the Slow Food movement, by the whole West Country food community. She will be greatly missed by us all. Our special thoughts and prayers are with her parents, Hugh and Pam, her sister Maddy and her partner Owen.’

Most Read

Tributes have also been paid by Philippa’s former Woodroffe school teacher Jim Thomas, the Head of Sixth Form, who taught her A Level geography.

He said:: “She was a delightful young lady. She was hard working, caring, she had a good group of friends who she kept in touch with.

“Everybody is devastated for her family and for her friends.

“All we can do is pray for them and wish them the best. They are going to need a lot of support to get over this and we really are devastated by the news.

“All we can do is send our love to the family and to her group of friends.

“All the staff who taught her had the same feeling as to what a lovely girl she was. She was a pleasure to teach.

“She was somebody who always gave her best to everything she did.”