The Chefs

Rose SykesTrish HilfertyChris GillardGerard BakerKarl Goward Mike KeenDavid Cook

Ilia Makri

Ilia Makri

Ilia comes from Greece, a country where food, cooking and entertaining is rooted in everyday life.

Her love of food started at her family home were she would cook using old family recipes. She learnt the art of filo pastry baking from her grandmother during the long summer holidays. In 1992 Ilia moved to the UK to study Electronic Systems Engineering at Essex University completing a BEng and MSc before embarking on a successful computing career in the city of London.

In 2002 Ilia decided to change direction and follow her long standing love for cooking. She graduated with merit from the prestigious Leith's Cookery School in 2003. Since then she has worked in various roles ranging from Comi Chef to Chef in well known restaurants in London as well as providing catering services for private and corporate events.

Ilia teaches privately and at The Mersea Island Cookery School and has been a regular contributor to a number of food magazines in Greece.

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Rose Sykes

Rose has cooked in the kitchens of some of the U.K's most celebrated chefs, including Shaun Hill and Alastair Little. In 2001 to 2003 Rosie contributed regular features to the Guardian's Weekend magazine as the Kitchen Doctor. Her approach to food and cooking is simple and uncompromising and she is committed to making the best of local and seasonal ingredients. Rose has just had her first book published called The Kitchen Revolution: A Year of Time and money-Saving Recipes which has been critically acclaimed.

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Trish Hilferty

Chris Gillard

Born and brought up in Sydney in a family of food lovers, Trish began her cooking career in the mid-1980s working in various hotel bistros. After travelling and working along Australia's east coast, Trish moved to London. Here she switched sides, learning the restaurant trade from the front of house at Braganza. Trish returned to cooking, eventually ending up at the Brackenbury with Adam Robinson. After a time back home and further travelling, she returned to London to work at The Eagle, London's first gastropub. After two and a half years there and another sojourn in Sydney, she set up the Fox Dining Room in 2001, which scooped the prestigious 'Tio Pepe London Gastro Pub of the year' award in 2005.

She has contributed to Big Flavours & Rough Edges, and Real Pub Food. Trish has also written a book called Lobster and Chips, a unique collection of comfort dishes; more than 100 recipes that have travelled and translated across a vast range of countries and cultures - each one a celebration of a fantastic food partnership - fish and potato. A perfect gastronomic marriage. She also cooks at the award winning Anchor and Hope and Great Queen Street.

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Chris Gillard

Chris Gillard

Chris Gillard is head chef of St.John restaurant in London’s Smithfield, where he has worked for the past eight years. Founded by Chef Fergus Henderson, the restaurant is famous for it’s philosophy of ’nose to tail’ dining. The menu at St.John takes its lead from the seasons and follows a broadly English repertoire. The emphasis is in taking the finest produce and treating it simply.

Chris is responsible for the twice daily changing menu at St.John, and for the development of new dishes. Although famed for its extremities, St.John always presents a varied menu featuring game when in season, and fish in equal measure.

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Gerard Baker

Gerard Baker

Gerard Baker is a freelance chef, writer and broadcaster who has cooked for the past 25 years in both the UK and California. An early training with Joyce Molyneux at the Carved Angel cemented his love of seasonal and local food, while more recent jobs at Chez Panisse and in the Antarctic has seen him combine his love of real fresh food with travel and new challenges.

Gerard works privately as a caterer and private chef these days, teaching at several cookery schools across the country. A regular broadcaster with Radio Four's the food programme, and a columnist with The Kitchen Garden, Gerard is also a beekeeper and a judge on the ITV1 series Rosemary Shcrager's School for Cooks.

Gerard can be contacted at gerardbaker@onetel.com, and his web site is gerardbaker.com

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Karl Goward

Karl Goward

Karl Goward is head chef at the recently opened Drapers Arms in Islington, London.

Last year Karl set up Metfield Café at Snape in Suffolk and was previously responsible for setting up St.John Bread & Wine, St John’s sister restaurant in Spittalfields, London.

To further his restaurant experience Karl spent 2 years living in New York, working at award winning and reknowned restaurants such as ‘Prune’ in the East Village and the infamous ‘Spotted Pig’ in the West Village.

Karl’s love of fresh seasonal food and respect for British produce means that since his return to England he has worked on various consultancy projects and taught several classes with an emphasis on simple forgotten regional dishes and modern British cooking.

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Mike Keen

Karl Goward

Mike Keen lives in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and is the owner and executive chef of Ipswich food pub The Brewery Tap and the Cult Cafe on the town's waterside.

Born in Suffolk but brought up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Mike got a taste for exotic flavours and adventurous cooking at an early age.

He has explored the cuisines of four continents, working in restaurants, on cruise ships and in cocktail bars, as a chef, troubleshooter, barman, waiter and delicatessen owner.

After many years abroad Mike brought his family home to Suffolk in 2008, working at Jimmy's Farm of TV fame and as head chef at the Anchor in Walberswick, before taking on the Brewery Tap freehouse in 2009.

His globetrotting adventures mean he is skilled at working in testing environments. He has a wealth of creativity and experience to draw on when designing menus, developing new projects and planning top class events. Mike specialises in developing bespoke menus, from show-stopping canapes through to sit-down dinners. He injects theatre into his catering using a range of cooking methods including tandoor ovens, sushi conveyor belts, charcoal roasts and kebab spits.

Mike is in demand for food demos, corporate days, food festivals, product launches and culinary events worldwide. He is currently working on several exciting projects including a cookbook and several overseas appearances.

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David Cook

Dave Cook

David Cook grew up in Sydney and started cooking at a very early age. Training and working for five years at Pier restaurant, Sydneys most awarded seafood restaurant. He then worked at MG Garage restaurant for two years with Janni Kyritsis, one of Australia's most respected chefs.

In 2003 he came to London and started cooking at Moro Restaurant where he discovered a love for Spanish, North African and Eastern Mediterranean cooking. After cooking with Sam and Sam Clark for five years as their Head chef he opened Bocca di Lupo with Jacob Kenedy and worked as his second chef for two years.

He now spends his week cooking two days at each Leila's Shop, the Tow Path Cafe and 40 Maltby St, surrounded by passionate people and some of London's best produce.

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Please contact us for more information.

Course Dates

Spanish Tapas & Paella
Saturday 16th February
In the 'Spanish Tapas & Paella' course you'll take a gastronomic journey through Spain's diverse regional cuisine. We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes using a range of authentic ingredients from the region.
Seafood
Monday 25th February
In this Seafood course, you'll learn how to choose, prepare and cook different types of seafood. We'll prepare and cook dishes with prawns, scallops, clams or mussels, and calamari. The course will involve demonstrations, instructions, guidance and hands-on experience.
Artisan breads
Tuesday 26th February
Learn how to bake light wholemeal and rye loafs as well as sweet buns. You'll also learn how to enhance the flavour of your breads by using pre-ferments such as biga and sponges. Demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake a wholemeal loaf, a rye loaf and brioche buns.
British Pies
Tuesday 5th March
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. You'll make suet pastry, short crust and rough puff pastry. you'll put them to good use creating three delicious dishes; a steak and onion pudding, a chicken and leek pie, posh sausage rolls and a double crust apple pie.
Indian Curry with Sandhya Oza
Wednesday 13th March
Learn how to cook your favourite Indian curry dishes. Sandhya helps learners understand the use of spices and helping them build up confidence in creating new dishes that suits their palates and level of spice.
Vegetarian Flavours
Friday 15th March
One of our most popular courses, where we cook dishes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, using seasonal ingredients. Discover some little known gems from these regions, and build an impressive vegetarian repertoire.
Fish: how to prepare and cook
Saturday 16th March
In this course, you'll learn how to choose fish, prepare it and cook it. Based on what is seasonally available, we'll have two types of fish for you to fillet and cook, plus some seafood. The course involves demonstrations, instructions, guidance and hands-on experience.
Spanish Tapas
Monday 18th March
In the 'Spanish Tapas' course you'll take a gastronomic journey through Spain's diverse regional cuisine. We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes using a range of authentic ingredients from the region. These include Gambas al pil pil, Albondigas and more.
Gluten-Free Advanced
Friday 22nd March
Learn how to make delicious gluten-free brioche, rough puff pastry and choux buns. There will be plenty of hands-on experience during the class, in which you will make some brioche buns, a savoury pie with rough puff pastry and chocolate profiteroles.
Introduction to Bread Making
Tuesday 26th March
Learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of doughs. You'll create a white loaf, a Focaccia bread and delicious Chelsea buns. You will take home the breads you have made during the workshop along with a recipe and method booklet.
Afternoon Tea
Thursday 28th March
The 'Afternoon Tea' course, you will learn to make your own afternoon tea, including a range of quintessentially British cakes, pastries and scones. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying the dishes we've made.
Easter breads
Monday 8th April
Learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of enriched doughs. You'll make a Neapolitan Easter bread flecked with salami, cheese and black pepper, an Easter almond and citrus filled wreath, and of course, hot cross buns.
Greek Spring Flavours
Saturday 13th April
Learn how to make some truly authentic dishes. You'll make Kalitsounia (Cretan soft cheese pasties), pittas (flat breads), tzatziki (yogurt and garlic dip), Kleftiko (Lamb shanks in a white wine sauce), lahanosalata (cabbage and carrot slaw) and Loukoumades (Honey and nut dough balls).
Easter cooking workshop for Teenagers
Monday 15th April
In the 'Easter cooking workshop' our teenagers (13-17 years old) will make pasties using a traditional Cornish recipe (vegetarian and meat option available), a coleslaw salad with homemade mayonnaise and an Easter chocolate cake to take home.
Children's Easter baking workshop
Wednesday 17th April
In the 'Children's Easter baking' workshop, our young chefs (8-12) children will make chicken fajitas with a bean and sweetcorn salsa and 4 Easter Chocolate cupcakes to take home. The children will have a sit down meal to enjoy together the food they've made.
Parent and child Easter baking
Thursday 18th April
A brilliant way to learn lots of useful skills whilst cooking as a team with family members. You will make fajitas (vegetarian and chicken options available) with bean and sweetcorn salsa and an Easter chocolate cake to take home and enjoy during the Easter weekend.
Flavours of the Middle East
Friday 26th April
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region including Pittas, Boreks, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Ta'miyya, Kofte and Baklava.
Introduction to Patisserie
Thursday 2nd May
In the 'Introduction to Patisserie' course, you'll learn how to create a selection of patisserie classics. During the five hour workshop, you'll make Profiteroles, Millefeuille with crème patisserie and Glazed fruit tarts.
Macarons & Marshmallows
Monday 13th May
As well as instruction on how to produce perfect macarons and marshmallows, this class aims to give you tips and tricks on how to introduce flavour variations giving a contemporary twist to your confectionery creations.
Healthy Family Meals (spring)
Friday 17th May
Focusing on good quality seasonal ingredients and home cooking techniques we'll show you how you can make nourishing and exciting meals for your family. Discover new healthy alternatives that will become part of your everyday meal repertoire.
Fish: how to prepare and cook
Wednesday 22nd May
In this course, you'll learn how to choose fish, prepare it and cook it. Based on what is seasonally available, we'll have two types of fish for you to fillet and cook, plus some seafood. The course involves demonstrations, instructions, guidance and hands-on experience.
Vegetarian Summer Flavours
Monday 10th June
Get some ideas for new flavours, or some great tasting alternatives to meat dishes. One of our most popular courses, where we cook dishes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, using seasonal ingredients.
Greek Summer Flavours
Wednesday 12th June
Learn how to make some truly authentic Greek dishes. You'll make Tzatziki, Dolmades, Spanakopita, Greek salad, Moussaka and Galaktoboureko
Italian Bread
Friday 14th June
Learn how to make three classic Italian breads; Ciabatta, Focaccia and Grissini. You'll also be making a traditional Pizza dough. Make, shape and bake a selection of Italian breads using fresh yeast, dry yeast and a Biga (pre-fermented starter).
Spanish Tapas
Thursday 20th June
Take a gastronomic journey through Spain's diverse regional cuisine. We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes including Gambas al pil pil, Albondigas, Romesco, Croquetas de Jamon, Patata bravas, Migas del pastor con espinacas, Pimientos de padron.
Summer Desserts
Tuesday 25th June
Learn how to use gelatine, make sweet shortcrust pastry, make mousse and meringues to make Pimm's and mixed berry jelly, chocolate cloud cake with Chantilly cream strawberries and praline, lemon mini tarts and a pistachio meringue roulade with raspberries and Coulis.
Vegan Summer Flavours
Thursday 27th June
Learn how to transform ordinary ingredients into delicious, comforting dishes. With influences from the Mediterranean and the Middle East, you can create some great tasting food to share with friends and family.
Indian Curry with Sandhya Oza
Saturday 29th June
Spend the day with Sandhya Oza and learn how to cook your favourite Indian curry dishes. Understand the use of spices and build up confidence in creating new dishes that suit your palate and level of spice.
Greek Mezze
Tuesday 6th August
Learn how to make some truly authentic dishes including Tzatziki, Melanzanosalata, Xtipiti, Xoriatiko psomi, Melitzanes and kolokythia tyganita, Ntakos, Garides saganaki, Spetsofai, Kolokithokeftedes and Karydopita.

Children's Parties

If you fancy doing something a bit different for your child's party why not try a Cooking Party?

Parties can be booked Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm.

For more information please contact us.