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

British Breads
Monday 25th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British food with one of nation's most favourite foods, the bread. In this class you'll learn how to make, shape and bake a selection of British breads.
British Sausages
with Mike Keen
Tuesday 26th September
Learn how to make your own proper sausages. Mike Keen will guide you through the process of selecting the meat and spices to make and fill a selection of sausages. You'll then cook some classic British sausage dishes with a twist or two.
British Fish and Seafood
with Mike Keen
Thursday 28th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British fish and seafood. Mike Keen will take you through the different stages of preparing and cooking a delicious 3 course lunch, focusing on British Fish and Seafood and let you into tricks of the trade.
British Pastry and biscuits
Friday 29th September
Taking part in the British Food Fortnight initiative, we are showing our love for British food with nation's favourite pastries and biscuits. In this class you'll learn how to make a bakewell tart, Eccles cakes, shortbread and Gingernuts.
British Apples
Monday 2nd October
In this class you'll learn how to make apple crisps, apple chutney, mackerel with apples and beetroot, a casserole of apple, cider and pork, and an apple snow pudding with gingernut biscuits.
British Pies
with Mike Keen
Tuesday 3rd October
Learn how to make a selection of British pies. Mike will guide you through the process of making a delicious range of pies from hand-raised pork pie to the most delicious steak and ale pie.
Classic British Cakes
Thursday 5th October
In the 'Classic British Cakes' course, you'll learn how to bake successfully a Victoria sandwich, a Chocolate Swiss roll and Gingerbread. You will take home the cakes you have made during the workshop along with a recipe and method booklet, to remind you of what you have learnt.
Chocolate Desserts
Thursday 12th October
Build a repertoire of impressive chocolate desserts by learning how to make bitter chocolate mousse with cherry sauce, chocolate fondants with salted caramel sauce and individual rich chocolate tarts with orange and hazelnuts praline.
Seafood
Friday 13th October
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.
Curing and Smoking
with Mike Keen
Sunday 15th October
Learn how to make your own cured and smoked meats and fish. Mike will guide you through the process of curing, hot and cold smoking, and how to build your own smoker at home.
Vegetarian Autumn Flavours
Monday 16th October
Whether you are a vegetarian wanting to get some ideas for new flavours, or just looking for some great tasting alternatives to meat dishes, discover some gems from the Mediterranean and Middle East, and build an impressive vegetarian repertoire.
Introduction to Bread Making
Tuesday 17th October
In the 'Introduction to Bread Making' course, you'll learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of doughs. With these skills you'll be creating a white loaf, a Focaccia bread and delicious Chelsea buns
Pastry
Thursday 19th October
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. During the workshop, you'll make shortcrust pastry, pate sucre and flaky pastry. You'll put them to good use creating a Leek and Gruyere tart, a Salmon en Croute and a Lemon Tart.
Halloween cooking and baking for Teenagers
Wednesday 25th October 10am-2pm
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old, will create a Halloween themed party buffet with four savoury spooky treats and two sweet centrepieces.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Thursday 26th October
10am-12:30pm
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll be taught how to make swiss rolls and then they will use them to create a haunted house.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Thursday 26th October
1:30am-4pm
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll be taught how to make swiss rolls and then they will use them to create a haunted house.
Stocks and Sauces
Friday 10th November
In the 'Stocks and Sauces' course, we will learn what makes a great sauce and how to choose the right sauce that will complement your meal.
Christmas Cakes and Puddings
Monday 13th November
In the 'Christmas cakes and puddings' course, you'll make and take home (allowing them to mature) for you to enjoy on Christmas day, a Christmas pudding, a Christmas cake and traditional mincemeat.
Game with Mike Keen
Tuesday 14th November
Mike will take you through the different stages of preparing and cooking Game and let you into tricks of the trade.
Gluten-free Christmas baking
Thursday 16th November
In the 'Gluten-free Christmas baking' course, you'll learn how to make a delicious frangipane topped mincemeat and pear tart, a yule log and ginger nut biscuits that are perfect as Christmas gifts.
Greek Winter Flavours
Friday 17th November
In the 'Greek Winter Flavours' course you'll learn how to make some truly authentic dishes. With our guidance you'll make Skordlia, Bakaliaro, Pantzarosalata, Papou salad, Stifado and Ravani.
Italian Pasta
Monday 20th November
In the 'Italian Pasta' class you will learn how to make pasta dough and how to roll, cut, fill and cook fresh pasta. With these skill you will make and cook spinach and ricotta ravioli, pappardelle with a beef ragu sauce and a black pepper linguini with salmon gravlax.
Pastry for Christmas Entertaining
Tuesday 21st November
In the 'Pastry for Christmas Entertaining' course, you'll learn how to make two of the most fundamental pastries for creating festive dishes made to impress.
Artisan breads
Monday 27th November
In the 'Artisan Breads' course, you'll 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.
Sausages with Mike Keen
Tuesday 28th November
Mike Keen will guide you through the process of selecting the meat and spices to make and fill a selection of sausages. You'll then use them to cook some winter comfort dishes with a twist or two.
Seasonal Festive Entertaining
Thursday 30th November
Prepare and cook some festive dishes designed for elegant entertaining. You will prepare pre-dinner canapes with aperitif and a 3 course meal for the festive season using seasonal ingredients and classic cookery techniques.
One-pot wonders
Monday 4th December
In the 'One-pot wonders' course, we'll be cooking some delicious informal meals, perfect for everyday dining with friends and family.
Christmas baking
Monday 11th December
Join Ilia Makri for a day, preparing and cooking some traditional Christmas fayre. In this class you'll learn the techniques involved in making a Yule log, a Christmas Stollen and some festive biscotti that are perfect as gifts.
Christmas Canapes with Mike Keen
Tuesday 12th December
Mike will take you through the process of designing a selection of canapes for the festive season and let you into tricks of the trade. Under his guidance you will cook and plate at least 9 delicious canapes.
Vegetarian Christmas
Wednesday 13th December
In the 'Vegetarian Christmas' course, you'll find some great tasting vegetarian dishes for entertaining during the festive season. We'll cook with seasonal ingredients to create dishes that will look and taste delicious so that Christmas lunch is special for everyone.

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.