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

Easter Breads
Friday 16th March
Learn how to make, shape and bake three different types of enriched doughs. With these skills you'll be creating some savoury filled brioche buns, an Easter almond and citrus filled wreath, and of course the seasonal favourite, hot cross buns.
Spanish Tapas
Friday 23rd March
We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes using a range of authentic ingredients from Spain's diverse regional cuisine. These include Gambas al pil pil, Albondigas, Romesco, Croquetas de Jamon, Patata bravas, Migas del pastor con espinacas , Pimientos de padron.
Baking for young chefs
Tuesday 10th April
In this hands-on class, aspiring young bakers, will learn essential baking skills. They'll make a savoury pizza and a sweet biscuit pizza. The workshop is designed to teach children how to follow a recipe and equip them with techniques that will instill them with confidence and enthusiasm.
Cooking for Teenagers
Wednesday 11th April
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old will learn how to make pizza and pasta dough. They will then make mozzarella filled dough balls, pizza and ravioli with a filling of their choice. For pudding they will make meringue baskets with Chantilly cream and fresh fruit.
Seafood
Monday 16th April
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.
Afternoon Tea
Friday 20th April
The perfect way to get together with friends or family and do something a bit different. You will learn to make your own afternoon tea, including a range of quintessentially British cakes, sandwiches, pastries and, of course, scones. Then enjoy your creations with a cup of tea.
Curing and Smoking
Monday 23th April
Spend the day with the lovely Mike Keen. 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.
Flavours of the Middle East
Tuesday 24th April
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region. These include: Pittas, Boreks, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Ta'miyya, Kofte and Baklava.
Gluten-Free Advanced
Thursday 26th April
Learn how to make delicious gluten-free brioche, rough puff pastry and choux buns. Demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients. Make brioche buns, a savoury pie with rough puff pastry and chocolate profiteroles.
Spanish Tapas
Friday 27th April
We will prepare some famous Spanish tapas dishes using a range of authentic ingredients from Spain's diverse regional cuisine. These include Gambas al pil pil, Albondigas, Romesco, Croquetas de Jamon, Patata bravas, Migas del pastor con espinacas , Pimientos de padron.
Artisan breads
Monday 30th April
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. Make, shape and bake a wholemeal loaf, a rye loaf and brioche buns.
Pastry
Tuesday 8th May
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry. You'll make shortcrust pastry, pate sucre and flaky pastry, and put them to good use creating three delicious dishes; a Leek and Gruyere tart, a Salmon en Croute and a Lemon Tart.
Introduction to Bread Making
Thursday 10th May
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.
Fish: how to prepare and cook
Friday 11th 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.
Healthy Family Meals (spring)
Monday 14th 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.
Vegetarian Spring Flavours
Tuesday 15th May
One of our most popular courses. We cook vegetarian dishes from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. If you are looking for new ideas, or just for some great tasting alternatives to meat dishes, you'll find it all here and build an impressive vegetarian repertoire.
Introduction to Patisserie
Tuesday 22nd May
Learn how to create a selection of patisserie classics. You'll make Profiteroles, Millefeuille with crème patisserie and Glazed fruit tarts. At the end of the session you will take home the pastries you've made in the class, with a recipe and method booklet to remind you of what you have learnt.
Spanish Tapas & Paella
Thursday 24th May
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 including Chorizo en Vino Tinto, Calamares fritos con alioli, Tortilla Espanola, Champinones al Ajillo and Paella.
French Bread
Monday 4th June
Learn how to make three different types of French breads: a baguette, a Fougasse and a Pain aux noix (walnut bread). Includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake a selection of French breads using fresh yeast, pate ferment and a poolish.
Greek Summer Flavours
Thursday 7th June
Learn how to make some truly authentic Greek dishes. You'll make Tzatziki, Dolmades, Spanakopita, Greek salad, Moussaka (vegetarian alternative for those who prefer) and Galaktoboureko.
Gluten-Free Beginners
Monday 18th June
Learn how to make delicious gluten-free bread, pastry and cakes. Includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients. You will make a loaf of bread, a leek and bacon tart and a Devil's food cake.
Vegan Summer Flavours
Tuesday 19th 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. The course will involve demonstrations, instructions, guidance and hands-on experience.
Flavours of the Middle East
Tuesday 26th June
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region. These include: Pittas, Boreks, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh, Ta'miyya, Kofte and Baklava.

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.