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

Italian Bread
Monday 24th 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).
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.
Baking for Teenagers
Monday 19th August
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old will learn how to make three classic bakes. They will make soft bread rolls, shortcrust pastry (they then use it to make mini quiche Lorraine) and brownies. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying some of their bakes.
Middle Eastern Vegetarian for Teenagers
Wednesday 21st August
In this class aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old will cook vegetarian dishes inspired by the Middle Easter cuisine. Using a range of authentic ingredients from this region, they will cook, Spinach Boreks (Turkish filo parcels), Pittas (flat breads), Hummus (chickpea and tahini dip), Ta'miyya (Egyptian falafel made with split Fava beans), Tabouleh (a Lebanese herb salad studded with bulgar wheat and tomatoes) and Tulumba (Turkey's version of the spanish Churros).
Children's Summer Baking Workshop
Friday 23th August
In this class our young chefs, 8-12 year old will learn how to make a quick cheese bread, sausage rolls and mini meringue baskets with fresh cream and fruit of their choice. The course will conclude with a sit down meal, enjoying some of their bakes.
2 day Artisan Bread Making
9th and 10th September
In the 'Artisan Bread Making' course, you'll learn how to enhance the flavour of your breads by using pre-ferments such as biga, poolish and sponges, how to create, look after and use sourdough starters and how to bake wholemeal, rye and enriched breads.
Vegetarian Indian Curry
Wednesday 11th September
Spend the day with Sandhya Oza and learn how to cook Authentic Vegetarian Indian curry dishes. Sandhya believes that teaching Indian cooking is about helping learners understand the use of spices and helping them build up confidence in creating new dishes that suits their palates and level of spice.
Macarons & Marshmallows
Thursday 12th September
In this course, we'll make some beautifully coloured French macarons and will create some delicious marshmallows in various flavour combinations. 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.
Introduction to Patisserie
Saturday 14th September
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.
British Pies
Monday 23rd September
Learn the tricks and techniques to make three classic types of pastry - suet pastry, short crust and rough puff pastry. Then use them to create three delicious dishes; a steak & kidney pudding, a chicken & leek pie, posh sausage rolls and a double crust apple pie.
British Breads
Thursday 26th September
We are showing our love for British food with one of the nation's most favourite foods, the bread. Learn how to make an artisan cottage loaf, a buttery, also known as a rowie, or Aberdeen roll, English muffins and a Bara brith (a yeast bread enriched with dried fruit).
Glorious British Apples
Friday 27th September
We are showing our love for British food with nation's favourite autumn fruit. 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.
Seasonal Family Meals
Tuesday 8th October
Focusing on good quality ingredients and home cooking techniques we'll show you how you can make nourishing and exciting meals for your family. Come and get new ideas that will become part of your everyday meal repertoire.
Indian Curry
Wednesday 9th October
Learn how to cook your favourite Indian curry dishes. Teaching Indian cooking is about helping learners understand the use of spices and helping them build up confidence in creating new dishes that suits their palates and level of spice.
French Bread
Thursday 10th October
Learn how to make three different types of French breads: a baguette, a Fougasse and a Pain aux noix (walnut bread). Instructions and guidance on how to make, shape and bake a selection of French breads using fresh yeast, pate ferment and a poolish.
Fish: how to prepare and cook
Monday 14th October
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.
Autumn Flavours of the Middle East
Saturday 19th October
Take a gastronomic journey through Turkey, Marocco and Egypt and learn how to make some truly authentic dishes from the region including Lavash, Moroccan Lamb tajine, Grilled fish Chermoula, Abergine Imam bayildi, Persian Pilaf and Cherry & pistachio cake.
Introduction to Gluten-Free Baking
Tuesday 22nd October
In the 'Introduction to Gluten-free baking' course, you will learn how to make delicious gluten-free bread, pastry and cakes. This workshop includes demonstrations, instructions and guidance on how to achieve good results with gluten-free ingredients.
Halloween baking for young chefs
Monday 28th October
In this class aspiring young bakers, 8-12 year old, will learn essential baking and decorating skills. They'll learn how to make unearthly pizzas, witches fingers, spooky sausage rolls and eyeball mini cakes.
Halloween cooking and baking for Teenagers
Tuesday 29th October
Aspiring young chefs, 13-17 year old, will create Halloween themed party dishes with four savoury spooky treats and two sweet centerpieces. Designed to boost confidence and develop teenager's culinary skills and knowledge of cooking.
Parent & Child Christmas Cooking & Baking
Wednesday 18th December
Learn lots of useful skills whilst cooking as a team with family members. Make sausage rolls, turkey fillets parmigiana with spaghetti and a Christmas yule log to take home (vegetarian substitutions available).

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.