Chefs:

Sofia Larrinua-Craxton – Born into a family of food enthusiasts in Mexico’s vibrant capital city, Sofia inherited her family’s wholesome and creative approach to food. Working as a food consultant, clients have included ‘New Covent Garden Soup Company’, Sainsburys, Riverford Organic, Mission Foods and the Mexican Embassy.  She has written two cookery books and appeared on various BBC radio programmes. At present she is having the time of her life managing Central Street Cookery School.

Natalie Coleman – Natalie Coleman won BBC One’s MasterChef 2013 with lobster tail starter and a ‘pimped’ roast pork belly served with a quail scotch egg proving to 6.5 million viewers ‘the girl from Hackney done good!’ The former credit controller / techno DJ has ditched the 9 to 5, hung up the headphones and has started a journey into the world of refined dining with her trademark down to earth twist.  After cooking for renowned restaurants that included: – Le Gavroche (Michel Roux Jr), Viajante (Nuno Mendes), St Johns (Fergus Henderson), The Kitchin (Tom Kitchen), L’enclume (Simon Rogan), The Berkeley Hotel (Marcus Wareing), Midsummer House (Daniel Clifford) and The Hand & Flowers (Tom Kerridge). Natalie has written her first book as well.  One of Natalie’s real passions is helping children learn to cook and she runs cookery courses in school holidays at Central Street Cookery School.

Celia Brooks – Celia’s inventive style of vegetarian cooking has made her an established name on the cookery shelf. She worked for several years as a private chef for the film director Stanley Kubrick and running her own catering business. She has written seven cookbooks and wrote a weekly column for The Times online and another for BBC Good Food Magazine. Celia’s multiple TV appearances include Market Kitchen, Saturday Kitchen and she also conveys her love for food through her own Gastrotours in London.

Hulya Erdal.- A professional chef with Turkish and British roots, Hulya specialises in the food of the Mediterranean and Middle East . Hulya has dabbed in a bit of TV (Channel 4 / BBC ONE) and written for food publications including Delicious, Good Housekeeping and Zest. She teaches regularly at various colleges and is a lot of fun!

Mark Breen.- Mark is a classically trained chef. Mark has experience in some of London’s best restaurants including St John’s and Lyle’s as well as collaborations with a range of the capital’s great chefs.  Alongside teaching he now works as a private chef and offers unique dining experiences across the city. Mark’s passion is for using quality, locally produced, seasonal ingredients. Mark loves to see his class participants having fun, whilst also learning to make delicious food.

Matt Jones.-  Matt discovered his passion for food after several exotic trips abroad. He left a graphic design career at Microsoft to be a chef’s apprentice for a year, after which he launched his own catering company focusing on weddings, corporate events, wedding cakes, and cooking classes. While living in London he’s focusing on pastry work as a freelancer and continuing to teach cookery classes. Matt enjoys cooking all types of traditional world cuisine and travels as often as possible for culinary “research”, which is to say he eats everything in sight while on holiday.

Jayne Totty – Nutritional therapist Jayne Totty of Supernourished offers classes and workshops demonstrating how to add fresh and energising foods into any diet, from nourishing nibbles and main meals to decadently healthy desserts. Jayne attended the chefs training programme at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California where she gained the skills required to help others embrace the health benefits of eating more raw and living foods.

Matthew Driver – Matthew was a contestant in Masterchef 2011, he has worked in popular London restaurants such as Moro. He works closely with Islington Farmers Market and is available to hire as a private chef. Matt is a natural forager and loves baking bread and cooking food that is local and sustainable.

Julie Ann Andreshak –  Julie is the owner of Eggplant|Aubergine – catering events, developing recipes and writing and teaching about food.  Having trained at Le Cordon Bleu (in addition to courses at Leith’s and La Cucina Caldesi), Julie Ann combines her love of education and cookery at the Foundation for International Education in South Kensington.  She also holds a doctorate in international and comparative education from the University of Minnesota.  Julie Ann draws her influences from her experience living and working in the United States (her home country), France, Morocco and Poland and has been in the UK for 15 years.   Julie Ann is most focussed on pan-Mediterranean food but also has a strong interest in British cuisine.

Steffi Knowles-Dellner.- Steffi is a Swedish food stylist and food writer living in London.  She trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine before working at BBC Good Food Magazine.  She has lived all over the world and worked in restaurants and catering in Stockholm, Brussels, New York and London.  Previous clients include Tesco, Food Network UK, M&S, Penguin Random House and Weight Watchers.  She is passionate about sharing the recipes and traditions of Scandinavia as well as dispelling the myth that it’s all meatballs and gravadlax!

Grant Hawthorne – Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. Classically French trained under British Chef of the Year (1982), Bill Stafford, his cuisine could be said to combine the best of the New World with the attention to detail of the Old. As a member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and a Master Craftsman with the Craft Guild of Chefs, he is pro-active rather than reactive and strongly believes in development of successors and the future generation.

Julia Chalkley – Julia originally trained as a teacher but was lured into cooking on a hotel narrow boat on the English canals and then retrained as a chef  eventually running her own restaurant in South Kensington for ten years. It was known for its French cooking, English puddings and fine wines! For the last fifteen years she has taught many different people of all ages to cook and catered numerous events for a wide variety of clients including Billingsgate Seafood Training School, Cookery School at Little Portland Street and corporate clients Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Starbucks, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co. and Warner Music International.

Deena Kakaya – Deena Kakaya is a food writer, cookery tutor and cook having written for magazines such as BBC Good Food, Delicious, Cook Vegetarian and Good Things magazine. She has been quoted by BBC Good Food as epitomizing the ‘modern vegetarian’ as all of her food is vegetarian and all her recipes are her own.  Deena writes a popular blog  and has recently been chosen by Top Sante magazine as one of their favourite blogs.  Deena’s food is a culmination of influences from throughout the world, as is her own background of ethnically Indian parents from Kenya and Uganda and herself born in the UK and living in London. So whether it is a goats cheese and sundried tomato pakora or a tandoori tofu taco, the world is your palate.

Rachel Davies – After graduating in Cuisine and Patisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, Rachel went on to work with some of London’s most inspiring chefs at Galvin Bistro de Luxe in Baker Street, and Lanka Patisserie in Primrose Hill. She was voted runner up ‘Best Cookery School Tutor’ in the UK Cookery School of the Year Award 2012, and was a finalist ‘Best Young Rising Star in the Cookery School Awards 2012.