Our Chefs

We have a truly inspirational team of Chefs, ready to teach you all the skills you need to be confident in the kitchen…

Oliver Thompson

Cornwall-based Oliver’s career in hospitality began working with the family catering business. His first job in the kitchen was with the renowned Cornish chef, Paul Ripley. He has since worked in some of the best restaurants, including Le Relais Bernard Loiseau and Le Petit Nice de Passedat, Nathan Outlaw’s 2-Michelin Starred, The Mariners and Fish Kitchen and Pilchards at Port Gaverne. He teaches our Masterclasses and caters for special events.

Jacqueline Derbyshire

Founder of The Limpsfield Cookery School, Jacqueline has had a love of cooking since she was a child.

A good, traditional “Home Cook”, she will be teaching our entry-level cooking classes for all age groups, together with baking and cake decorating. She’s also the chief cook of our Takeaway Ready Meals.

Lucie Bennett

Lucie is an award-winning Patissier, Chocolatier and author from West Sussex. After many years with the UK’s leading Patissier and Chocolatiers, William Curley, she now works for herself, creating bespoke cakes and desserts for weddings and events, recipe developing, working with Baileys on several press campaigns and is a brand ambassador for Guittard Chocolate in the UK.

Lucie is in charge of all our chocolate and patisserie classes.

Andy Tyrrell

Since his first job in a bakery, Andy has had a passion for real bread baking. After training at Westmister College and working in top London restaurants and gastropubs, Andy moved, via Pembrokeshire, to settle at the famous River Cottage HQ in Devon. It was here that he worked his way up to Head Chef, leading courses and events using the best local and Organic produce available.

Andy now runs an events catering company, and teaches Sourdough and Artisan bread courses around the country. He still finds time to bake for his family every week!

Valentina Harris

Tracing her family history back to the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina has an incredibly rich Italian heritage which she encompasses into her cooking. With over 40 published books, Valentina has become one of the most influential female Italian chefs in the UK. Valentina’s classes are designed so the content is taught n the true Italian style – with minimal fuss and maximum care.

Jaya Malani

Traditional home cooked Indian food has always been an important part of Jaya’s life. Originally born and raised in New Delhi, Northern India before moving to the UK, she founded her own Indian Cookery School in 2017. Her mission is to promote her traditional family recipes, using quality local ingredients and easy to source Indian spices to create healthy, homely and tasty meals.

Sue Wilcox

Sue has been cake decorating for over 40 years and has been teaching for over 6 years, becoming a PME Approved tutor. She has attended workshops with Master Cake Decorators Eddie Spence and Alan Dunn and she has won Gold Awards at the prestigious Cake International.

Sue will be teaching all our cake decorating / sugarcraft classes.

Jenny Chandler

Jenny is a Bristol-based professional cook, food writer and teacher who learned her craft at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London, Having spent a decade cooking her way around the world, catering in Australia and then working as a chef on an Italian-owned sailboat, she has since worked in restaurants and cookery schools with an aim to introduce her students to the benefits of eating great-tasting grains and pulses, to a more plant-focused diet.