Growing up in Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain, Nieves Barragán Mohacho was introduced to the importance of well-sourced and seasonal cooking from a young age. Her mother spent much time caring for Nieves’ grandmother in the house which meant that Nieves was around to learn basic cooking techniques, participate in the day to day needs of the kitchen prep – from peeling vegetables to keeping a keen eye on simmering stocks and soups, which progressed to preparing entire meals for the family.
Surrounded by an abundance of excellent local produce and imbued with the strong culinary traditions of the Basque country, Nieves nurtured those skills and her inherent sense of seasons and locality progressing them to the level of a professional chef.
Two months before it opened in 2003, Nieves joined the kitchen brigade as Sous-Chef at Sam and Eddie Harts’ Fino in Charlotte Street. Four years later she would take the reigns as Head Chef.
In 2008 Sam and Eddie found a site on Frith Street for their long planned homage to Barcelona’s Cal Pep and when Barrafina opened Nieves was given both kitchens to oversee as Executive Head Chef.
Nieves applies those same cooking techniques and principles she learnt while helping her mother to an innovative take on Spanish food. Her tapas menus are dictated by seasonality, careful sourcing of ingredients and skills honed over years of cooking professionally.
Monisha Bharadwaj is an award winning author and a food writer based in London, UK. She was awarded ‘Cookery Writer of the Year’ in 2003 and her books have been shortlisted for awards such as the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards, the Andre Simon Award and the Jacob’s Creek World Food Media Awards.
Monisha contributes to several magazines and newspapers such as Elle, Delicious, The Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph and regularly cooks on TV for Great Food Live and Bites on UK Food and for the South African Broadcasting Channel. She has been a judge on Iron Chef America (The Food Network, USA) and cooked for ‘Chef on a Shoestring’ (CBS Network, USA) She has written 14 books and travels around the UK teaching her simple and delicious style of Indian cooking at various cookery schools.
Claudine has an Anglo-French background and trained as a professional chef at the renowned Leiths School of Food and Wine in London. Thereafter, she developed a successful career teaching and demonstrating a wide range of culinary styles and techniques at many cookery schools: Leiths School of Food and Wine, Divertimenti Cookery School and The Cookery School in Little Portland Street. Claudine also worked as a freelance chef for an exclusive London design company and provided catering for private clients.
Claudine has now settled in Wales, with her husband and young family, where she continues to teach at several cookery schools including The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath, The Chef’s Room in Bleanavon, The Cornerhouse Cookery School in Cardiff. By popular demand, she regularly returns to teach at Divertimenti. Claudine has for some time worked closely with a well known celebrity chef, creating and testing recipes for his cookery books and other media publications. She also creates recipes for a popular condiments brand, and works on a freelance basis for a food consultancy company. She is currently in the process of writing her own cookery book.
Celia Brooks' inventive style of cooking has made her an established name on the cookery shelf. Born in Colorado, USA, she moved to Britain after university. 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, including the international bestseller New Vegetarian, and has contributed to many others. She conveys her passion for food in every way possible, through books, journalism, consulting, live demos, and has her own business called “Gastrotours”, conducting tours around London’s foodie hotspots.
Celia wrote a weekly column for The Times online called “Urban Farmer” about her allotment in North London, and a column called “Grow to Eat” for BBC Good Food Magazine. Her latest book, “New Urban Farmer”, was published in March 2010 by Quadrille. She makes regular TV appearances on the UKTV Food channel’s Market Kitchen and the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.
Adam Byatt, born into a family of chefs and food lovers, has forged a place at the heart of modern British cooking; reviving classic dishes and applying a unique elegance to honest and unpretentious fare. Adam’s enthusiasm for quality British food is manifest in his use of the finest locally sourced produce and his desire to share and enjoy cooking and dining with family and friends.
Never shying away from getting his hands dirty to forage, hunt or fish, Adam’s experiential approach to cooking has been embraced by outdoor enthusiasts and epicureans alike. Using every opportunity to teach his young children and the broader community about the joys of following food from pasture to plate, Adam’s affinity with the outdoors is evident in all of his recipes, which are pieced together with cunning creativity.
As Chef Patron of Trinity and Bistro Union restaurants in Clapham, Adam has won over the likes of London’s most ruthless critics, Giles Coren of The Times regarding his experience at Trinity, ‘As close to an absolutely perfect experience of eating out as it is possible to have.’ Trinity was named ‘London Restaurant of the Year’ at the AA Hospitality Awards in 2008 and awarded ‘Best Local Restaurant’ at the Time Out Food and Drink Awards in 2006.
Adam’s first book How to Eat In was published by Random House in April 2010 and is full of enduring recipes that take classic heritage cooking techniques into the modern era. As one of Britain’s leading chefs and culinary experts, Adam’s skills can also be seen on top-rated BBC 1 programmes Saturday Kitchen and Celebrity MasterChef, on which he regularly features as a guest presenter.
Javier is a qualified pâtissier with over 15 years experience in the catering and hospitality industry. He began his training in his hometown of Barcelona (Spain), at the renowned and distinguished School of Pâtisserie Hoffman (www.hofmann-bcn.com) before moving to the U.K. to train further at Westminster Kingsway College where he gained an NVQ3 Qualification.
Working first at Browns Hotel, Les Ambassadeurs Club and the former 50 St. James Club, Javier progressed into contract catering focussing primarily on Director Fine Dining for Blue Chip Companies.
Upon becoming a pâtissier, Javier made one of his childhood wishes come true. He had always felt fascinated by the window displays of cakes, candies and chocolates of the pastry shops in Barcelona; not only enthusiastic about buying the sweets and chocolates but hoping too to one day learn how to craft them.
Javier’s teaching stays loyal to his foundation recipes gathered over years of training while incorporating traditional and modern elements picked up on his travels and through his eagerness for self learning. Javier is also a qualified cook and has developed this career parallel to his pastry expertise in the U.K.
Jenny Chandler discovered her love of Mediterranean food whilst living in Barcelona as part of her university degree course. She went on to train at Leith's School of Food and Wine before embarking upon a decade of cooking and travel.
Jenny spent many years as a chef on an Italian owned yacht and during this time lived in Spain, Italy and France and travelled extensively in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Later, her time in Australia and America included spells preparing Director's lunches, catering, working in restaurants and feeding large families on their holidays. This has given Jenny an opportunity to gather recipes, techniques and experiences from all over the world.
More recently Jenny worked as a restaurant consultant for a Barcelona-based, Spanish boutique hotel chain. She has written two Spanish cookbooks, The Food of Northern Spain and The Real Taste of Spain and is currently working on a book about pulses.
Nowadays Jenny lives in Bristol and spends most of her time writing and teaching at her own school The Plum Cooking Company in Clifton, The Bertinet Kitchen in Bath, the W.I's Denham College and various London establishments.
Born into a family of cooks in Mexico’s vibrant capital city, Sophia inherited her family’s wholesome and creative approach to food.
Working as a food consultant, Sophia can include the 'New Convent Garden Soup Company' and the Mexican Embassy as former clients. She specialises in Mexican, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, and has written two books and appeared on both radio and television cookery programs.
Currently living in London, with her English husband, Sophia is kept busy with teaching, cooking demonstrations, working on her second degree and training for half marathons!
Growing up in a small town in Fife, William Curley discovered a passion for gastronomy. He trained at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire and then worked at many Michelin-starred establishments with the most respected chefs in the business, including Marc Meneau at L’Esperance in France, Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room. At just 27 years old, William then became the youngest Chef Patissier at The Savoy where he met his wife Suzue.
William and Suzue’s success lead to the opening of their first shop in Richmond in 2004, just off The Green. In November 2009, William launched his second venture in Orange Square, Belgravia. The store is an idyllic chocolate-lover’s haven with a simple, Japanese inspired décor that provides the perfect backdrop to a host of exquisite chocolate creations.
June 2011 saw the brand launch into Harrods with a chocolate concession in the Food Halls and patisseries sold in the Harrods patisserie counter.
William has picked up many awards over the years, including the title ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier’, awarded to him by the Academy of Chocolate on four occasions and Pastry Chef of the Year.
In 2012 William’s book Couture Chocolate won Cookery Book of the Year, and the brand was acknowledged with William becoming a member of the iconic pastry association Relais Desserts International.
Born in Abruzzo, Italy, Francesca studied Italian History and Literature in Rome before embarking on a culinary career which led her to Singapore in 1994 and then New York in 1998.
Author of 'Pasta In A Wok' (Singapore 1994), culinary columnist and president of 'Erba Pepe' (A non-profit organisation for the promotion of Abruzzo culture) Francesca has found many avenues to express her passion for Italian food, language and traditions. Currently based in Milan, Francesca continues to travel all over the world teaching and working as a consultant for the food industry.
Maria’s deceptively simple, multilayered dishes influenced by the cuisine from the Orient to the Occident, has won her many accolades. Her award-winning second cookbook, Full of Flavour (2011, Kyle Books) develops themes expounded in her bestselling debut title, The Modern Vegetarian, (2009, Kyle Books) where she coaxes the reader to wake their palates with unique flavour combinations. Not only has she appeared on numerous television programmes, including Saturday Kitchen, Market Kitchen and the recent series Perfect, but Maria has also contributed to a wide variety of publications from the Guardian to BBC Good Food Magazine, and has been hailed by The Independent as one of 10 Female Chefs to watch.
Maria is currently writing her third book and is taking a sabbatical to further develop her Greek culinary roots.
Ursula Ferrigno is a talented cook and a prolific food writer with a deep love of Italian food. She is half-Italian and learned to cook as a child by assisting her grandmother preparing the traditional family dishes. She returns regularly to Italy, to visit family and to teach cookery.
She writes for numerous food magazines including Taste Italia, American Gourmet, Olive and Good Food and has been teaching cookery for more than 15 years. Having been brought up in an environment in which bread was present with every meal, Ursula is a passionate baker and teaches both professionals and amateurs to make an array of national and regional Italian breads from ciabatta and focaccia to volcanic stromboli.
Amy Ruth Finegold is a self-taught gluten-free baker. Originally an early childhood specialist, she moved to London 5 years ago and soon discovered a passion for healthy gluten-free foods. Inspired by her love for muffins she was determined to prove that delicious treats needn’t contain wheat, dairy or sugar and so focused on using superfood grains and seeds - ‘Amy Ruth Finegold's Gluten-Free Baking Mix’ was born.
A food enthusiast, Amy Ruth has co-led the cooking group for the Kensington Chelsea Women’s Club for two years and is also President of The University of Pennsylvania Club in The United Kingdom. Her passion in the kitchen is for healthy, gluten-free and easily digestible recipes.
Rachel Green, TV cook and author, is known as a fervent campaigner for the promotion of seasonal British meat and vegetables. With an ancestry that includes 14 generations of farmers, British produce is a field she is very knowledgeable in and passionate about. From asparagus and peas to game and shallots her exuberant and informative demonstrations are entertaining and well received.
She performs all over the country from Chatsworth Farm Shop to the Royal Show and Game Fair. A regular on both television and radio, she's cooked sausages and flageolet beans on the Alan Titchmarsh Show, prepared breakfast every day for a week for Terry Wogan as part of Farmhouse Breakfast Week and cooked up a storm with hare on Market Kitchen. Her latest book, Sausages! (foreword by Jimmy Doherty) waxes lyrical of the joys and versatility of using this stalwart of the British menu.
Fifteen years of experience in London’s finest and most exclusive cocktail bars has made David Hamilton Boyd a well respected cocktail guru in mixology circles.
Flavour, interplay and the dynamics of all things drink related, mixed with a passion for the history of cocktail making, make him one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable mixologists of the moment.
David currently splits his time running his organic cocktail events company Organic Spirit (the UK’s first and only organic cocktail events company) as well as tutoring aspiring mixologists, and writing his food and drink blog.
His unique passion for cocktails never fails to excite his students and grounds them with the confidence to not only make their own cocktails but to experiment with new and wonderful flavour combinations of their own.
Henry Harris is Chef Patron of the award-winning ‘Racine’ in Knightsbridge. His unflagging enthusiasm for traditional French, religiously seasonal and flavour packed menus have firmly established Racine as a neighbourhood favourite for almost a decade.
From a country estate in Northumberland to a lone fisherman in Wales, Harris’s ingredients are only surpassed in provenance, by his creative skills as one of London’s most acclaimed chefs. Before opening ‘Racine’, Henry worked in some of London’s top kitchens including ‘Hiliare’ and ‘Bibendum’ with Simon Hopkinson. In 1992, he was Executive Chef at the opening of Harvey Nichols ‘Fifth Floor Restaurant’ and participated enormously in the overall design and branding of the restaurant.
He released his first cookbook called ‘Harvey Nicholls Fifth Floor Cookbook’ in 1998. His encyclopaedic knowledge of gastronomy has also ensured his demand in writing for various national publications and magazines and he has appeared on BBC’s ‘Saturday Kitchen’.
With heritage like Valentina’s, it is no wonder she is such a well-respected authority on Italian food and food culture.
Tracing her family back to 1369 through the illustrious Sforza dynasty, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976, where she built her reputation primarily as a private chef until the publication of her first award-winning cookery book in 1984; Perfect Pasta.
The award winning author of over 30 books on Italian food, Valentina is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher, sharing her food philosophy of seasonal local produce served with minimum fuss and maximum care.
Now the proprietor, principal tutor and regulator at Cucina and a regular face at food fairs in the UK, Valentina stills finds time to host bespoke cookery courses and undertake private catering commissions. In between her hectic teaching schedule you’ll also find her popping up on radio and television from time to time!
As President of the London chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, Valentina is committed to strengthening the position of professional women in the world of food, beverage and hospitality, and uses her wealth of experience to mentor young women who dream of a career within it. She also finds the time to contribute regularly to Reveal Italy’s website – sharing insights and recipes of the vast culinary delights of regional Italy.
Valentina is currently working hard for the inaugural cookery adventure at Nocera in Calabria; the site of her new cookery school which will be dedicated to the joy and benefits of a Mediterranean diet, and has recently completed the manuscript for the forthcoming autobiography ‘Fiori di Zucca’, due for publication in Spring 2013.
Daisuke Hayashi trained at the renowned Kikunoi ryotei restaurant in Kyoto from the age of eighteen as a protégé of owner Yoshihiro Murata, and is now at the forefront of the next generation of Japanese chefs applying a modern, progressive approach to a gastronomic culture that is all too often inward-looking and esoteric.
Moving to Tokyo in 2004, he opened Kikunoi Akasaka before relocating to the renowned Windsor Hotel in Toya on the northern island of Hokkaido, becoming Head Chef of the hotel’s two flagship Japanese restaurants, Kappo Tohjisanka and Sushi Shoan Kogetsu. In the summer of 2008, he was responsible for the Japanese VIP menus served during the G8 Summit held at the hotel.
Chef Hayashi’s experience extends beyond the realm of fine dining restaurants, having worked closely with Yoshihiro Murata on the retail range of Kikunoi dishes and foodstuff sold exclusively at the Takashimaya department stores in Japan as well as consultancy work for new restaurant concepts and in-flight menus for Singapore Airlines.
As Executive Head Chef of Hakkasan Group’s Japanese operations, he is heading up Chrysan as well as overseeing the international expansion of Sake no Hana. He is also a fully qualified wine and sake sommelier.
Atsuko has been sharing her knowledge and techniques of Japanese cooking with a series of courses, which introduces family favourites, alongside Shojin Ryori dishes, a super-healthy vegan cuisine of Buddhist origins, in which she trained professionally.
Her passion for food and her love of teaching transpires in her classes at ‘Atsuko's Kitchen’, which are amongst the most popular in London and now, also, at ‘Divertimenti’. Her classes are informal and hands-on, resembling more of a dinner party with friends than a classroom lesson. Her down-to-earth and unpretentious approach to cuisine combined with her talent to create delicious, simple to prepare, fashionable meals is an ideal way to experience the Japanese philosophy of elegance and simplicity.
Jennifer Joyce is an American born, self-taught chef. Her specialty is teaching people how to create intense flavours and demystifying exotic ingredients. As a food writer and stylist, she contributes regularly to BBC Olive, BBC Good Food, and M & S Magazine. She was the food editor for New Woman magazine and contributed to Sainsbury's magazine, Elle Deco and The Telegraph newspaper.
She has presented cookery classes at Divertimenti for over 5 years offering a wide variety of themes. She is currently working on her 7th book having published titles like Diva Cooking, Small Bites, and The Well Dressed Salad. Along with appearances on NBC's Good Morning America, BBC's Good Food Live and Full on Food, she has presented two series for Taste CFN.
Atul Kochhar is an Indian born, British based chef, restaurateur and television personality. His take on modern Indian cuisine and reputation for pushing the boundaries of traditional Indian food has made him one of the most critically acclaimed chefs in Britain.
Atul was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star during his time at Tamarind restaurant and went on to win a second star with the opening of his first solo venture- Benares restaurant in London in 2007.
He has appeared on television shows such as MasterChef and Great British Menu and is a regular guest on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. In 2010 Atul launched his own series - Atul’s Spice Kitchen: Malaysia.
Isabelle is the first French female Master of Wine. Born and brought up on a vineyard in the southwest of France, Isabelle Legeron, is the sixth generation of a Cognac producing family. Wine runs in her blood, and thanks to her adventurous spirit, she's always out and about: sniffing, tasting, exploring. Her have-a-go spirit and contagious passion are enlightening and she adores communicating her love of wine. She is an exceptional, award winning wine taster but best of all she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She’s great fun and a breath of fresh air in the all too rarefied world of wine.
Isabelle works regularly with Michelin starred chefs, pairing wine to their food; heads up Wine Lab, a boutique wine tasting company running events for clients in the City; and presents her own wine programme, Journey into Wine, that broadcasts to 117 countries in 15 different languages – you might have seen her recently on BBC Breakfast! She is also a regular judge for wine competitions such as the Decanter Awards and the IWC, and recently became Wine Woman of the Year 2009 in Paris.
Isabelle co-founded the Wine School with us here at Divertimenti back in 2004 and has been leading sell-out courses ever since.
Alex Mackay is a cook, cookery teacher, cookery writer and a regular on Cookery Television. He was the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Journalist of the Year in 2006 and was runner up in 2007 and 2008. His book, Cooking In Provence, won a World Cookbook Award and was Short-listed for Best First Book by the Guild of Food Writers. He is the Merchant Gourmet Cook, teaches Delia Smith's Food and Wine Workshops at Norwich City Football Club and was the cookery School Director for 3 years at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons followed by 6 years at his own cookery school Le Baou d’Infer in Provence. Alex’s Cookery School was put in the world top ten by the Sunday Times and Conde Nest Traveler. Alex is a regular on Ready Steady Cook, proud father of two and a patron of the Kids Cookery School.
I moved from New York to London five years ago in order to pursue a culinary career that would allow me to develop my passion for cooking and good food. I completed the ‘Le Grande Diploma’ from Le Cordon Bleu London in 2006 before being appointed head Chef at Café Divertimenti Marylebone. As an instructor at the Divertimenti Cookery School I am able to exercise my enthusiasm for introducing the young and inexperienced to the joys of cooking, with the Cooking with Confidence course and Growing Gourmet programs that I run.
My approach to food is that it should be kept simple, wholesome with a focus on flavours. In addition to my work with Divertimenti, I also undertake commercial and private catering projects that enable me to keep at the forefront of changing tastes and cuisines. I am currently researching material for a series of Children’s recipe books that I hope will give parents a rich source of ideas for involving children in the kitchen, while offering healthy and hearty meals for all the family.
Chloe and Jane met at Leith’s School of Food and Wine where they trained in classical cookery, having left careers in law and advertising to follow their passion for food. After gaining various industry experience they set up CityCook in 2011, a bespoke catering and teaching company.
They are both passionate about teaching cookery, demystifying seemingly complicated techniques and encouraging people to have a go and get into the kitchen. They spend their time between the countryside and the city, combining a love of local, seasonal food with interesting flavours and new ideas.
Silvia Nacamulli is a freelance chef, teacher and cookery writer. Her speciality is Italian-Jewish cooking and is considered an authority on the subject.
Raised in Rome, Silvia came to London in 1998 and began her catering business in 2002 'La Cucina di Silvia' (Cooking for the Soul). She has taught at the Divertimenti Cookery School for the last 6 years. In addition to teaching and catering, Silvia writes about and lectures on the history of Italian Jewish cooking. This includes a monthly column in the food section of the Jewish Chronicle and regular lectures at the New York University in Florence. She is in the process of writing her first cookery book.
José was planning to become a dental technician in Spain but realised his love of food was bigger than his love of dentistry and completed one year of catering school in Cáceres before working in a restaurant local to his home town. In 1997 Pizarro moved to Madrid to the award-winning Meson de Doña Filo where he cooked 'nueva cocina’ and began his love affair with fresh, brightly flavoured dishes.
He has worked at some of London’s most prestigious Spanish restaurants including Eyre Brothers, Gaudi, and the critically acclaimed Brindisa Tapas Kitchens. Last year he left Brindisa to open his own sherry bar, ‘José’, and restaurant, ‘Pizarro’, in Bermondsey Street, London. He describes his menu as traditional, honest Spanish food for sharing, with some modern twists along the way.
José has appeared on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen three times – as well as on UKTVFood’s Market Kitchen - and his first book ‘Seasonal Spanish Food’ was published in autumn 2009 to great critical acclaim.
Last year Pizarro was shortlisted for an IACP award in the US, which recognises the best in cookbook talent. José has a new book coming out in spring 2012.
Originally from Sicily where little boys play football and little girls make pasta, Julie is a warm, quirky and friendly character whose enthusiasm and passion for cooking is certainly infectious. She is a natural communicator and will find hidden talents inside even the most reserved of pupils both young and old.
When Julie is not with us she is busy running Kitchen Secrets her own catering company, specializing in bespoke events and dinner parties. With over 12 years of outside catering under her jovial belt she has cooked for royalty, celebrities and politicians alike, from castles and villas to muddy fields, and with many amusing anecdotes to share.
Julie's cooking has been described by many as delicious and inspirational. However, it is not her talent as a chef that makes her one of our tutors, but her love of good food, fresh ingredients and a whole hearted belief in others' abilities.
Sybille is a French vegetarian, a raw and living food chef, recipe writer and yoga teacher. She was born in Lyon and trained as a traditional chef in a top Parisian cookery school.
She has worked in several restaurants in France and in London; some Michelin star British modern, some traditional French, and has cooked for celebrities in private chalets and homes in Switzerland and London.
As her interest in vegetarian, vegan, and raw and living food kept growing, she started filling the pages of her notebooks with new culinary ideas and focused on creating delicious recipes - full of vitality, nutrients and energy - to complement her enthusiasm for yoga.
Sybille is passionate about sharing her creations and believes healthy food should be exciting, full of flavour and vibrant. ‘It should make you feel good, strong and full of vitality and creativity’, she says.
Alfred Prasad joined Tamarind as Sous Chef in 2001. His flair, innovation and desire to be prominent on the world’s culinary map progressed Alfred to Executive Chef in August 2002.
Tamarind was the first Indian restaurant in the UK and Europe to be awarded a Michelin star which it has now retained for eight consecutive years. Tamarind is one of only five Indian restaurants in the UK and Europe to hold this prestigious award. Alfred’s cuisine is renowned for dishes with panache and verve that explore, create yet retain traditional flavours taking Tamarind to even greater heights.
Alfred graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management, Madras in 1993. After completing his advanced chef training at the ‘Maurya Sheraton’ in Delhi he worked at the legendary ‘Bukhara’ and ‘Dum-Pukht’ restaurants in India. In 1996, Alfred moved to the ‘Sheraton Hotel’ in Madras, where he was Executive Chef at ‘‘Dakshin’ – India's premier south Indian restaurant.
Alfred moved to London in June 1999 and worked as Sous Chef at ‘Veeraswamy’ before joining Tamarind. Today, Alfred has gained industry and public recognition for his cuisine. The Sunday Telegraph says, “The acclaimed chef Alfred Prasad impresses with a boundary pushing modern Indian menu.”
Adriana Rabinovich’s first encounter with allergies was in 2004 when her daughter Ruthie was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Inspired by Ruthie, she wanted to make sure that anyone following a gluten free diet, could have access to delicious food that was easy to prepare with ingredients that were readily available and that could be enjoyed by the whole family. Her book The Gluten Free Cookbook for Kids was published in 2009 to much critical acclaim.
Adriana has made her career in food. Trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, she founded and ultimately sold her bakery “The Little Red Barn” famous for making the best brownies and biscotti in the UK!
Today she runs specialist courses teaching people on restricted diets how to cook and bake as well as recipe and product development for major food brands.
Flavia trained as an interior designer in New York before heading home to London to start her own interior design business. She soon found her long lived passions for food, wine and entertaining were getting in the way of the design world and so decided it was finally time to take this passion more seriously and re-train as a chef at ‘Le Cordon Bleu’.
Having found her true calling she went onto work as a professional chef for ‘Restaurant Associates’ in several of their establishments. Her skills nurtured, she then decided to pass on to others what she had learnt by teaching at ‘Leith's School of Food and Wine’, privately and here at ‘The Divertimenti Cookery School’.
When not teaching at Divertimenti she can be found at ‘The Kitchen Experience’, a service she co-founded in 2009 which provides bespoke cookery classes for the home, corporate events and special occasions.
Ben Tish started as Head Chef at Salt Yard restaurant in March 2006. In 2008 he became the executive chef of Salt Yard Group and has overseen the opening of Dehesa in Soho and the Opera Tavern in Covent Garden. Ben is responsible for the food offering at all three restaurants; his cooking being at the forefront of modern Spanish/Italian tapas style cuisine.
Prior to Salt Yard Ben spent much of his career working with Jason Atherton of Maze and Stephen Terry of the Hardwick at various ground breaking London restaurants, learning classical techniques along with inspired cooking formulas. He has also fronted the 3 rosette modern Italian Al Duca where he fell in love with the ingredients led approach of Italian cookery and was Executive chef of the Crinan Hotel in the West Highlands of Scotland. Here Ben was inspired with the beautiful, remote location and the amazing produce this part of the country has to offer. Whilst in charge of the kitchens there, he was awarded best gastro pub in Scotland by the Independent newspaper and best newcomer in the Good Food Guide for its fine dining restaurant.
Ben has appeared on Market Kitchen, Saturday Kitchen, Drop Down Menu, Masterchef, Radio 4 Food Programme and was the face for the British Meat Executives website. He has also been the guest chef in Waitrose Food Illustrated, written for the Guardian Christmas supplement and has demonstrated at many foodie events including Taste of London, Foodies Festival and the Slow Food Show. Ben released Salt Yard cook book in 2012 and has had recipes appear in The Times and other major broadsheets.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Dave has over 22 years of professional cooking experience. He kicked off his culinary career working in the kitchens of Atlanta before completing his education at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he worked in several of Manhattan's most influential restaurants, including Aureole and Savoy.
Most recently, before moving to the UK with his family, Dave ran a successful wine bar in Brooklyn, New York that focused on pairing wine with local sustainable dishes. His specialties include pastry, charcuterie, butchery and he is passionate about all things pig.
Laura Washburn was born in Los Angeles , went to university in Paris and speaks fluent French. She trained at the prestigious Paris cooking school, Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, and worked with Patricia Wells, author of A Food Lover's Guide to Paris. Laura is the author of numerous books, including French Country Cooking and Cooking with Apples & Pears. Since obtaining an MSc in Food Policy in 2010, Laura has focused her work on teaching. "I am most interested in the home cook and helping people to gain confidence in the kitchen. Writing recipes for my books is a form of instruction but I prefer contact with people and the satisfaction I get from seeing students learn new skills and enjoy the delicious results."
Cook and food writer Lindy Wildsmith specialises in British country and Italian regional food. Fish and game, home cooking and kitchen crafts, such as preserving, curing, smoking and potting are high on her agenda. She is the author of Cured, which was shortlisted for the André Simon award and the Guild of Food Writers best food book in 2011. She is also a travel writer - in love with Italy - where she lived for many years. The ties between people, culture and food fascinates Lindy and she has been a follower of Slow Food almost since its inception.
Lindy runs The Chef’s Room fish and cookery school in Wales where she teaches regularly with Franco Taruschio, founder of the Walnut Tree Inn. She writes a monthly blog http://grown-upfood.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @lindywildsmith
Guo Yue was born in the alleys (hutongs) of Beijing, and began cooking and playing the flute at the age of 7, just before the start of the Cultural Revolution. Cooking and music became the passions in his life, at a time when creative freedom and individuality were suppressed by Mao's communism, and he discovered how he could put many layers of meaning and free expression into the folds of a handmade dumpling or the intricate perfume of red-stewed pork. Guo Yue cooks like a musician, with an emphasis on the colours, notes and rhythms that make up his collection of traditional and modern recipes. This is real Chinese cooking at its healthy, creative and entertaining best.
Author of 'Music, Food and Love: A Memoir with Recipes' (Little, Brown), and the award-winning children's book 'Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing' (by Guo Yue and Clare Farrow, Barefoot Books), Guo Yue gives cookery classes and demonstrations all over the world, often combining them with exquisite performances on his bamboo and white jade flutes. His unique approach to Chinese cooking, and his uplifting philosophy that bridges old and new China, have led to appearances on radio and TV, including Midweek and Market Kitchen, and articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Observer Food Monthly. As Peter Gabriel wrote: 'I guarantee he delivers in a magical way.'