Young talented Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy is creating a buzz within the UK food scene and already has much to celebrate. Omar is the owner of the critically acclaimed Tapas Revolution in Westfield London and Bluewater, Kent. He is also the Executive Chef at London’s renowned El Pirata Detapas, which was featured in Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. Known for his culinary skills in traditional Spanish cuisine, Omar’s food has been described as ‘exquisite’ and ‘authentic’.
Omar’s simple food and flair for Spanish cuisine has awarded him recognition within the industry by winning last year’s Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Award for ‘Rising Star’. In addition, the London Lifestyle Awards shortlisted Tapas Revolution for ‘Best Restaurant. When he’s not in his kitchen, Omar can be found on popular television programmes including, This Morning, Masterchef, Perfect, Drop Down Menu, and Saturday Cookbook.
David Bailey is a classically trained chef who has worked for over 18 years in a number of leading restaurants including Vong, E&O and Eight over Eight. In 2005, he made the radical decision for a chef to become vegetarian and has never looked back both in terms of health and personal fulfillment.
He has since worked as a consultant in nearly all the top vegetarian restaurants in London and was the founding Head Chef of Saf, working alongside Chad Sarno. He has also worked as a personal chef for a number of high profile clients and has a great deal of international experience giving vegetarian, vegan and raw food classes. In 2009, alongside his wife Charlotte, a trained homeopath and soon to be qualified yoga instructor, the Baileys started their own health based business, Wholefood Heaven, and quickly became increasingly involved in the vibrant street food scene, taking healthy and high quality food to the masses via a beautifully converted Citroen H van.
Their signature 'Buddha Bowls' scooped the award for Best Main Dish at the British Street Food Awards and have also recently featured in River Cottage Veg with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the Travel Channel’s Street Eats and in the well-received documentary Planeat as well as in numerous publications including GQ who described them as 'legendary'. David and Charlotte's debut cookbook ‘The Fresh Vegan Kitchen’ is published by Pavilion and out now.
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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.
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Jordan is a chef, award winning food writer and food stylist. Having trained at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in his native Ireland, Jordan was immediately picked up by the Michelin star chef Skye Gyngell, with whom he worked for years at Petersham Nurseries Restaurant in London. He went on to cook for high profile private clients where he gained a following for his naturally healthy, yet indulgent food. This led to the publication of his first book ‘The Guilt Free Gourmet’, and subsequently ‘The Natural Food Kitchen’, which was shortlisted for a Guild of Food Writers Award.
Jordan is also the UK’s leading authority on Korean cuisine. He was named the winner of the K-Food Festival, a competition searching for the UK’s best Korean chef and was subsequently awarded an honorary ambassadorship by the Korean Foreign Ministry to promote Korean food in Europe. He learned his craft in Korea from a number of the most respected chefs and food producers in the country. Together with his Korean wife they are the authors of ‘Our Korean Kitchen’, named ‘cookery book of the year’ at the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards and ‘best new cookbook’ at the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
His work has featured in numerous national and international publications including Observer Food monthly, The Guardian COOK magazine, The Times, The Sunday Times, Vogue, Elle, Hello!, Delicious, BBC Good Food, Waitrose Kitchen and Food & Travel.
Jordan has contributed to a number of radio and TV shows – ‘Saturday Kitchen’ BBC1, ‘Sunday Brunch’ Channel 4, ‘Marriage of Flavours’ Fox International, a new Korean show for UKTV Food and he has also collaborated with Marks & Spencer for their Christmas campaign (watch here) and with Tesco for their weeknight meals youtube videos, watch here. In Ireland he has regularly appeared on various TV and radio shows for RTE and TV3.
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.
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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.
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Hilary is a highly experienced and successful International Private Chef, Teacher, Food Blogger (www.hilarycacchio.com) and Consultant. Having spent 6 years working in the Hudson Valley, New York as a Pastry and Private Chef where her passion for sourdough was ignited. Currently her time is split between tending her wild yeast/sourdough culture, Private Chef & Consultancy business in the UK and in Southern France (Catalonia) where she lives in the Pyrenees, researching & developing recipes. As co-founder of ‘strictlycatalan.com’ Hilary runs gastro tours and workshops overlooking the Mediterranean.
When in the UK Hilary is busy as a columnist for the Real Bread Campaign’s ‘True Loaf’ magazine, as the Itinerant Baker and Chef as well as tending to the other part of her business as an Innovative Food Consultant specialising in recipe writing & testing, seasonal menu design, sustainable procurement, food ethics, inspirational chef training and writing food policy.
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Fabricio studied culinary arts in his native Peru where he developed his passion for fine food. Fabricio has worked in restaurants in Lima and in award winning restaurants around Europe, including the Michelin-starred Devos in Belgium. In 2006 after working in Rome and Barcelona, Fabricio moved to the UK where he started working at the Talbooth in East Anglia and other restaurants in London. In 2008 Fabricio took his experience to several London cookery schools where he teaches a variety of cuisines including French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
Under his brand, 'Fabcooking', Fabricio provides catering for some of London's most exclusive dinner parties and social events including London Fashion Week, as well as coaching a number of high profile clients, helping them perfect their cooking skills. Fabricio is an accomplished food stylist working for advertising and publishing companies and he has just finished cooking and styling the dishes for a Peruvian recipe book that is going to be published in 2015.
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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.
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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 5 years as a chef on an Italian 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 her new book, Pulse, is published this September.
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Ping Coombes won MasterChef 2014, stunning the judges with food inspired by her Malaysian heritage.
Born and raised in the town of Ipoh in Malaysia, which is famous for its pomelo fruit, chicken noodles, rice and Ipoh white coffee, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cookery. She began to inherit traditional skills, starting with the basics - how to hold the ‘wok chan’ (the ladle). Perhaps most inspiring to Ping was her mother’s way of showing love and passion through cooking, something which is hugely important in Ping’s food ethos.
This passion was apparent during MasterChef, and since being crowned winner Ping has become a Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador, promoting Malaysian food around the UK and abroad. She has given talks about Malaysian food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, appeared at Malaysia Nights in Trafalgar Square, and other festivals including Taste of London, and is involved in MasterChef pop ups in Asia. Ping works with premium ski operator Scott Dunn in designing their winter and summer menus, and trains their chefs. She recently launched Chairman Ping, a street food and catering company specializing in steamed baos.
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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.
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Emiko Davies first visited Florence while completing a fine art degree, arriving at Santa Maria Novella station with nothing but a suitcase and some broken Italian. The local culture and cuisine won her affections and inspired her to begin her five-year-old blog www.emikodavies.com about Tuscan food, its history and almost strict adherence to traditions.
She writes a weekly column, Regional Italian Food, for New York-based website, Food52 and a biweekly column for Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera while her husband Lami, a local Florentine, works as Head Sommelier at Michelin-starred Il Pellicano in southern Tuscany. http://www.emikodavies.com
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Naomi Devlin is a teacher, fermenter, baker and eater. Born in Ireland and raised in rural Dorset, she loves to get excited about the flavourful possibilities of real food and will tackle any question on health and diet you dare to ask. Using whole-grains, fermented vegetables and seasonal produce, she helps people find their way back to a comfortable tummy and joyful meals.
Her first love is teaching a range of nutritional and baking courses, which she does year-round at River Cottage, Ashburton Cookery School, Otter Farm and Divertimenti. Naomi lives in Bridport with her husband, son, and ginger cat, in a sustainable house they built themselves. She is the author of River Cottage Gluten Free (Bloomsbury 2016) and Food For a Happy Gut (Headline 2017).
"Not many people have the luxury to do what they love. I am one of the lucky ones… As a chef, I have the opportunity to be inventive and create truly memorable experiences that resonate with people.”
Dan Doherty is Executive Chef at renowned London restaurant, Duck & Waffle. He was voted Tatler’s Rising Chef Star in 2013, is a regular contributor to Olive magazine & has made appearances most recently on The One Show, Sunday Brunch & Saturday Kitchen. Dan’s second book will be released in 2016.
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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.
Her third book, Smashing Plates, (2013, Kyle Books) draws on her Anglo Greek heritage. In this title, Maria smashes outdated notions of traditional Greek food and gives the cuisine a thorough shake up; breaking the rules with bold new flavours and exciting ingredients, redefining Greek cuisine as we know it.
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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.
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Killian Fox is the founder-editor of The Gannet, a new online magazine that explores how people relate to food in their everyday lives. He is also a regular contributor to the Observer Food Monthly, as well as the arts section of the Observer and various other publications.
Killian grew up in the north-west of Ireland at a time (the 1980s) when the country was not widely renowned for its contribution to world gastronomy. It was over the course of his travels – a formative stint in New York, visits to India and East Africa, regular trips around Europe – that he cultivated a passion for food and the stories that accompany it.
He has been writing for the Observer since 2005. The Gannet, which he launched in early 2015, was born of a fascination with other people’s eating habits: How do they structure their day around food? What ingredients are in their cupboard? Where do they go to eat out? He’s incurably nosy, in other words, but has learned a great deal about food (and people) in the process.
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Born in Iran, Sabrina Ghayour is a self-taught cook and food writer who hosts the hugely popular ‘Sabrina’s Kitchen’ supper club at her home in London, specialising in Persian and Middle Eastern flavours.
Her supper clubs have been featured in The Times, Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph and her recipes have recently been featured in Delicious Magazine and Sainsburys Magazine.
Leading the trend in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, her recent collaborations include hosting her own ‘Passage to Persia’ pop-up with Anna Hansen at the Modern Pantry with guest chefs Ben Spalding, Omar Allibhoy, Alexis Gauthier and Tim Anderson all cooking Persian food. Sabrina is also now a regular guest Chef at Oliver Peyton’s ‘Friday Night Socials’ pop-ups at the National Cafe in The National Gallery.
A seasoned cookery teacher, she teaches at Divertimenti cookery school as well as private classes. Sabrina specialises in cooking up colourful, moreish dishes with Eastern flavours in an abundant ‘Mezze’ style with unique recipes and techniques.
Sabrina combines a creative use of ingredients with passion and flair to produce the kind of food that is not only vibrant and visual but nourishes the body and mind and always leaves you wanting more.
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Victoria is a London based cook, food writer and recipe developer. She has featured in various print and online publications, including The Times Weekend, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Evening Standard, Great British Chefs and Hello!
Her first five books, Boutique Wedding Cakes, Deliciously Vintage, Baking Mash-Up, Boozy Shakes and Deliciously Chocolatey, are out now. She founded Victoria's Cake Boutique in 2008 with clients including Miranda Hart, Zach Braff and The Princes Trust. Victoria cooked her way through the alphabet from artichokes to za’atar zebra and documented her journey on her popular blog, Alphabet Soup. She is currently the food writer in residence at The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre and is working on her sixth cookbook, due for release in Spring 2017.
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Rachel Green is an award-winning chef, food writer, food campaigner, and TV presenter. She has many strings to her apron, including Ambassador roles and recipe development for brands such as Yes Peas, The Traditional Farmfresh Turkey Association, Cole & Mason, Fresh Growers and UK Shallots.
Rachel is a regular on the food festival circuit; her cookery demonstrations are lively, with plenty of interaction with the audience. Last year she appeared at The Game Fair, Foodies Festivals, East Midlands Food and Drink Festival, East Anglian Game Fair and the Lincolnshire Show, to name a few. Rachel is also a judge for the British Pie Awards. Great Taste Awards, the Artisan Cheese Awards and the Tiptree World Bread Awards.
Her recipes have graced the pages of many a newspaper and magazine, including Hello! magazine, BBC Gardener’s World, Lincolnshire Life, The Journal, as well as People’s Friend and numerous national and regional titles.
A farmer’s daughter from Lincolnshire, her family have farmed in the county for 14 generations. Rachel has cooked for Her Majesty the Queen and 800 guests at the Savoy Hotel, London, and her TV appearances include The One Show, Countryfile, Sunday Brunch, World on a Plate, Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, Farm of Fussy Eaters, and Flying Dishes.
Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Anna studied business management before venturing out into the world of food. Anna first trained as a chef under Fergus Henderson (St John) in 1992 at his first restaurant venture, The French House Dining Room. She then worked with Peter Gordon (The Providores) in 1994 at Green Street and again in 1998 at The Sugar Club, Soho.
In 2001, Anna, Peter Gordon and partners opened their award-winning Marylebone restaurant, The Providores. In 2005 Anna left The Providores to focus on developing The Modern Pantry which opened its doors to critical acclaim in August 2008. In 2011 Anna’s first book ‘The Modern Pantry Cookbook’ was published to critical acclaim and she was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List for her services to the restaurant industry.
Anna's culinary philosophy is driven by the desire to please and excite the palate by renewing everyday cooking with modern ingredients and global inspiration; The Modern Pantry, in fact.
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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 Valentina 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.
Valentina's latest book is her culinary autobiography, her Foodoir entitled ‘Fiori di Zucca’, published in June 2013.
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Born in Australia, Samantha has always had a keen interest in a wide variety of fresh foods and cuisines. “As a small child I remember vividly going with my parents to the bustling fruit and vegetable market as well as often to the Sydney Fish Markets. The smells and sounds of these markets were always captivating and that is certainly where my passion for food first began.”
After completing her apprenticeship at The Park Hyatt Hotel, Sydney, Samantha enjoyed 2 years working in Somerset at The Castle Hotel whilst it retained its Michelin Star. During this time she was able to gain an amazing insight into the country lifestyle and the important role that farmers and food suppliers take in the restaurant industry.
Following another few years working in Sydney, Samantha once again moved back to the UK and is now enjoying life in London, where she has taken a slightly different angle to the hospitality industry. “I have always felt that cooking should be enjoyable and that everybody should be able to cook something at home! I think is extremely important that, from a young age, people understand the process that food goes through to become a meal as well as what a wide variety ingredients taste like alone and combined. Teaching children and young adults is not only inspiring but also extremely satisfying and rewarding, no matter what a dish looks like they are always so proud of their results.”
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Reiko Hashimoto is founder of Hashi Cooking, has been a finalist for the People's Choice Award at the Cookery School Awards and is working on her second book after the success of her first, Hashi - A Japanese Cookery Course.
Reiko has been teaching authentic Japanese cookery from her Wimbledon school, as well as across London, and in hotels, restaurants and catering businesses in Europe and Asia for the past 13 years. Reiko's students range from complete beginners to chefs of Le Cordon Bleu, who attend single classes, four-part courses, workshops and team building events to learn more about Japanese food culture, ingredients and a range of delicious dishes.
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Olia Hercules is a Leith’s-trained chef, recipe writer and food stylist. In December 2014, she was named as Observer Rising Star of 2015 in the food category. Her recipes are regularly featured in the ‘10 Best’ column of the Guardian’s Cook supplement and she has written for various publications including Sainsbury’s Magazine and Jamie Magazine.
Olia was born in 1984 in Kakhovka, Ukraine, only two hours’ drive from the Crimean border. Just an hour’s flight from Turkey, the south of Ukraine enjoys a mild climate and Olia’s childhood was filled with long, hot summers and food a cornucopia of colour and flavour.
She spent her formative years in Cyprus and studied in Italy before moving to England where she trained at Leith’s and then went on to hone her cooking skills in the fiery kitchens of Ottolenghi.
Olia lives in London with her son where the two of them can often be found pottering in their garden.
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Izy Hossack is a 21-year-old blogger and Instagram sensation, and her hit blog topwithcinnamon.com is the go-to place for delicious sweet and savoury recipes on both sides of the Atlantic. She has an impressive fan base, with more than 224,000 followers on Instagram (@izyhossack).
Much of Izy's food is inspired by her Italian-American heritage. Many of her recipes are gluten free and/or vegan. Izy collaborates with many different publications and brands including JamieOliver.com, IKEA, Cuisinart UK, Green & Black's, Remeo Gelato, theKitchn.com, Food52.com, Miss Vogue and SORTED to name a few. Izy has appeared on Channel 4's 'Daily Brunch' and has made videos for Waitrose TV, Endemol Shine's new channel Wild Dish and for Tesco Real Food. The Times Magazine recently named Izy as one of the world's most followed foodies and she has been featured in British Vogue.
Her second cookbook The Savvy Cook will be published by Mitchell Beazley in the UK in June 2017. As well as being a food writer, Izy is a photographer and food stylist, and styled and photographed all the food for her books herself. Izy is studying Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds University.
Since opening in 2012, tiny Fitzrovia restaurant Honey & Co has quickly become one of London’s most talked about, most favoured dining destinations, wowing customers and critics alike.
Husband and wife team Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer (the ‘Honey’ in Honey & Co) have a wealth of experience between them and cook homely, fragrant, delicious Middle Eastern food packed with vibrant flavour and sparkling with jewel-like colours. HONEY & CO: FOOD FROM THE MIDDLE EAST is their much-anticipated first cookbook – packed with fresh fruit and vegetables, wild honey, big bunches of herbs, smoky lamb, bread straight from the oven, old-fashioned stews, Middle Eastern traditions, falafel, dips, and plenty of tahini on everything.
Itamar Srulovich was most recently head chef at Ottolenghi, while Sarit Packer was both head of pastry at Ottolenghi and executive chef at Nopi. They first met ten years ago in a restaurant kitchen in Israel.
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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.
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Henrietta Inman is a skilled pastry chef and cookery teacher. She has worked in award-winning kitchens including The Lanesborough Hotel and the Michelin-starred Apsleys. She now lives and works in London and Suffolk where she takes private commissions and bespoke orders, holds cookery classes and baking demonstrations and does food consultancy, supper clubs and events.
Clean Cakes: Delicious patisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar was her first best-selling book. The Natural Baker: A new way to bake using the best natural ingredients is her second book. Henrietta balances the flavour, quality and texture of classic patisserie with the natural goodness of simple wholefoods, with outstanding results – sweet and savoury bakes that are as beautiful to look and totally nourishing as they are completely delicious.
Jennifer Joyce is a successful food writer, author and stylist based in London. American-born but resident in the UK for more than 20 years, Jennifer initially honed her skills in catering and cooking in a Nottting Hill cafe before moving into freelance magazine work.
She works for leading UK magazines such as BBC Good Food, Olive, Jaime and Waitrose Kitchen as well as the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, drawing on her unique dual talent for writing mouth-watering recipes and then creating and styling them for photography.
Jennifer has appeared on numerous radio and TV show in the USA and UK, including NBC’s ‘Today Show’, BBC news and radio and ‘Good Food Live’. ‘My Street Food Kitchen’ is Jennifer’s tenth cookbook. Some of her previous publications include, ‘Diva Cooking’, ‘The Well-dressed Salad’, ‘Small Bites’, and ‘Meals in Heels’. Divertimenti has been running her popular cookery classes since it began.
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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.
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Eric Lanlard, Master Pâtissier and twice winner of the prestigious Continental Pâtissier of the Year at the British Baking Awards, has earned himself an international reputation for superlative baked creations for an impressive A-list clientele. He is, according to Vanity Fair magazine, 'one of the best pâtissiers in the world'.
Having trained in France, Eric moved to London where, aged 22, he became Head Pastry Chef for Albert and Michel Roux. He stayed there for five years before launching his own business, Cake Boy, a destination café, cake emporium and cookery school based in London. Eric also creates afternoon teas for luxury hotels and travel brands worldwide.
Eric is an experienced TV presenter and has presented four series for Channel 4's Glamour Puds and Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard, and is a regular guest on TV shows including Great British Bake Off and Masterchef: The Professionals. He is co-author of Cox Cookies & Cake (Mitchell Beazley) and author of Master Cakes (Hamlyn), Home Bake, Tart It Up!, Chocolat, Totally Chocolate and Couture Cupcakes (Mitchell Beazley).
The title of Jane’s latest book The Get-Ahead Cook – Easy Recipes for delicious home cooking (April 2018) sums up her style of cooking and what she aims to convey through her demonstrations. Her fresh modern approach, tips, short-cuts and original style of presentation appeal to novice and experienced cooks alike.
Jane’s recipes are easy, uncomplicated, foolproof (she says there is no way she is going to demonstrate a recipe that might not work in front of a demanding audience!), contemporary and beautifully presented. All have detailed get-ahead elements to lighten the load and reduce stress-levels in the kitchen! Invaluable for the home cook, especially when entertaining.
Jane is an experienced cook who runs popular cookery demonstrations from her home and around the country. Having trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London, she has taught at Leiths School of Food & Wine, contributed and produced recipes and food for cookery books and magazines as a food stylist, and run her own successful London catering business. She writes a monthly column for The Northumbrian Magazine as well as contributing to other publications. Jane sends seasonal recipes via a newsletter from her website www.janelovett.com and you can follow her at janelovettcookery on Instagram.
Jane’s philosophy is that cooking should be fun and not frightening and there is plenty of fun to be had at her demonstrations here at Divertimenti.
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Chetna Makan was born in Jabalpur, an ancient city in central India. She has a degree in fashion and worked in Mumbai as a fashion designer before moving to the UK in 2003. Chetna reached the semi-final in The Great British Bake Off 2014 – the show peaked at 12.3 million viewers per episode in the UK. The series is shown on PBS in the US.
Chetna is included in the 2015 GG2 power 101 List, which recognizes Britain’s Most Influential Asians. She has over 25k followers on Twitter and runs a popular YouTube channel, Food with Chetna.
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Sara Danesin Medio was born in Italy and grew up in a traditional Italian family, where both her parents were and remain real foodies. Currently Sara resides in York where she spent a good part of her life. Before entering MasterChef and getting to the final in 2011, Sara trained as a nurse and worked in the NHS for 20 years and now says the show truly changed her life. Currrently Sara is now a Chef consultant and also the proud Chef patron of Sara@stjohn, the first dining club in York.
Her ethos as a Chef is simplicity, using a few but top quality ingredients to create an explosion of flavours. Sara strongly believes that the cooking lessons she teaches are a fantastic way to spark the passion and enables clients to make the very best of their ingredients and time.
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Martha moved from New York to London five years ago in order to pursue a culinary career that would allow her to develop her passion for cooking and good food. She 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 Martha is enthusiastic about introducing the young and inexperienced to the joys of cooking.
Her approach to food is that it should be kept simple, wholesome with a focus on flavours. In addition to Martha's work with Divertimenti, she also undertakes commercial and private catering projects that enable her to keep at the forefront of changing tastes and cuisines. She is currently researching material for a series of Children’s recipe books that she hopes will give parents a rich source of ideas for involving children in the kitchen, while offering healthy and hearty meals for all the family.
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As a child in Australia, Dee spent many happy hours baking with her mother and grandmother and got her first job in a bakery at the age of 14. From that moment on, Dee wanted to run a cafe bakery of her own, so, when she finished her studies at college, she came to London looking for ideas.
She worked as a nanny and began making celebration cakes for the family and their friends. Dee received so many compliments about her cakes that she decided to take her studies further. She enrolled at South Bank University and studied at the National Bakery School, receiving full distinctions in Creative Technology, Level 1 & 2.
Dee originally intended to go back to Australia to set up her business, but then she met her husband, and decided to stay in London. She started her own company Dee Light Cakes, which she ran until she had her two children. Since then, Dee has been making cakes for private clients and teaching cake decoration classes.. Her passion for baking shows. Her clients love her celebration cakes and she is an inspirational teacher. Dee Light Bakery is the realisation of a childhood dream for Dee, who has been making cakes professionally for 16 years.
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Kylee Newton founded Newton&Pott in 2012 as a means to ‘save the season’ and give good produce longevity. Utilising the age old technique of preserving became the perfect antidote to waste not, want not and up cycle food for the company she wanted to create, while adapting flavours with interesting twists for the modern palate.
Kylee, originally from New Zealand, started on a whim by making chutney as Christmas presents for colleagues and the business was born and quickly evolved to produce pickles, jams, curds and cordials into what it is today, as an ever growing repertoire inspired by the seasons and fruit and vegetables at offer.
Newton&Pott is based in the heart of Hackney’s food scene, a place where Kylee has resided for 17 years, and we stay true to the quality ideal of small batch preserves. Everything is made by hand, no part of the making is outsourced and all in a small production kitchen rather than a manufacturing factory. Quality over quantity remains strong in our ethos.
Every Saturday Newton&Pott has a stall at Broadway Market, our local market in East London, and our jars are sited on the shelves of Deli’s, Butchers and shops throughout London – giving people the opportunity to buy and support locally made. The past year has shown much growth and we can now be brought outside of London seen in Deli’s across the UK such as in Newcastle, Worcestershire, Reading and Norfolk- and by the end of the year we hope to be international in Italy, Dubai and New Zealand.
Last year saw the publication of ‘The Modern Preserver’, a recipe book by Kylee Newton, that encourages others to waste not, want not, use up the seasonal glut and be more aware what goes into their food by making it at home and from scratch. The book became a great way to market Newton&Pott and bring to the forefront the traditional ideal’s of preserving at the same time showcasing the passion that Kylee has for saving the season and giving good produce longevity.
Pizza Pilgrims started life in 2011, after driving a three wheeled Piaggio Ape back from Italy on a 6 week “Pizza Pilgrimage” of discovery. Once home, we installed a Neapolitan pizza oven and sold our first pizza on Berwick St Market. Since then, we have traded at a huge variety of events across the country, and opened two pizzerias in Soho (so we can make pizza in the rain).
We are only interested in making the best quality pizza possible - with handmade, 48 hr proved dough and ingredients shipped in from Naples. The pizza is accompanied by Italian wines & craft beers - as well as fussball, arcade machines and tunes you have not heard in a while.
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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.
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Kay Plunkett-Hogge is a well-respected food and drink writer with a wide culinary repertoire and an in-depth knowledge of the drinks industry. .
Growing up in 70s Bangkok, Kay spent her childhood between two kitchens: inside for Western food, outside for Thai. Thai cuisine continues to be a part of Kay’s everyday cooking and features in her forthcoming book, Heat: Cooking with Chillies, the World’s Favourite Spice, published by Quercus in May 2016.
Kay started her food career by setting up a bespoke location catering service for the fashion business, having been a model agent in New York and London, and a movie co-ordinator in Bangkok and Los Angeles during the 80s and 90s. Since then, Kay has worked as a food consultant, most notably with the team behind the successful Leon restaurants and is co-author of Leon Family & Friends.
An author in her own right, Kay’s acclaimed cocktail book, Make Mine a Martini was published in 2014 and was chosen by the Financial Times as one of the best food books of the year, winning accolades for its straightforward and knowledgeable approach to cocktail-making: “Kay can cook – but she can shake a damn fine cocktail too.” – Heston Blumenthal. Her next book in the series, A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas, will be published by Mitchell Beazley in August 2016.
Kay has written for FT Weekend, Delicious and Olive and currently writes a regular cocktail column for the Daily Telegraph where she combines traditional drinks with new recipes and gives a fascinating insight into the history and provenance of cocktails. She is a member of The Gin Guild.
Kay lives in London with her husband.
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.
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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.”
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A TV cook and author of five books, Jo Pratt is a regular contributor to BBC Good Food and Waitrose magazines and often appears on shows such as Channel 4 ‘What’s Cooking?’. She is the former food editor for both Elle and Glamour magazines and was named one of Waterstones’ ‘Writers of the Future’. She has worked with Marcus Waring, Gary Rhodes and many more high-profile chefs and brands. She is the executive chef of award-winning restaurant The Gorgeous Kitchen.
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Trinidad-born Shivi, author of Caribbean Modern: Recipes from the Rum Islands, dubbed by The Guardian as "Caribbean food supremo", has whipped up her tropical delights across London and UK, including her Caribbean street food at Feast food festival in London, taking over (for one night) the famous Le Coq restaurant in Islington and hosting a Caribbean supper club for Jamie Oliver's Food Foundation Charity, pop-ups at the well-known Soho House and Peyton & Byrne, as well as continuing to run her popular *Lime Supper Club in West London.
Shivi and her recipes have been featured in numerous publications, including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, You magazine in The Daily Mail, Delicious. magazine, BBC Good Food magazine, The Metro and The Guardian, to name a few. She has also been featured (and cooked live on air!) on BBC Woman's Hour.
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Sainsbury’s Magazine Food Director Sarah Randell trained professionally at Leith’s School of Food and Wine before going on to work internationally as a chef, and was also food editor to Delia Smith for over ten years. A judge at the annual Dalemain Marmalade Awards, Sarah is also the co-author of The Camper Van Cookbook and The Camper Van Coast.Marmalade; A Bittersweet Cookbook, Sarah’s most recent book is the home cook’s definitive guide to making and cooking with marmalade throughout the year.
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Dawn Roads is the AGA Food Editor and AGA enthusiast. She has a passion for good food and is a supporter of fresh, local and seasonal products. Dawn is a leading authority on AGA and Rayburn cooking both as an owner and having worked for the Telford based company for over 30 years. She has demonstrated worldwide, has advised on AGA books and is co-author of ‘A Lifetime of AGA’, ‘The New Rayburn Cookbook’ and author of the AGA 60 Recipe Book.
Debora Robertson is a successful food writer, author, editor and gardener. She wrote Gifts from the Garden: 100 Gorgeous Home Grown Presents, full of inspiring ideas for things to make from what you grow.
She was associate Food Editor of Red Magazine, Food Editor at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and has written about food and gardening for many magazines and newspapers, including Red, BBC Good Food, Food Illustrated, Waitrose Kitchen, Sainsbury’s magazine, The Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday and The Guardian.
She lives in East London with a husband, a dog, a cat and about 100 pots of herbs. Ideally, doesn’t like to be more than 100 metres from a bottle of Noilly Prat.
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Sujet Saenkham is Australia’s most exciting and talented Thai chef and co-owner and Executive Head Chef of Sydney’s Spice I Am restaurants, which have been wowing critics for the last 10 years.
Born in a remote village in Ratchaburi province in Central Thailand, Sujet worked on his father’s farm and learned many of his skills as a chef first hand from his mother, who catered for many of Thailand’s important officials and delegates. Since opening his first small restaurant (8 tables and 18 chairs) in Sydney in 2004 he has built a restaurant empire that now includes several Spice I Am restaurants, House Thai (which specialises in Issan dishes from northern Thailand) and Surry Hills Eating House (which specialises in the regional cuisine of southern Thailand with Buddhist and Islamic influences). From that very first restaurant his approach has always been about staying true to the regional differences of Thai cuisine and communal dining. He does not tone down or modify/substitute ingredients – and for that he has been highly praised by Australia’s food critics. Now, he supplies the restaurants with many Thai ingredients from his own small farm.
Sujet is coming to London this autumn to unveil his first cookbook – Spice I Am – and as the face of the launch the Lantern list of books in the UK by Quadrille Publishing. Recipes in the book showcase Sujet’s fresh, authentic recipes and accessible style and include – banana flower cakes, bitter melon soup, basil minced chicken, green papaya salad with dried shrimp, peanut and chilli, southern style fish curry with betel leaves, stuffed banana chillies with choo ghee curry, chicken curry with pumpkin and dill.
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Emma Spitzer was born and raised in Brighton, southern England, to Jewish parents of Polish and Russian descent.
Following her success on reaching the final of BBC 1's MasterChef, Emma has been in high demand. She has been teaching cookery classes and demonstrating at food festivals, running sell-out supper clubs and catering for private dining events. Emma's popularity on the show is evident through her social media following, with more than 50,000 followers on Twitter. She lives in north London with her husband, four young daughters and their cat.
Alexandra Stratou was born and raised in Athens but educated in an English school making her a somewhat unconventional Greek and making exploring and revealing “tradition” a basic part of her identity.
She trained professionally to become a chef in San Sebastian, Spain at one of the oldest family-run cooking schools - Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar - and before embarking on this path received a Bachelor of Arts at Brown University. She is the author of the cookbook Cooking with Loula, a cookbook that invites you into the kitchen of a modern Greek family.
Her passions are bringing people together over a plate of good food, sourcing ingredients that need minimal intervention and learning how to respect the process rather than just achieving a result.
She moved to London 6 months ago, with her husband Michael, and dog Max, and is in the process of discovering the British seasons, and produce. Cooking up Greek meals is her favorite way of taking short trips home without having to get on a plane!
New Zealand born cheese maker Louise Talbot, developed a love of good food from an early age, having grown up on the family farm, with abundant fresh produce and nutritious home cooked family meals and baking. NZ a nation she says, of more dairy cows than people!
First taught to make cheese by a French woman more than 15 years ago (and having also undertaken training in commercial cheese manufacture) qualified teacher Louise, combines her passion for cheese and teaching others new skills, at her cheese making classes, Cutting the Curd.
As a farmer’s wife and Mother of two grown-up sons in agriculture, she is proud of her rural heritage (both in NZ and UK) with a heart very much in the country!
She’s a member of the Specialist Cheese Makers Association, The Guild of Fine Foods and a judge at both the World and Global Cheese Awards and Great Taste Awards.
And if there’s any spare time, she can be found either enjoying her garden or flower arranging, preparing delicious meals for friends and family or walking much loved pets – a black Labrador and rather naughty beagle!
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Milli is a London based chef with a background in design. She runs her catering company 'Milli's Catering' cooking for both private and corporate events and is known for her creative canapés. Described by the Telegraph as the "go to girl for party food" her first book Party Perfect Bites was published in October of last year to resounding success and led to both TV and radio appearances.
She holds a particular interest in Spanish cooking and regularly travels to Spain to visit family and to cater for guests at their small hotel and event venue. Her relaxed and creative approach is highly regarded with her recipes being published in Olive, Red, The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian.
Milli is happiest when bringing people together through good food, the 'Milli's Kitchen Supperclub' has been running for two years from her home and popped up for a night in collaboration with Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. Her Spanish menus will be open to the public for a two week restaurant residency at the Sun and 13 Cantons Pub in Soho from October 26th-November 7th.
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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.
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Sumayya Usmani is a freelance food writer and cookery teacher who specialises in Pakistani cuisine. Growing up in Pakistan to a family of passionate home cooks, Sumayya learnt to cook from a very young age by estimation ‘andaza’, known on the sub-continent as the sixth sense of cooking. She is now on a mission to expose the unique flavours of Pakistan in the UK and distinguish them from others in the South Asia. She wants to share her passion for Pakistan and her heritage cuisine and promote Pakistan in a positive light.
Her recipes have been published in Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation cookbook (2012, Ebury Press) and she has also appeared on the Good Food Channel TV show supporting the book. Additionally, Sumayya has contributed articles to many prestigious UK based food magazines and teaches in many cook schools across the country. Sumayya is also currently writing a memoir-style cookbook about growing up in Pakistan and sharing her recipes and food memories. She is also Member of the Guild of Food Writers.
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International cookery teacher and Turkish culinary expert Ozlem Warren is a native of Turkey, lived there and extensively travelled for 30 years. Ozlem is passionate about the wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine and the culinary heritage that her homeland offers and the author of her popular Turkish recipe blog Ozlem’s Turkish Table . She taught hugely popular Turkish cooking classes through the Central Market Cooking Schools in Texas (Austin, San Antonio and Houston) as a guest chef for 5 years, now she travels back to Texas every two years to teach there as a guest chef. She also teaches Turkish cooking classes privately and with Cookery Schools in England at the Istanbul Culinary Institute in Istanbul, in JA University, Amman – Jordan.
Ozlem feels very fortunate to be a part of this rich, generous and welcoming culture. She vividly remembers friends and extended family members knocking the door of her Grandmother’s 400 year old house in Antakya spontaneously, and they were happily welcomed to the dinner table. They would all sit around her courtyard dinner table under the fig tree and have a feast of senses with arrays of wonderful mezzes ( small plates of appetizers), abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables cooked in olive oil (Zeytinyaglilar), succulent kebabs and many more. Likewise, her mother would put extra two plates on the table, as she would know there is always someone turns out to say hi or join the meal. Turkish saying “Basimin ustunde yerin var” (“I would place you at the top of my head”) sums the Turkish hospitality very well.
Ozlem also hosts culinary and cultural tours to Turkey, to show her homeland from a local’s perspective. Her recipes got published in the local media in England, Live Encounters Magazine, Hurriyet and Sabah national daily newspapers in Turkey. Ozlem also took part at the “Turkish Chefs of the World”, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired at TRT, National Turkish TV channel and in 37 countries. Ozlem recently prepared an Online Turkish Cookery Course to provide a window into Turkish culture through its food, where she shares insight into Turkish history and hospitality, along with a demonstration of popular Turkish dishes.
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Kate Waters is a registered Nutritional Therapist and chef, combining her knowledge about the inner workings of food and the human body.
Trained at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland in 1995, Kate first worked in restaurants, then directors’ dining rooms in The City, as well as for event companies, before becoming a personal chef in various private houses in London. Kate has also run her own catering business, for private clients in and around London.
Kate had always cooked in a healthy fashion but she began to notice that food intolerances, or food related health issues, where affecting an increasing number of peoples’ lives (including her own). Kate began to focus on incorporating these concerns into her style of cooking and menu planning, enabling her clients to eat a balanced healthy diet that was still varied and delicious – and when required, bespoke to their individual health requirements.
Realising that food is at the root of all health, Kate enrolled at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, graduating with a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy in 2014. Immediately following this, she started teaching the ‘Cooking For Health’ course at the same college. She now practices as a Nutritional Therapist in central and west London and teaches healthy cooking both at CNM and privately in clients homes.
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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
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Alyn Williams is chef / patron of Michelin-star restaurant Alyn Williams at The Westbury in Mayfair, and the reigning National Chef of the Year.
After working with Marcus Wareing for more than eight years, holding the role of head chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for four, London-born Alyn decided to open his own restaurant at the end November 2011.
His eponymous restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair showcases his meticulous style of modern French cooking in chic, contemporary, professionally-informal surroundings. Within its first year of opening, it was awarded the Three AA Rosette Award, a Michelin star, and was ranked 15th (third highest new entry) in the National Restaurant Awards, while Alyn himself took the title of National Chef of the Year, rounding up an incredible 12 months of business.
Alyn’s early culinary experience was at a wide variety of establishments, both in the UK (Les Alouettes in Surrey, and Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham) and the USA (in Colorado and California, where he also indulged in his passion for snowboarding). When he returned to London in 1998 he perfected his craft in some of the city’s most renowned kitchens including Teatro, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s during its opening, the three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Soho’s Groucho Club, The Savoy Grill and Pétrus.
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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.'
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Zuza Zak is a cook, food writer and blogger (www.zuzazak.com), whose main focus is the Polish food of her childhood. Wanting to bring Polish cooking into the mainstream and to show it in a new light, Zuza spent the last few years writing POLSKA: new Polish cooking (one of BBC Radio 4’s top cookbooks of 2016). Encouraged by the sellout success of POLSKA, Zuza feels that the time is ripe to bring the rich and varied cuisine of Eastern Europe into the limelight.
Zuza learnt the art of cooking from an early age, from her beloved grandmas and her mother. All of Zuza’s early childhood memories are intertwined with food and cooking. Passionate instilling an appreciation for food from an early age, she is already getting her own one-year-old daughter involved in the kitchen! Zuza’s interest lies in the culture and history of food, as passed down through generations, therefore she loves storytelling as a medium for delving into another cuisine and through it, into another world.