Meet the Chefs
Ian Dowding is an experienced chef, having spent 35 years in the restaurant trade and the past five years teaching and writing for catering press publications. During his career, Ian spent 12 years running his own successful restaurant and whilst Head Chef at the Hungry Monk, Jevington, he invented the now famous Banoffi Pie. Ian was also the chef for the television series Regency House Party. Ian is an excellent tutor; enthusiastic, and encouraging and has the patience to develop skills in even the most kitchen shy individual.
Originally from Kyushu, a southern island of Japan, Atsuko has been sharing her knowledge and techniques of Japanese homestyle cooking with a series of courses in the UK since 2008.
Her down-to-earth and unpretentious approach to cuisine combined with her talent to create delicious, simple to prepare, fashionable meals will make you experience the Japanese philosophy of elegance and simplicity.
Steve Cooke’s chef skills have been honed during a career that has seen him working in a variety of restaurants both in the UK and further afield. Since becoming freelance he has worked in a number of environments including with Fifteen To You (Jamie Oliver’s events company), and Formula One Chef for I.T.V. Steve has an contagious passion for cooking good food and this is delivered in an ardent, warm, and informal teaching style.
Derren has been cooking professionally for around 20 years. Having grown up on the South Coast of Cornwall, his passion for surfing led to a life of travelling and working in kitchens around the world from Australia to Mexico. Upon his return to the UK, he settled in Brighton where his training in Spanish cuisine, vegetarian cookery and modern British bistro food furthered his repertoire. Eventually Derren started his own catering business and established a daily food offer at the Sidewinder pub in Brighton, providing an outside event catering service too, catering for weddings and corporate events, whilst also providing a consultancy service for local hospitality businesses.
Since 2011, Derren has worked as a chef trainer and assessor, providing apprentice chefs with the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to have a successful career in the hospitality industry. His passion lies with inspiring people through learning more about food and cookery and to de-mystify what lies behind great flavoursome dishes!
The proprietor of “Sarah’s Cottage Cakes”, Sarah supplies local customers and businesses with her homemade cakes, scones and slices and also makes novelty cakes to order. Sarah has been baking for over 15 years, developing recipes consistent with her rustic, home cooked “brand.”
Her main clients include Flatplanet, in London, where her gluten free recipes can be found in the new Leon cookbook and she bakes organic cakes & slices for Plaw Hatch Farm in Sharpthorne who reached the finals in Sussex Food Awards last year.
Stefano’s passion and interest in cookery began at a very early age, surrounded by the aromas coming from his parents Trattoria at home in Italy, he couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and start experimenting. He has worked in several renowned London restaurants including Daphne’s, Quaglino’s and Harrods, serving traditional and modern Italian dishes to top celebrities from around the world. Stefano’s passion now is to make Italian cooking fun and accessible to all.
Originally from New Zealand, Ben has spent the last 15 years in the UK. After a stint working in the renowned Soho vegetarian café Mildreds, Ben spent the last 14 years travelling the U.S.A and Europe cooking for some of the worlds biggest music stars including; Coldplay, The Police, The Eagles, Justin Timberlake, Yes, Snow Patrol, Lilly Allen, Bruno Mars, and Paul Simon. To satisfy such diverse clients Ben has drawn on food cultures from all over the world. Ben now runs his own catering company in Brighton and is involved in food styling and recipe writing.
Jack Balchin is a chef whose main focus is pairing great flavours, textures and techniques to create modern, contemporary dishes influenced by the latest food trends. He has spent 8 years working as a chef, progressing through Michelin starred kitchens. Currently, Jack teaches up-and-coming chefs in restaurants all over Sussex a mixture of classic French and modern British cuisine, which he has been doing for the past 3 years and finds very rewarding. A class with Jack will give you the foundation skills and confidence to create your very own culinary masterpiece.
Belle Case was born in the south of Thailand and being half-Thai and half-Chinese, she experienced both traditions as she grew up. From a very young age she would help her mother in the family restaurant after returning home from school. As the years went by, her mother taught her the finer details of Thai cuisine. After twenty years’ experience of cooking Thai dishes, Belle now loves passing her passion and knowledge onto other cooks. Her passion for good food encompasses dishes from all over Asia and the West. She has taught in various venues around the country, including the prestigious Bertinet Kitchen in Bath.