“The Cheshire Cookery School was born out of my philosophy that good food is at the heart of all that matters in life; it is an expression of our connection to each other and to our environment.”
Andrew Warnes, Founder and Managing Director

Andrew Warnes
Andrew Warnes | Founder & Managing Director

Andrew’s passion for food is the driving force behind The Cheshire Cookery School. He founded it in 2009 when he realised he could turn this passion into a business. Preparation for evening meals begins early in Andrew’s house – around 10 o’clock in the morning! Unsurprisingly, Andrew’s form of relaxation is cooking and watching cooking programs on TV. He’s renowned for his dinner parties as well as his business brain.

Loves: Lisa’s Lemon Tart

Lisa Warnes
Lisa Warnes | Founder & Director

The School’s organisational whiz, Lisa is one of the founder members of the cookery school. She has an infectious enthusiasm for creating the best event or class for customers, and goes out of her way to make people feel welcome. Lisa loves planning the menus with the chefs, and hates waste – she can often be found making batches of soup with any leftover ingredients in the school!

Loves: Scallop and Asparagus Risotto (washed down with cold white wine)

Celebrity Chef Joe Hurd
Joe Hurd | Chef

Joe Hurd started his career under the guidance of Francesco Mazzei at London’s L’Anima restaurant. A second generation Italian, Joe has dedicated his life to Italian food, working closely with the late Antonio Carluccio, Gennaro Contaldo, Aldo Zilli and Heston Blumenthal. During his time in the kitchen he has appeared on Saturday Kitchen, The Travel Chanel, The Saturday Show and hosted ITV’s The Munchbox. He is a co-founder of one of Londons most exciting supper clubs, “The Bowles Room Blitz” and has appeared at a number of BBC Good Food Shows, Jimmy’s Farm Festival, Aldeburgh Food Festival and Radio 2’s Carfest. Joe will be back on your screens in 2018.
Loves: Pasta Pomodoro, Parmigiana, Octopus and Sicilian Red Prawns

Kurt Thomas
Kurt Thomas | Chef

Chef Kurt Thomas is a popular member of our team – having over 35 years’ experience in the industry Kurt is affectionately known as ‘Pops’ by fellow chefs. Kurt is classically trained, and able to turn his hand to all cooking styles. He is confident and happiest around people and is a great team leader. Being a natural teacher Kurt’s ambition is to help guide chefs and keen cooks, inspiring them and educating them by passing on experiences gained through a life as a chef.

Loves: Crisp shard of smoked salmon with lemon and dill mayo

Julie Penkathman
Julie Penkethman | Office Administrator

No business can run smoothly without a brilliant administrator, so it’s great that we have Julie to keep our office ticking over perfectly. Julie has been with the school since the beginning and she looks after all the paperwork, including the class menus and recipe handouts. A fun and friendly person to have around, she is always willing to help our chefs and customers. Julie loves baking and makes Christmas foodie hampers for all her friends – luckily we get to taste her creations first. And if she asks you, do say yes to her outstanding milky coffee.

Loves: Lobster & fillet steak – she’s a Surf & Turf girl.

Jane Ellis
Jane Ellis | Front of House

Jane loves to welcome customers to the cookery school, she has a warm and friendly nature at easily puts people at ease. She makes sure that everything in the school is ‘spit spot’ and ‘just so’ and most importantly makes sure there’s always chilled wine on hand. Jane says, ‘I enjoy helping to create environments in which people can prosper socially, educationally and culturally in an atmosphere of friendly welcome’

Loves: Jane is into ‘sweet & sour’ and her favourite food is Lemon Cheesecake.

Alexander Diamond
Alexander Diamond | Senior Chef’s Assistant

Alexander is a firm favourite with both chefs and customers. Helping out whenever needed he is an invaluable assistant to the school. He has been with us since we started, and is an experimental and adventurous cook. Alexander has a big brain and plans to study law at university. But until then he’ll continue to be a dab hand with the fairy liquid, as well as the person customers often want to take home. His favourite days at the cookery school are working with the kids at the kids cookery club.

Loves: His Greek Grandmas traditional ‘Peas in the Meat’ dish.

Julie Bowdon
Julie Bowden | Accounts

Where would we be without Julie? She runs a very tight ship and keeps our finances in order. The only thing that stops Julie from checking the accounts is travelling around in her vintage VW van with her family. She has a smallholding and aspires to be Felicity Kendall from the Good Life in her spare time.

Loves: Fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and Dauphinoise potatoes and fine green beans
(being an accountant she is very specific).


“We are very proud of what we have achieved over the last two and half years – the school is going from strength to strength and we love the fantastic feedback and big smiles that we get after each class!”

Lisa Warnes, Founder & Director