“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 & 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.
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!
Alex Worrall | Chef
Alex has worked in professional catering for 24 years, he started working in kitchens such as Bibendum under Simon Hopkinson, Sharrow bay for Francis Coulson and the Oak Room for Marco pierre white, he moved to Australia where he worked initially for free at Tetsuya in Sydney before eventually working full time between Tetsuya and the Dali Street thai. Alex returned to Manchester just before the Milenium working at Reform under the late genius Eli leconte, then on to opening the Lowery hotel. More recently head chef of Victors in Hale, Astralasia, and opened the Refuge in Manchester. Lately a chef consultant and executive chef at the Flava People, a food and seasonings company based in Manchester.
Rob Owen-Brown | Chef
Rob Owen-Brown is a great British chef who has his roots firmly in the Northwest, he is an advocate of British food with a twist, but with the skills to turn his hand to every type of cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients. Rob is a regular contributor to Jay Rayners Kitchen Cabinet program on Radio 4. Rob is a personable down to earth chef who instantly puts you at ease with his natural ability to teach as well as cook!
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.
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.
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.
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.