Meet the chefs
Our award-winning chefs have been hand-picked to ensure we provide you with the finest cookery experience in a fun and friendly environment. Their knowledge and skills will enable to you produce fine food in your own kitchen at home.
Giovanni Di Sarno
Artisan Baker and Pizza Chef
Fifth generation Italian baker
Born in Naples (Italy) I'm the fifth generation baker in my family.
My family still owns a bakery in "Pollena Trocchia", in Italy, near the volcano "Vesuvius", where my father and younger brother still work to this day. It was there where I was taught by my grandmother "Maria" from an early age.
Graduating at 18 at the cookery academy of Pollena Trocchia, I worked in the family bakery until I was 22 then I decided to leave home for Australia where I spent the next 3 years working as Bread baker and Pizza Chef.
From Australia I started a pilgrimage to different countries, living and working always as baker or pizza chef: New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and England. Now living in England for 7 years, I still work as a baker, pizza chef and from these last 5 years as a teacher too, passing on my knowledge and passion to others.
Professional chef and teacher
Food expert on BBC Radio London
Hulya has been a professional chef and teacher for over 20 years and is an integral part of the Braxted Cookery School family. She is our resident expert on Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. She is also a pro in Spanish, French and British food. Hulya is also a radio personality and food expert on BBC Radio London, on the Robert Elms show as well as having her own You Tube and social media channels. Hulya loves teaching and showing others the joys of cooking and eating!
Chef and Cookery Teacher
Passionate about authentic Indian food
Padmaja Kochera is an experienced chef and cookery teacher who is passionate about authentic Indian Food and has been promoting real Indian food in UK for past 15 years.
Join her in one day classes where she will introduce you to a wide variety of recipes and dishes that will instantly transport you to the world of beautiful India. Using spices and ingredients that are readily available in the UK she'll talk you through some amazing stories to illustrate how spices are an integral part of Indian Cooking. The day will provide you with an understanding of Indian ingredients and cooking techniques enabling you to produce a wider variety of beautiful Indian dishes at home.
The menu for all the classes are picked in such a way that the dishes are all suitable for the home cook using readily available ingredients. The class is suitable for everyone from the seasoned cook to a complete beginner. The class is very hands-on with all the ingredients provided and each step explained fully. At the end of the class you will take home all the dishes that you have created and will enjoy a sit down lunch with a beautiful Indian meal together trying the dishes cooked by the chef.
Chef and Cookery Teacher
Masterchef 2019 contestant
Yui comes from a strong Thai-Chinese family where cooking and eating have always been a focal point of family life. She helped prepare and cook from a very young age. Her mum was the first person to teach her to cook traditional Thai and Chinese dishes passed on to her from her grandma.
When she got married and moved to the UK in 2001, she began to cook Thai and Asian food at dinner parties for her friends and family. She has followed her passion for authentic Asian cuisine showcasing her dishes on BBC's Masterchef UK 2019 as a quarter-finalist and also appearing on Channel 4 cooking show "Beat the Chef" where she beat the chef to win the cash prize that enabled her to set up her cooking business.
She has completed food and hygiene Level 3 and an NVQ L2 course in photography and food photography. She has a strong passion for authentic Asian dishes and flavours. She has worked with Sainsbury's creating unique Asian recipes for their social media. Yui also works with the tourism authority for Thailand and the Thai commercial department in the UK, to create Thai recipes, cooking videos, online cookery teaching courses and promote Thai recipes in the UK.
Yui is a regular cookery teacher at Braxted Park Cookery School and has been teaching Asian cooking classes including the Tastes of Amazing Thailand class, Japanese Masterclass and the Asian Flavour Masterclass since 2019. Her class is relaxed with clear and easy to follow recipes plus many tips to recreate the dishes at home with ingredients readily available from your local stores.
Food writer and Chef
Clasically trained in Paris
Ursula Ferrigno learnt to cook as a child watching her Italian grandmother preparing traditional family dishes.
She trained in Paris and teaches regular classes in London for Leiths, Caldesi and in Oxford Jericho Kitchen.
She has made numerous tv appearances and has written many books including Real Fast Vegetarian that went straight into the Sunday Times bestseller lists ; her latest book coming out in March is a memoir and cookery book from her home Cucina Amalfitana.
Ursula loves teaching and sharing her knowledge and passion. She also teaches in Italy regularly in the Veneto and Puglia.
Food Consultant and Chef
Trained at Westminster Kingsway College
Steve has been passionate about food since the age of 15 where he discovered the delights of cookery through a Saturday job at a local restaurant. After learning the basics of food and cookery he chose to attend the prestigious Westminster Kingsway College to train as a Chef. He decided to train in both kitchen and patisserie to learn all aspects of the culinary world.
One of his first roles was a position in the kitchens at the House of Commons where he worked his way up within different kitchens and area of the palace. Steve has gained valuable experience in several high-profile restaurants and hotels in London and surrounding counties as well as around the globe. His culinary journey took him back to Westminster Kingsway College, this time as a Chef Lecturer. He not only had the privilege of teaching aspiring young chefs but also worked closely with The Fifteen Foundation to establish and support their training programme.
Steve has held several roles from Senior Executive Chef for British Airways to Head of Food for Ugo Food Group. Steve’s own consultancy Steve Walpole Limited was born in 2013, growing from a demand for the specialist knowledge and expertise he has to offer. Steve has been involved in food development, training and the free from food scene for several years across all sectors of food. He is a champion of British and classic French cuisine but is also a plant based and vegan ambassador. He has a repertoire of global cuisine knowledge due to his travels and uses this as a platform to share his knowledge at trade shows, exhibitions and media with recipes, demonstrations, or talks.