Meet the Ambassadors
Thanks to these fantastic, talented people for their help and support so far. Keep an eye out here to see what they’re up to with Cook School…
“I’m so excited to be part of Cook School and I will be helping by judging competitions, giving recipes to the courses and much more. I believe teaching our children the skills they need to cook for themselves will help them become happier healthier adults. So much joy comes from cooking with family and friends that can’t be experienced from a takeaway. If a child can grow up knowing how to cook a few basics, they will also be much more self-sufficient and independent. Plus kids love it!”
A California native, Claire Ptak now resides in London where she is the chef / owner of Violet Bakery. Alongside baking, Claire works extensively as a food stylist and writer.
Most recently Claire was commissioned to make the Royal Wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, she created a bespoke cake installation for the couple using vanilla sponge, Amalfi lemon curd and elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream using Sandringham Estate’s elderflower cordial.
Claire is currently working on a new cookbook violetcakes.com
“Cook School is a fantastic platform to equip children with basic skills and knowledge to improve their nutrition and eating habits in a fun way. It’s also, hopefully an opportunity to share West African food cultures and ingredients with a new generation.”
Born to a Ghanaian father and Irish mother, Zoe deepened her understanding of West African cuisine after a trip to visit her extended family in Ghana. There, she spent time exploring recipes in her grandmother’s kitchen and at the famous Kaneshi street market, where she met with cooks who shared their own takes on traditional recipes. Named one of London’s hottest chefs by Time Out, her restaurant, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, and the debut cookbook of the same name are about taking people on and sharing an amazing food journey. Zoe is on a mission to bring African food to the masses and to see a world as well acquainted with Jollof as they are with tacos and a high street as diverse in its African cuisines as it is with it with Pan and South Asian food. Zoe’s debut cook book, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, is out now and is available on Amazon. www.zoesghanakitchen.co.uk
Skye McAlpine spends the majority of her time in Venice, where she writes, practises photography and teaches cookery workshops. She is the author of a successul blog, From My Dining Table, an instagram influencer and has contributed to publications from aroudn the world, including The Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Saturday Telegraph, Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveller. Skye’s first cookbook A Table in Venice: Recipes from my Home was published in Spring 2018.
“I’ve joined Cook School as an Ambassador to encourage children to learn to value and respect their food, and to help them learn how to make the most of the food they have. I want children to understand the impact of their food on the planet and how they can minimise food waste. Then let’s get them educating their parents.”
Anna Pitt is author of 101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free and Leftover Pie: 101 ways to reduce your food waste. Anna works as a speaker and consultant for Rachelle Strauss’ Zero Waste Week, helping organisations that want to run a Zero Waste campaign – but don’t have time or don’t know how. Anna guides them through the process of implementing a successful strategy to stop wasting money, preserve resources and achieve their CSR goals.” She gives talks, demonstrations and drop-in sessions in schools, clubs and businesses to find workable solutions to waste worries.
“I became an ambassador for Cook School to help educate children on the provenance and seasonality of food, and to teach the skills needed to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
Chantelle Nicholson is the multi-award winning Chef Patron at Tredwells in the West End and Group Operations Director for Marcus Wareing Restaurants, and has cooked at prestigious venues including The Savoy Grill and Pétrus. As one of the UK’s leading female names in the hospitality industry, Chantelle’s passions lie firmly in seasonal food, educating people and encouraging them to get into cooking at all ages. Chantelle believes food is life, and that the only way to ensure a future for everyone is through food. For her, teaching kids to cook is of paramount importance because it gives them a broad range of skills: organisation, time management and discipline, as well as allowing them to create something tangible. It’s for these reasons that she’s proud to be supporting Cook School. www. www.tredwells.com
“I love Cook School because it’s about having fun with food, and it’s inclusive and affordable. There’s no more urgent problem to fix than kids’ nutrition — and the only way to do it is by getting them excited by the stuff they put in their mouths. That’s what Cook School does.”
Stefan is a Gastronaut: a food adventurer who loves to play with his food and combine it with science. He likes his food to be naughty, fascinating and explosive and thinks kids learn best when they laugh, scream and get their hands mucky. He’s an award-winning TV presenter of 17 outrageous BBC TV series (including CBBC’s Gastronuts and Incredible Edibles), presents hundreds of food and science stage shows every year, and has written eight books, including the upcoming Fartology (out November 2018). www.thegastronaut.com
“Cook School’s very close to my heart, I wish I’d had this opportunity when I was young, I had no idea how to cook as I grew up without the tuition of culinary skills. I’ve had to develop the skills myself over time whilst having a busy schedule on set. I’m really excited about supporting everything that Cook School will achieve.”
Jack Allsobrook is an actor best know for film and television. He’s recently finished his press tour of the Bromley Boys and has now been cast in a television series over in America and he’s having to train hard for this series – his training’s provided by Flintbarn Fitness. He’s also got some exciting roles coming up next year on the big screen – you’ll hear it here first, keep any eye out for updates! Jack’s also promoting his new album which is being pursued by record labels. Jack’s had help from amazing Michelin chefs all across the country and is very excited to be on board Cook School. Jack’s also taught and coached kids football and cricket from a young age and loves helping kids to learn new skills. Look out for Jack with Cook School at a venue near you!
“I think children should take photos of food, there is a lot of enjoyment in taking photos, I find it vey hard sometimes to take photos of food because my mouth waters so much. Yesterday we were in a restaurant and I saw a burger that was lit above it, I found the light interesting and took a photo. Pick up your camera and have a go, but always concentrate. Don’t always take too many photos, instead try to make each one special. Use your time for the photo. Good luck!”
Ruby won Young (10 & Under) category of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2018, she is our first student ambassador. Ruby loves to take photos of food and wants to help encourage other children to have a go too.
“I think all kids should cook – it’s fun. I also find that it helps me to stay calm and focus when life gets stressful. I’m looking forward to learning and sharing recipes with Cook School.”
Noah is 12 and has two great passions – food and football. He’s always been goal driven and has done well playing for his school and Brighton & Hove Albion FC. Noah has travelled all over the world, eating everything in his path and has never been shy of tasting local delicacies, no matter how spicy or weird! He’s been experimenting in the kitchen since he was a toddler and his greatest influence has been his Grandmother’s cooking for friday night dinner!