Waitrose Cookery School team
We’ve put together a melting pot of culinary talent, each bringing their own ideas, tastes and expertise to the table. They’ve worked as TV chefs, written countless cookbooks and even served breakfast to the Queen.
Too many cooks? You obviously haven’t tried our broth
Meet the chefs at King's Cross, Finchley Road and Salisbury
Eleni Tzirki, Head Chef Manager, King's Cross
Eleni has been a chef at the Waitrose Cookery School in Finchley Road playing a key role there since its opening five years ago.
A trained patisserie chef, her love for pastry began at home, sparked from her mother's passion for cookery. During her career she has worked at the Ritz Hotel, Pierre Koffmann's Restaurant on the Roof at Selfridges and Bistro Bruno Loubet.
Eleni is famous at the Waitrose Cookery School for her delicious macaroons and creative flavours. With her relaxed teaching style, she has taught hundreds of nervous bakers how to create their own masterpieces at home.
Jamie McCallum, Senior Sous Chef, King's Cross
Jamie’s passion for food has taken him around the world in pursuit of culinary trends. Originally from Glasgow, where he began cooking in a busy pub, Jamie gained invaluable experience in a number of innovative Australian restaurants before moving to London to work with Gary Rhodes.
He joins our King’s Cross launch team from the acclaimed Wild Honey in Mayfair. During his time as Head Chef the restaurant was awarded a place in the Top 50 UK restaurants, along with a 1* Michelin Award.
There’s nothing Jamie enjoys more than inspiring budding cooks by passing on his kitchen skills and instilling a respect for quality ingredients sourced from the finest suppliers.
Russell Goad, Sous Chef, King's Cross
Russell was born in 1993 in Pembury Kent to a food loving family who cooked everyday with fresh ingredients and loved family days spent in the kitchen. From a young age Russell spent his weekends with his uncle learning all about game cookery and the delights of foraging.
He then joined Waitrose and worked for a number of years strengthening his skills on the Cheese, Fish and Meat counters. This extensive training at Waitrose enhanced Russell's passion for food and was fundamental in providing him with a profound depth of knowledge to pass onto others.
Russell has a great individual cooking style that’s loved by all the customers on our courses.
He is an emerging talent within the industry and in 2015 was one of 3 finalists for the Grocery Aid Cook of the Year 2015 competition which took place at the renowned and prestigious L’Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon.
Jack Homer, Sous Chef, King's Cross
Jack joins us from Jamie Oliver's 'Recipease' where he was a Food Champion Chef for two years.
He started his career with Wagamama, moving on to Alan Peru's restaurant, serving fusion food to apres-skiers in Chamonix. Swapping snow for surf, he worked at the North Bondi Italian, Sydney (sister restaurant to the famous Icebergs, off Bondi Beach) before settling in London.
His food loves are spices, especially Middle Eastern style dishes and bread making. But his real passion is teaching and Jack has already received great feedback from customers on his very first course taught at the Waitrose Cookery School.
Andrew Ward, Head Chef, Finchley Road
After several years working in Michelin starred kitchens, Andrew decided he was ready for the challenge of teaching. His passion for trying the latest trends will be invaluable as we develop the programme at Waitrose Cookery School King’s Cross.
Andrew comes to us from Tredwell’s which he helped Marcus Wareing launch in September 2014. As well as recruiting the 15 strong brigade, he is proud to have developed a number of signature dishes for the restaurant.
Prior to this he served as Executive Sous Chef at the Michelin starred Chez Bruce in Wandsworth.
Martin Tyrrell, Sous Chef, Finchley Road
Martin grew up in a small mining town in Cornwall. His first food memory was whisking Yorkshire pudding batter with his nan and from that point he knew he was destined to become a chef.
Martin trained at Cornwall catering college before entering the world of professional kitchens at Rick Stein's famous seafood restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall. He then moved onto London and earned his stripes at some of the most highly regarded restaurants such as The Ivy and Scott's, Mayfair. Moving into more senior roles at The Swag and head chef at The Fellow in King's Cross, he is as a well respected Chef in London.
Leyli Homayoonfar, Sous Chef, Finchley Road
Leyli's love and passion for cooking stems from a childhood where food was central to family life; her Persian father and Welsh mother encouraged their children to try new and exotic dishes.
Leyli’s first job was at a small, family run Italian restaurant where she naturally drifted into the kitchen learning the secrets of pasta making… Moving around restaurants in south Wales, she built up her repertoire with French and Spanish cuisine and eventually became Senior Sous Chef in some of Wales award-winning restaurants. Before joining Waitrose, Leyli worked as head chef at Jamie Oliver’s cookery school.
Gerard Malloy, Sous Chef, Finchley Road
Before joining the Salisbury cookery school, Gerard worked at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and prior to that at the Castle Leslie Estate in Co. Monaghan.
Previous positions have included Chef de Partie in L'Ecrivain Restaurant in Dublin, The Looking Glass Restaurant at Kee's Hotel in Stranolar Co Donegal, Restaurant De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands, Johri's Talvo in Switzerland. He has also spent some time at Chewton Glen in Hampshire and Gidleigh Park in Devon.
Shauna Caithness, Sous Chef, Finchley Road
Shauna has worked with some of London’s most acclaimed chefs. Her first taste of a professional kitchen was at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus in Knightsbridge. This experience inspired her passion for cooking at the highest level.
Shauna comes to us from Marcus Wareing’s restaurant group where her most recent post was Kitchen Operations Manager, working across three sites. She’s highly experienced with pastry, having served as Head Pastry Chef at ‘Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley’ before working her way up to Senior Sous Chef.
Sarah Buck, Sous Chef, Salisbury
Sarah is local to Salisbury and has experience from working in the Demonstration Studio where she focused on teaching children and school groups how to cook.
Sarah's begun her food career as a personal chef to 3 different families. She then changed direction to work at a local tea room in Romsey and also then became the catering manager for a local primary school in Alderbury.
Jessica Wooldridge, Sous Chef, Salisbury
Jessica has held a wide variety of catering roles now spanning 16 years. Most recently as Head Chef in the Northey Arms in Wiltshire and prior to that as a sous chef in The Three Crowns, Brinkworth. Other experience includes being a private chef running a ski chalet in The Alps and two seasons at the Georgian House Hotel in Alderney.
She has worked as a sous chef in Rhubarb Food and Design and also at Tate Modern
Jessica has spent some time travelling around Australia stayed for some time in Sydney where she worked in The Boat House and The Royal Opera House restaurants as Chef de partie.