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The Cookery School team

Gordon McDermott

Waitrose Cookery School Course Manager

  • Gordon is a professional chef with 16 years experience under his whites.
  • One of the highlights of his career was Head Chef Teacher at Rick Stein's Cookery School in Padstow. He taught 16,640 people in four years. He also established and ran the Anton Mosimann Cookery School in London.
  • Living in London for over ten years, Gordon worked at some of the capital’s best restaurants including the Savoy Hotel, Bank Restaurant London, Quaglino's restaurant London and the People’s Palace Royal Festival Hall London.
  • Gordon is an accomplished TV chef with experience comprising Good Food Live, Taste (Sky 1) and South West Television.
  • He has even cooked for The Queen on her Birthday as well as working on various cookbooks.

Jon Jones

Waitrose Cookery School Sous Chef

  • Jon fell in love with cooking at school and was voted most likely to become the new Naked Chef, which he says is a "work in progress".
  • He gained a place at Bournemouth College on the Specialised Chef Scholarship, sponsored by Waitrose, which took three years to complete.
  • It was a work-based course and he did his apprenticeship at Langans Brasserie in Mayfair. After gaining a distinction on the Scholarship he went to work in Ibiza for eight months.
  • On his return to England, he started to work at Fortnum and Mason. Within two and a half years he worked his way up to become Junior Sous Chef and also got to the final of the Academy of Culinary Arts awards of excellence.
  • After he worked for outside catering, events and parties before moving to Whitechapel Dining Room, a two rosette restaurant as a Junior Sous Chef.
  • At Whitechapel he learnt a lot about local seasonal produce using modern and classical techniques.

Eleni Tzirki

Waitrose Cookery School Pastry Sous Chef

  • For the past five years Eleni has been a part of the catering industry, working in a number of kitchens, expanding her knowledge and love for food.
  • Her love for pastry began at home due to her mother’s passion for cookery.
  • She began her pastry career in her home town Leicester where she worked for a small pastry shop for one year.
  • She then moved to London in order to further embark on her passion for cookery. She worked at the Ritz Hotel for three years and learnt a great deal.
  • She then joined Pierre Koffmann at Selfridges where she worked at the Restaurant on the Roof.
  • Her last role was as part of the team to launch the new restaurant opening at Bistro Bruno Loubet.

Claire Lanza

    Waitrose Cookery School Sous Chef
  • Claire was brought up in the UK but her Italian father has instilled in her a love of good food.
  • As a child, Claire spent every summer at her family home in Lombardy Italy where she got a taste for Italian food.
  • She studied Modern Languages at Bristol where she spent a year based in Italy’s gastronomic heart Modena.
  • In 2010 Claire travelled around Italy working as Gary Rhodes personal Sous Chef for his Good Food Channel television series ‘Rhodes Across Italy’.
  • Claire worked in the wine trade before committing to a career in catering.
  • Since it is one of the best places to train, Claire then signed up to gain the Leiths' Diploma in Food and Wine.
  • After Leiths Claire joined the John Lewis Partnership where she was part of a team of chefs to debut the John Lewis Food Hall format.
  • Claire recently spent one year as a Chef at Recipease, which is Jamie Oliver’s cookery school.
  • She is perfectly placed to encourage home cooks since she has also worked as a live-in private chef.
  • Skiing is Claire’s other passion and she has also been a Chalet Manager, which involved training Chalet Girls to deliver menus for guests.

Martin Tyrrell

Waitrose Cookery School Sous Chef

  • Martin grew up in a small mining town in Cornwall.  From a young age he has always been passionate about food.
  • His first food memory was whisking Yorkshire pudding batter with his nan, and from that point on he knew his calling was to become a chef.
  • He kicked off his training at Cornwall catering college before entering the world of professional kitchens at Rick Stein's famous seafood restaurant in Padstow Cornwall.
  • From Rick Stein he then moved to London and began to earn his stripes, working in some of the best known and highly regarded restaurants such as The Ivy and Scotts.
  • He then moved into more senior roles working in The Swag and Tails in Knightsbridge before taking on the challenge of head chef at The Fellow in Kings Cross.
  • Throughout his career he has honed his skills as a leading and well respected chef in London,

Russell Goad

Waitrose Cookery School Chef Trainer

  • 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 Butchery 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.
  • Through fate he has ended up doing what he’s always loved and that’s cooking and teaching as a highly respected chef. 
  • Russell has a great individual cooking style that’s loved by all the customers on our courses.