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

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.

Leyli Homayoonfar, Sous Chef, King's Cross

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 South Wales, she built up her repertoire with French and Spanish cuisine and eventually became a Senior Sous Chef, working in some award-winning local restaurants. Before joining Waitrose, Leyli worked as Head Chef at Jamie Oliver’s cookery school.

Leyli Homayoonfar, Sous Chef, King's Cross
Russell Goad, Sous Chef

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.

Jack Homer, Sous Chef
Gerard Malloy, Sous Chef

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 at L'Ecrivain Restaurant in Dublin, The Looking Glass Restaurant at Kee's Hotel in Stranolar, Co. Donegal, Restaurant De Librije, in Zwolle in the Netherlands and Johri's Talvo in Switzerland. Gerard has also spent time cooking at Chewton Glen in Hampshire and Gidleigh Park in Devon.

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.

Martin Tyrrell, Sous Chef
Ross Anderson, Head Chef, Salisbury

Ross Anderson, Head Chef, Salisbury

Ross trained at the Army School of Catering and worked all around the world, collaborating with famous chefs including Albert Roux and Bruno Loubet. After leaving the forces he became Head Chef of a 3 AA rosette establishment in Wiltshire before taking an extended tour of Italy and Spain where he and his wife worked in a number of top restaurants.

Ross comes to us from South Thames College where he helped students win over 70 awards. He is also an active member of the Craft Guild of Chefs and reached the semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year competition. He is now a Master Craftsman and continues to judge events around the UK.

Sarah Buck, Sous Chef, Salisbury

Sarah's passion for food first took her to the renowned Tante Marie cookery school where she learned the skills needed to serve as a personal chef to families in the habit of entertaining A-list celebrities and members of the Royal family. She then gained invaluable experience catering for weddings and other big occasions as a chef in a busy events company.

Sarah is committed to locally sourced and seasonal produce and has a talent for inspiring cooks of all ages. She has also found time to sample the rich cultures and cuisines of the Middle East and learn exciting, modern techniques – not least her specialist qualification in Chocolate!

Sarah Buck, Sous Chef, Salisbury
Jessica Wooldridge, Sous Chef

Jessica Wooldridge, Sous Chef, Salisbury

Jessica has held a wide variety of catering roles spanning 16 years. Before joining Waitrose Cookery School she was Head Chef at the Northey Arms in Wiltshire following a spell as a Sous Chef in The Three Crowns, Brinkworth. Her London experience includes Sous Chef roles at Rhubarb Food Design and Tate Modern.

Jessica has travelled widely, working as a private chef in a ski chalet in The Alps and completing two seasons at The Georgian House Hotel in Alderney. While she was touring Australia she stayed for some time in Sydney where she worked at The Boat House and The Royal Opera House restaurants as Chef de Partie.

Andrew Roberts, Sous Chef, Salisbury

After training at Salisbury College Andrew started out at the Michelin-starred Manor House Hotel before making his way to the capital where he honed his skills under the renowned chef-patron Philip Howard at The Square, a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair.

Since arriving at Waitrose Cookery School his relaxed teaching style has helped dozens of beginners grow into excellent cooks with the confidence to try new and exciting dishes. Andrew is also a keen baker and frequently creates showstopping wedding cakes for friends and family. He loves keeping up to speed with new food trends and restaurants.

Andrew Roberts, Sous Chef, Salisbury
Waitrose Cookery School