Team

Truro School Cookery is a vibrant and eclectic community, boasting a brand new, state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, and a contempoary cafe. The cookery school is a hybrid establishment; during the day it serves the students of Truro School with the Leiths Certificate of Food and Wine and other cookery classes, out of school hours these incredible facilities are opened to the wider public. Foremost, we run high-quality, affordable evening, weekend and holiday courses aimed at improving confidence and enjoyment in the kitchen. The venue is rapidly expanding to host birthday parties, pop-ups and other exciting, commercial ventures. Whether you are a local resident, or a visitor to Cornwall, we would love for you to come and experience first-hand the fun of Truro School Cookery.

Maria Taylor – ‘Head of Cookery’ Maria has a long association with Truro School, being one of the early cohorts of girls to arrive for the sixth form back in the eighties. Maria started her career as an environmental health officer in Cornwall, before training as a cookery school teacher and has set up and run cookery departments in a number of prestigious schools. She is thrilled to be back in Cornwall for this exciting new venture and also to spend time splashing in the surf with her gorgeous grandson.

  • Favourite activities? Sunbathing and pilates
  • Favourite recipe? Impossible question for a cookery teacher, but if pushed an ‘Aubergine Parmigiana with Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic’
  • Favourite place? Tough choice between Godrevy beach and the Greek Islands…!

Alistair Turner – ‘Assistant Head of Cookery’ AJ has lived all over the world from Barbados to Bath, until he fell in love with Cornwall and a Cornish lass (not necessarily in that order). When he’s not a work he’s playing in his smokehouse, so in essence he’s a proper food nerd. AJ is the serious big guns of the department having a Leiths Diploma under his belt, plus a four and a half years working his way up the ranks at Steins. However, with our charm and wit (and our promise of a Sunday off) we managed poach him from Steins.

  • Favourite activities? Smoking lots of different types of fish.
  • Favourite recipe? My nana’s gravy and her mushroom vol-au-vents (not together though)
  • Favourite place? Chicken Rita’s in Barbados

Aly Birchmore – ‘Cafe Supervisor’ Aly has been managing the cafe since the beginning and is constantly adding new and exciting items to the menu. When not at work she is skilfully handles her VW van all over Cornwall, from festivals to foodies events, keep an eye out for her on your travels.

  • Favourite activity? Walking my dog on the beach
  • Favourite recipes? Scallops with Samphire
  • Favourite place? Northern Thailand

Manuel Raya Espejo – ‘Chef Assistant’ Manuel has been working with us since August and is already immersing himself in everything Truro School Cookery! From demoing at Truro Food Festival, to running a Friday Night is.. Spanish night he gets involved in everything! After 5 years working at Rick Steins Seafood in Padstow, Manuel was looking for a new challenge and the opportunity to run pop-up restaurants while at the same time teaching everything he has learnt over the last few years was too go to miss.

  • Favourite activity? Trekking the Cornish coast, especially around Padstow!
  • Favourite recipes? Lobster Thermidor
  • Favourite place? Queenstown, New Zealand

Justine Howe – ‘Cookery School Assistant’ Justine is an oasis of order and calm. She joined us from Belgium in September where she lived and worked on the NATO base. She is a qualified Teaching Assistant which is invaluable for our after-school cookery clubs. She is also very good at looking after us all and making sure we drink plenty of water to dilute all the coffee!

  • Favourite activity? Yoga
  • Favourite recipe? Hugh Ferney-Whittingstall’s Chicken, Plum and Soy
  • Favourite place? Porthleven

Imogen Barnes – ‘Café Assistant’ Imogen can be found in the café on Wednesdays and Saturdays. When not at the cafe she can be found chasing after her very sweet and very lively toddler – Rowan, or running her make up artistry business – ‘Make Up by Imo’.

  • Favourite activities? Walking and cooking
  • Favourite recipes? Anything Asian
  • Favourite place? At home with her fiancé Josh and her little boy Roro