Meet the tutors!...

Meet owner & founder, Regan 

Regan is the brainchild behind The Cooking Shed. You can read more about how and why she set it up on our about us page here. After working for over 20 years in London as a Digital Planning Director for some major creative marketing agencies and clients, she wanted to follow her love for food. Regan drew on her food blogging experience creating recipes, and her Food Editor experience at LIFE Mags, Kent for food writing, and set up everything from scratch whilst taking care of her then newborn son...she likes keeping busy! Now, she likes nothing more than teaching classes in The Cooking Shed, or cooking for crowds of 40+ on supper nights at fabulous locations across SE London and Kent. 
 

What we found out after a cuppa in The Shed with Regan...

When did your love affair with food begin?

Like most children, I loved raiding my parents cupboards for random ingredients to concoct disgusting solutions for them to try when I was around 3yrs old "Mmmm...that's DELICIOUS!" my Mum would say before spitting out a vinegary, chilli, milky mix and trying not to gag. Wanting to please, to generate a reaction, and to experiment is what's stuck with me. 30 years later, I was fortunate enough to work on a marketing campaign for Knorr with 3 Michelin star Chef Marco Pierre White...I spent time with him teaching him about the internet, and he in-turn shared his tips and tricks for amazing flavour and food. I knew then that I didn't want to sit at a desk any more. Fast forward 10 more years and a win on BBC1's Yes Chef! saw me doing a stage with Michelin Star Chef Theo Randall at his restaurant -'Theo Randall at the Intercontinental'. The buzz of the kitchen, and the passion for produce was something that I wanted to share with as many people as possible - and so The Cooking Shed was born. 

Best cooking skill? 

Fish and shellfish - so many people get it wrong by over cooking, or complicating it. It's nature's fast food. 

Flavour - a dish doesn't have to look like a picture - it just has to taste amazing. 

Favourite dish? 

Lobster Calderetta from Menorca...if it's good enough for the King Of Spain, then it's good enough for me ;) 

Favourite drink? 

A decent Negroni...my Italian friend looked horrified when I ordered it in a bar when we were out once "Regan!! it's is PURE alcohol...in Italy this is a very strong drink!" Yep! that's why I love it.

Favourite cheese 

I have three!...God I love cheese - it's my weakness (along with Haribo)

Delice de Cremier

Cornish blue

Garlic Cornish Yarg 

Meet our baking queen Elaine!

Elaine has been part of The Cooking Shed crew for 2 years. In that time

she has led many of our classes including Adult Afternoon Tea, Vegan

baking, and Children’s ‘Foods from Around the World’ to name a few.

Elaine used to work for St Christopher's Hospice but left there to pursue

her passion for vegan baking, by starting her own business ‘Very Vegan

Cakes’ (although not strictly vegan herself!) - making and supplying her

bakes to local cafês and markets, and teaching in The Cooking Shed.

What we found out after a cuppa in The Shed with Elaine...

When did your love affair with food begin?

My love of food started at school with home economics classes, and

cooking at home. I have always loved baking and it’s nearly always

been cakes. My Dad was a pastry chef as a young man, and I think it

must be something in the genes! The balance of flavours and

textures of a dish is like alchemy, and it’s so interesting to explore

what makes a combination work well. It’s all about the final taste!

Best cooking skill?

My best skill is making cakes. I have always found it

therapeutic and very relaxing.

Big, springy sponges, dense and

delicious fruit cake, spicy gingerbread, magic muffins, the list goes

on ...

Favourite dish?

Anything with fish, and it’s a tie between Spaghetti Vongole or Fish

Pie.

Favourite drink?

Always Gin and Tonic or lots of Earl Grey tea

Favourite cheese?

Cheese - how do I love thee, let me count the ways.. give me a great

big lump of salty, tangy Parmesan or super vintage cheddar

 

 

Joy joined The Cooking Shed crew as a tutor almost 3 years ago after meeting Regan at one of our supper nights. She's a keen cook, and food blogger - check out some of her amazing looking dinners on her Instagram page for some family mealtime inspiration @whatsfordinnerjoy

What we found out after a cuppa in The Shed with Joy...

When did your love affair with food begin?

'Food is therapy for me, I get huge enjoyment from cooking and love

experimenting with new ingredients/ flavours. I started cooking from an

incredibly young age (mum took me with her to teach baking at primary

schools as a baby in arms!) and have been documenting my dinners on my food blog @whatsfordinnerjoy on instagram for over 4 years. Originally, I had planned to document lots of yummy food from all the wonderful countries I had visited / wanted to visit, but I discovered I was pregnant a few weeks after I started the blog so the focus shifted to family friendly food but using lots of inspiration from all the wonderful food I have eaten on my travels. My son is now three and a half years old, We have had a great time watching him try lots of new foods – he absolutely loves Paella and his second favourite is Steak! My daughter is 4 months old so we are soon to start her weaning journey! I will be experimenting with lots of fun finger foods trying to pack in

as many veggies as possible. After working in the city for 12 years I decided after having my son, William, to pursue my passion to teach. I met Regan at one of The Cooking Shed supper clubs and soon realised I could combine my two passions and teach at the shed. I absolutely love teaching the Christmas themed classes, they

are so much fun and its lovely to see so many little Chefs at work!

My passion for food really took off on a work trip to Bologna, Italy. I have since returned many times - I absolutely love the local fresh produce and the simple but outstanding pasta dishes are the best I’ve ever tasted. Gramigna Con Salsiccia is my personal favourite.

What is your best cooking skill?

Patience when cooking with my son surely has to be up there! He absolutely loves to help; and is actually a very good mini chef, my husband often finds half eaten carrots in his food!

I’ve always been very good at getting risotto or paella rice just right - but don’t ask me to cook basmati!  I also am great at turning nothing into something.. food shop day eve has often seen some of my best dinners!

 

Favourite Dish?

That is so difficult- I love so many! Picky food like fennel salami with burrata and warm rosemary bread is high up there! I also love a good beef wellington with crunchy roasties!

Favourite Drink?

I absolutely love a glass of Italian red. My husband and I had a great time exploring some vineyards inTuscany last summer, poggio Amorelli was our favourite. Cocktail wise I love an espresso martini.. I have two young children so I need not say anymore.

Favourite Cheese?

I love Smokey cheeses or “messed about with cheeses” as my dad would say like wensleydale With cranberries (Christmas cheeses basically!) and I love a really good chunk or fresh Parmesan with honey. And as above, burrata is just delicious.

Meet the lovely & talented Joy - one of our adult & child tutors

Meet Julie - our Sour dough guru!

Best cooking skill?

is definitely sourdough. Over the past 2 years I have become increasingly determined to develop a method that ensures a great loaf in a simplified form.

Sourdough bread can be tricky, but once some basic principles are understood it gives such huge satisfaction to create a loaf using just flour, water and salt with no added commercially produced yeast.

The taste and texture cannot be beaten and the long fermentation ensures nutrition and digestibility are maximised.

Favourite Food/drink?

My tastes are quite eclectic.I have no definite favourite food and drink just a love of eating and drinking quality products that are well cooked and sourced.

 

Favourite cheese? 

Currently manchego.

 

Lynsey Jarvis is our newest member of the The Cooking Shed crew. She joined the team in March 2019 as our marketing guru...so she knows The Shed, and what we do, well! And then trained to become on of our tutors.

Lynsey has worked with children for over ten years in a carer capacity,

and has lots of experience with encouraging children to learn through

creative approaches. She’s also qualification in Childhood Nutrition and

Well Being, so it makes her the perfect tutor for our ‘Learn to cook the

world’ after school children’s classes!

What we found out after a cuppa in The Shed with Lynsey...

When did your love affair with food begin?

My love of food probably started when I began travelling abroad. I

love trying new dishes and experiencing different cultures through

food. I especially love how Sri Lankan and Indian cuisines use spices

to bring food to life.

At home I often cook for six children each evening which can be

challenging as children can have very specific and differing tastes. I

love the challenge of getting them to try new dishes. I believe no

child is a picky eater - they just haven’t tried what they like yet! As

one child said to me “I wouldn’t be picky if I brought my own food!”

Lol.

Best cooking skill?

I make a great curry. My spice draw is my best friend in the kitchen.

I also love to experiment with smoothies and milkshakes - my

favourite at the moment is a Mango Burst (it has a surprise kick

from a shot of fresh Ginger)

Favourite dish?

It changes a lot!! I recently had an amazing Paella (made by my

brother) I enjoyed it so much that it transported me back to Spain

and having lunch by the sea.

Favourite drink?

Tea or iced water with lemon.

Favourite cheese?

I really like eating cheese and crackers at Christmas time, cosying

up with a glass of red and a cheese board - yummy! My husband is

from Yorkshire and so he puts Cheshire cheese on a slice of

Christmas cake!

Lynsey - our children's cooking specialist!

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