Meet the team

Combining experience, skills, enthusiasm and a passion for teaching cookery, our team of professional chefs and cooks will ensure you experience a memorable visit to Manor Farm Cookery School.

Rob Jessop

Rob has been a craft baker and chef for over 28 years, working for various bakeries and restaurants.  He spent a significant part of his career at the world-renowned River Cottage in Devon where he became a senior sous chef and teacher, delivering the full range of courses emphasising their the "field to fork" ethos. Since moving back to his home part of the world, he is now teaching at Manor Farm Cookery School and running a business called Lemon Tree Dining which involves a popular private dining club and pop up events.

Diana Thompson

Diana owns and manages Manor Farm Cookery School. She trained at the Tante Marie Cookery School and ran a cooking company called Frozen Assets for many years before starting a Montessori Nursery School. She is an expert at creating dishes from a variety of store cupboard and left-over ingredients and has passed these skills onto her children. Her daughter also ran her own successful cooking business before moving to London.

LINDA HEWETT

Linda has worked with celebrity chefs and is a judge at the World Bread Awards, and British Pie Awards.  She previously worked at Divertimenti, Cactus Kitchen and Hampton Court Palace, as well as being a regular contributor to local radio and magazines. She values healthy food and wants to empower people to get into the kitchen and cook, particularly using local food producers. 

EMMA FINDEN-CROFTS

Emma is a classically trained pasty chef having graduated in patisserie from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu.  She worked in top London restaurants, including The Wolseley and The Modern Pantry.  She now creates hand-made cakes, baked goods, confectionary and desserts for weddings, celebrations and everyday eating. 

LESLIE GADD

Leslie was a university lecturer at The National Bakery School where he spent nearly 20 years teaching baking to the next generation of up and coming bakers. During his time at The National Bakery School he taught degree level bread making but also enjoyed teaching confectionery, patisserie, basic cooking, product development & sour dough production.

Ursula Ferrigno 

Ursula is an acclaimed food writer and chef who embodies the Italian and Mediterranean passion for good food made from the freshest natural ingredients.  She specialises in Italian, vegetarian, baking, and gluten-free recipes. She has appeared on many television programmes including Good Food Live, BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, and is a prolific author of more than 18 books. Ursula trained at the Auguste Escoffier School of the Culinary Arts and has taught at leading cookery schools in both the UK and Italy, including Leith's School of Food and Wine, Divertimenti and La Cucina Caldesi.

andrea Wallace

Andrea trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine. Following her training she worked in several of Leith’s different divisions gaining critical real life catering experience which has given her a wide range of knowledge and practical experience to impart to students. She then became a Senior Teacher at Leith’s teaching year diploma courses, part time and specialist courses. This role gave rise to media appearances both in TV and Radio, and at the Good Food Show.

YUKO SATO

Yuko came to England from Japan in 1998 and in 2007 started Ginko Sushi, an authentic Japanese kitchen, producing sushi and a full range of Japanese food.  She is also a guest teacher at various culinary events across the UK.