Ashburton Cookery School

Inspirational Training

Our chef tutors are accomplished, professional chefs with a wealth of catering experience between them. All of our tutors are employed at the cookery school full-time. They are renowned for delivering an outstanding level of cookery training that will inspire you, and they are the reason why our students keep coming back time and again.

Darrin Hosegrove

Chef Director

Darrin began his career at Gidleigh Park Hotel working under the guidance of Michelin starred chef Shaun Hill. He has worked in many acclaimed fine dining restaurants in the UK and also held positions as a College Lecturer and Development Chef before joining the Ashburton Cookery School in 2004. As well as regularly teaching at the School, Darrin also oversees the development of new courses, recipes and menus.

David Gardiner

Chefs Academy Manager

David is hugely experienced with a chef career spanning 25 years. His career began at the Savoy Hotel before moving to Burmuda as a Chef de Partie at the Four Ways Inn and Waterside Restaurant. Returning to the UK he worked as Sous Chef at the 5 star Imperial Hotel in Torquay before opening his own successful restaurant, Gardiner's in Budleigh Salterton, making the Michelin Guide. Following the successful sale of his restaurant in 2007, David took on the demanding role of Executive Chef at Brend Hotels for 4 years before joining us in 2011.

Robert Spencer

Chef Operations Manager

Robert joined us in 2011 after a distinguished chef career cooking in many fine-dining restaurants including sous chef at L'Ortolan, head chef at the Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, and the New Angel in Dartmouth.

Colin Bennett

Pastry Chef Manager

Colin first started baking bread at a very young age with his grandmother, and started cooking professionally at 18 years of age. He has been a chef for over 22 years. He has held head Pastry Chef positions at Bibendum and the Waldorf Hilton in London.

Read Colin's Interview

Phil Oram

Chef Tutor

Phil's career began at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane followed by the RAC Club, Pall Mall. Before joining Ashburton Cookery School in 2010, Phil was Product Development Chef at The Ark Chicken Company and previous to that he was Chef Lecturer at Exeter College. He now combines his enthusiasm for inspiring students with his passion for cooking local produce.

Alan Stannard

Chef Tutor

Alan is a local chef who has worked as Pastry Chef at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, and chef at luxury hotels and restaurants. He was the head chef of the New Walk Brasserie in Totnes before joining the cookery school in 2012.

Ross Tregidgo

Chef Tutor

Ross decided he wanted to be a chef from an early age working in restaurants part-time from the age of 15 to gain experience. Training as a Commis Chef in his home town of Tavistock soon lead on to roles in France and London hotels before he was able to secure a role with Peter Gorton at his Michelin starred Horn of Plenty Restaurant in Devon working his way up to Chef de Partie. Head Chef roles at quality Gastro-pubs and large hotels followed over the next 4 years, before Ross joined the Ashburton Cookery School in 2014.

Stuart Brown

Chef Tutor

Stuart started his career nearly 20 years ago and has worked at some of the regions best loved reaturants, including the 1 Michelin star Horn of Plenty in Tavistock, and 15 years as Senior Sous Chef at the well-regarded 2AA rosette Combe House in Honiton, Devon. Stuart was a finalist of the South West Chef of the Year competition in 2014. He enjoys wild foods and foraging, nose to tail cooking, and blending old and modern technics in order to produce fine food.

Monisha Bharadwaj

Chef Tutor

Monisha is a qualified chef, tv personality and successful author of several best selling books on Indian Cookery including cookery book of the year, Stylish Indian In Minutes. Monisha teaches our range of Authentic Indian courses. She has been running our highly popular Authentic Indian courses since 2012.

Rob Dawe

Freeelance Chef Tutor

Rob joined the cookery school as a full-time tutor 2005 having spent the previous two years as Chef Lecturer at Exeter College. He has also worked in several fine dining establishments including as Senior Sous-Chef at the RAC Club in Pall Mall and Head Chef at the Puffing Billy restaurant at Exmouth. As well as teaching at the cookery school, Rob also runs a regular pop-up restaurant in the region and offers corporate dining experiences.