Chef Tutors

Our chef tutors are accomplished, professional chefs with a wealth of catering experience between them.

All of our tutors are employed at the chefs academy full-time. They are reknowned 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.

Chef Director: Darrin Hosegrove

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.

Chef Tutor: Dave Gardiner

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.

Chef Tutor: Rob Spencer

Robert Spencer

Deputy Academy 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.


Chef Tutor: Joe Bartlett

Joe Bartlett

Chef Tutor

Joe has over 10 years catering experience and has worked at some of the country’s finest restaurants. He was most recently Head Chef at the Holne Chase Hotel before joining us at the start of 2008.

Chef Tutor: Phil Oram

Phil Oram

Chef Tutor

Phil's career began at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane followed by the RAC Club, Pall Mall returning 6 years later to do a 'stage' at Gidleigh Park under Michelin-starred chef, Michael Caines. 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 teaching students to an advanced level. He now combines the two; his enthusiasm for inspiring students with his passion for cooking local produce.

Chef Manager: Rob Dawe

Rob Dawe

Chef Tutor

Rob has been a tutor at the cookery school since 2005. Rob 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.


Chef Tutor: Alan Stannard

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. Most recently he was the head chef of the New Walk Brasserie in Totnes.



Cookery NetworkCookery Shop

A fantastic range of specialist cookery equipment and ingredients, in use daily at the cookery school, and recommended by the Chef Tutors.

Visit the Cookery Shop