Meet Our Team

Guest Tutors

JP McMahon

JP McMahon

Chef Proprietor of Michelin Star Restaurant Aniar, JP McMahon is one of Ireland's leading and most well known food personalities. He is a restaurateur, chef, educator and food activist. JP owns and manages three

very popular and successful restaurants under the brand Eat Galway – Aniar, Cava Bodega & Tartare. 

As Culinary Director, JP manages all aspects of the food side of the business. He teaches, and promotes the restaurants through traditional and social media outlets. He travels nationally and internationally giving demonstrations and lectures.  Drigín Gaffey, JP’s wife and business partner, manages all aspects of front of house and the financial and admin side of the business

JP runs frequent award-winning cooking classes in Aniar. He also  teaches school students via the Food Education program. He is passionate about preserving food from curing to pickling and fermentation. He is a keen nose to tail dining enthusiast. His restaurants share his philosophy of working with farmers and primary producers in order to achieve a more direct connection with food and land. JP also writes a weekly column in The Irish Times.

JP is also the Founder of Food on the Edge, a coming-together of top international chefs for a 2-day Food Symposium in Galway, Ireland. It takes place over two days every year in October. Food on the Edge is a not-for-profit conference seeking to make good food accessible for everyone.

The aim of the symposium is to challenge our perspective on food and our connection to it. Approximately 40 chefs speak over the two day symposium. All are chosen for their innovation, passion and influence on today’s food culture. Each speaker, with their own unique perspective, talks for 15 minutes on the cultural, social, environmental and educational aspects of food. The emphasis for their talk is on their vision for the future of food and how we can make things better on both a local and a global level.

 

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James de Burca

James de Burca

James de Burca has been working as a chef for almost twenty years. He grew up on a dairy and tillage farm in the south east of Ireland. As a teenager he developed an interest in vegetarian cookery.

After several culinary paths he now specializes in vegan cuisine, having worked his way through the kitchens of wholefood and vegetarian restaurants open to his style of cooking.

For the last six years he has been cooking in multi-award-winning Cornucopia Wholefood Restaurant in Dublin city centre.

James teaches vegan, vegetarian and whole-food cookery classes and is working on his first cookbook in conjunction with Cornucopia. He guests on our Culinary Programmes and teaches other short vegan and vegetarian courses.

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Silke Croppe

Silke Croppe

Award-winning Corleggy Cheeses. In 1985, Silke Croppe started her Corleggy Cheese in Cavan using only goat's milk. Nowadays, Corleggy makes a variety of different cheeses from goat's milk, sheep's milk, and cow's milk.

The milks are collected from nearby farms. All Corleggy Cheeses are made by hand. Silke believes in the slow food philosophy: maturing the cheese is a long process. But it is so worth it!

Silke teaches our ever popular Cheese Making Workshop at Cooks Academy. Her Cheese Making Workshop continues to bring in a large crowd. It's a one day course, but you will learn all the fundamentals there is to cheese!

Silke is the recipient of many awards for her fantastic cheeses which can be found all over Ireland. Corleggy can be found in different farmer's markets and delicatessens, and come in a range of hard and soft cheeses.

Corleggy Cheeses was awarded The Great Taste Golden Fork for Small Artisan Producer of the Year 2013 in London. 

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Benoit Lorge

Benoit Lorge

One of Ireland's top Artisan Chocolatiers, and proprietor of Lorge Chocolatier, Benoit Lorge trained as a pastry chef in his native Lorraine, France. After completing his qualification, Benoit travelled and worked throughout Europe.

He eventually settled in Kenmare where he found work in the acclaimed Sheen Falls Lodge. In his free time, he produced unique choclates for charities. 

Benoit soon gained a reputation for his unique and delicious chocolates which were in great demand. He now operates a shop in Bonane, near Kenmare and supplies his high quality chocolates to restaurants, hotels and consumers all over Ireland.

Benoit prides himself on using only the finest ingredients, and follows French tradition. You can view his website here

Benoit Lorge's Master Chocolate Class at Cooks Academy is an absolute treat!

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Liam Campbell

Liam Campbell

Liam is resident wine lecturer at Cooks Academy. Everyone who meets Liam is instantly struck by how genuine and likeable a person he is. He combines an unrivalled knowledge of wine with a naturally

gregarious passion for his subject matter which makes for an inspirational wine tutor. Liam attained his Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in 1995.  He went on to study for Master of Wine in 1995/96.  He also holds a Diploma in Public Relations.

Liam tutors WSET Level 3 at Cooks Academy.  He also has a distinguished wine writing career being Wine Columnist for the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine.  He is also Wine Columnist with EASY FOOD magazine, Ireland's best selling Food and Wine Monthly.

Liam is a Council Member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and Tasting Committee member. He is also a Panellist on the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles - International Taste & Quality Institute, Brussels.

Liam is a well known wine personality in Ireland and is frequently asked to talk and appear at corporate, wine and public and consumer events to impart his knowledge of wine in his own enthusiastic and inimitable way.

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Tom Coleman

Tom Coleman

Co-Founder at My Nutrition Ireland, Consultant -Elite Performance, Sleep, V.H.I Trainer, Speaker.

Thomas Coleman has worked with World Champions, Olympic medallists and brand leaders in Business. This includes giving workshops at Munster & Connacht Rugby and working directly with Conor McGregor and his team.

“Working with professionals of this calibre, where we engage, inspire, stimulate and support our clients allows them to develop more effective and supportive working environments and achieve higher productivity with their workforce but also achieve better financial results.”

We understand the importance of Health and how it impacts on people, their well-being and performance both in the workplace, at home and in Sports Performance.

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Niall Hill

Niall Hill

Niall Hill is best known for his work as Head of Food at the award-winning food company The Butler’s Pantry.

With over 30 years’ experience both national and international Niall is best known for his work as head of food at the award-winning food company The Butler’s Pantry. Over the last 16 years Niall has won numerous of awards including the great taste awards, small business award and blas na hEireann. Niall has been a regular contributor to the food and wine magazine, TV3, guest chef for Miele and a member of the advisory council for Chef network.

Hill has always had a passion for all things food!  First training with French Chef Guy Urbin for two-year Hill then got the opportunity to work at the then well renowned ‘The Park’ Restaurant, Blackrock under Chef owner Colin O’Daly whilst studying at DIT Cathal Bruagh Street for three years.

Niall decided to leave Ireland in 1992 to expand his culinary skills in Toronto, where he gained amazing experience working with some of the country’s best chefs, Vaughan Chittock at Auberge de pommier and Otago. And with Michael Potters at the Left Bank.  A tremendous learning curve for Hill this is what he felt has him the Chef he is today.  Returning home after five years, Hill joined the O’Flynn family at their award-winning Country House Hotel, Rathsallagh House for three years where they created farm to table cuisines, growing a lot of their own vegetables, herbs and salads and sourced local beef, lamb and pork.

 Hill then joined the Butler’s Pantry in 2001 as Head Chef and within a couple of years was invited to join the Board of Directors and for the last sixteen years has been involved at every stage of the building and growing of the company.

A lover of all things food Hill and a grower of his own vegetables Hill believes in simple food using seasonal ingredients when possible.  When he is not tilling the soil or behind the stove, Nialls other passion is long distance running.

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Gianluigi Fiori

Gianluigi Fiori

Food and Corporate Photographer, IStock Getty Image, IStock Food contributor.  Gianluigi has previously given Food Photography courses in Milan.

This is no nutshell, but this is why I make images:   

I am a dynamic individual; a photographer, a father of three, bully’s owner, a golfer nut, and lover of a warm brownie straight from the oven. I’m a momma’s boy and forever grateful that she gave me a Kodak X-15 camera at the age of eight to document a family trip. I have seen the France countryside in the spring, spent the holiday season photographed in at a cottage in Norway, aimlessly wandered the streets of Bangkok and marvelled at the architecture in Barcelona. I work and sometimes live in Florence and Dublin. I drink red wine because white makes my head hurt. I drink five espresso almost every day, love tomatoes and a good pulled pork sandwich. My collection of music is deep, but my thirst to enjoy life is deeper.

"Having a camera in my hand makes me thoroughly happy!"... says Gianluigi Fiori.

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Ursula Ferrigno

Ursula Ferrigno

Ursula Ferrigno is one of the most effervescent, inspirational and endearing cookery tutors you could ever meet. She is imbued with a passion for teaching and a love of all things Italian and healthy.

She specialises in teaching how to make breads, soups, risottos, vegetables, every kind of pasta dish and has recently developed a range of foods for special dietary requirements. She has cooked on many TV programmes.

Ursula trained in hotel catering and took an Escoffier course in Paris, before starting her own business manufacturing recipes. As well as teaching at Cooks Academy she has taught regularly at top London cookery schools Leith’s, Divertimenti and Caldesi and has run highly popular seasonal Italian cookery courses at the Books for Cooks Cookery School in Notting Hill, London. She has been a consultant to Café Nero for 15 years and cooks once a month at RSJ Restaurant on the Embankment.

Ursula specialises in demonstrating to the public the making of Italian breads, Italian soups, risottos, vegetables, fruit dishes and every kind of pasta dish and is always keen to embrace new ideas, she enjoys working both privately and corporately and she continuously provides a brilliant service to those who get to work with her.

Having been brought up in an environment in which bread was present with every meal, Ursula is a passionate baker, featuring bread making in her many cookery demonstrations. With Italian breads her speciality, Ursula teaches both professionals and amateurs to make an array of national and regional breads from Ciabatta and Focaccia to volcanic Stromboli. She is the driving force behind National Breadmaking Week in the UK, designed to promote the role of bread in the modern British diet.

She has appeared on Good Food Live, BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, GMTV's Saturday Disney, Granada TV, and BBC North and has been profiled in a number of magazines. Ursula presented three programmes for HTV's cookery series Green Grow the Dishes.

Ursula is a prolific author having written 17 international cookery books, including Trattoria and La Dolce Vita - a book of heavenly desserts and sweets and Ursula Ferrigno's Italian Cookery Course the most recent being The New Family Bread Book.

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Our Tutors and Team

Vanessa Greenwood

Vanessa Greenwood

Vanessa is the founder of Cooks Academy.  She also writes a weekly column for The Irish Times.  Her love of cooking inspired her to open the school and share her knowledge of food and its preparation with others. 

Her success has been founded on the ability to instill confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of fun in all her students, along with an in-depth knowledge of good food.  Vanessa is a member of Euro-toques and she has a lifelong love for food.

She has made several TV appearances, as a guest chef on TVAM, RTE's Nationwide, The Health Squad and RTE’s Winter Food radio programme. Over the years she has performed cookery demonstrations at many Chefs Theatres including A Taste of Dublin, Food and Wine Show, Bloom, TasteFest and at the RDS National Crafts and Design Fair.  Previously she has written regular columns for many publications including Health and Living supplement of the Irish Independent; Image Magazine and EasyHealth Magazine.  Her first cookery book, The Cooks Academy Cookbook is published by Gill & Macmillan.

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Tim Greenwood

Tim Greenwood

Co-founder and Managing Director of Cooks Academy, Tim is inspired by good, natural and seasonal produce. When he gets the chance, because most of the time he is so busy running the Cookery School,

he likes nothing better than to fish, forage and cook. You'll often see Tim out on the Cooks Academy floor taking snaps with his camera!

Keep an eye on Cooks Academy's Instagram account where Tim shares some insights into Cooks Academy but be warned, you may end up very hungry.

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Jack O'Keeffe

Jack O'Keeffe

Cork man Jack is no stranger to the kitchen. The former Head Chef at Bulgaden Castle and Sous Chef at Longueville House, has a number of strings to his bow including quite a few impressive titles like the Unilever Young Chef

of the Year, Foodie Forum and Food Festival Young Chef of the Year 2013.

Runner-up in the prestigious 2012 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year competition, Jack prides himself in producing inspirational food, using high-quality ingredients. He has been teaching with us since 2015.

With a love for such skills such as butchery, smoking and curing it’s no wonder that he’ll soon be opening his own Irish smokehouse in his native Cork. We’re delighted to have him on board with us.

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Eoin Garry

Eoin Garry

At each workshop Eoin teaches, our customers remark upon the proficiency of his knowledge base, and express their appreciation for the patience and time he gives them to ensure that they leave with the same level of in-depth knowledge

that he has.

After studying Culinary Arts at DIT, Eoin worked at a gastro bar in Vancouver, Canada, before coming back to Dublin to work in hotels and restaurants such as the Hilton Hotel and Brasserie 66.

Eoin's greatest culinary passion is fish - and we certainly think he is a great catch!

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Cormac Murphy

Cormac Murphy

Cormac is originally from Cork but has been living in Dublin for the past 32 years. He has studied cookery widely, from Ballymaloe Cookery School, to Italy!  Since he has always been so passionate about cooking,

Cormac regularly caters for important family events, and indeed it is his dedication to cooking which brought him straight to us here at Cooks Academy. Cormac attended our Professional Cookery Course in 2014 and he is now a fully qualified tutor at the school. Since joining our team, he has had the pleasure of working with Levis Roots, Nitin Gautam, Stephen Gibson, Ciaran Sweeney, and The Happy Pear.

Favourite dishes include Italian (especially pizza), Thai food, and anything barbequed! If you can't find him, you are sure to find him upstairs on our rooftop terrace cooking up something juicy for the team.

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