Oakwood Cookery School

Meet the Team

Coming soon!

Craig Smith

Midlands born Craig has stepped into the world of development at Baxter's after three years working in Edinburgh where he was Sous Chef at the Scottish Parliament and recently Head Chef at Purslane Restaurant in Stockbridge. He has been in the industry for the best part of 15 years working at 2/3 rosette level kitchens from Birmingham to St Andrews. He once appeared on BBC Masterchef the Professionals back in 2009 where he cooked for the legendary Michel Roux Jr. My philosophy is about the seasonality of the ingredients and getting them when they are at their best, and with Scotland having an amazing array of produce on its doorstep it makes a chefs job even more enjoyable

Alison McDonald

Ever since I could reach the cooker I have just loved cooking and baking, I could honestly live in a kitchen! Growing up on a farm in Caithness we were spoiled with the best of home grown delicious foods. At the age of 16 I left home and went to Aberdeen to study and gain my BSc in Food Science and Consumer Studies.  I then went on to work as a Food Technologist creating endless innovative recipes, including lots for M&S and Sainsbury’s etc  I absolutely love working at the Oakwood Cookschool and have a real passion for encouraging youngsters to be creative and confident in the kitchen. We take a pride in teaching a variety of recipes and skills encouraging healthy eating as well as tasty treats. It’s great to demonstrate and share clever tips and ideas to make delicious food to take home to share. I also really enjoy making sure the children’s birthday parties are stress free for the adults but full of fun and happy memories for the kids. Its great meeting all our lovely customers and particularly rewarding when we see the same folk returning regularly.   

Katie Urquhart

I was born in Budapest, Hungary. From a very young age I cooked and baked with my mum which became a passion. My degree course took me away from this although I am lucky enough to now attend Moray College UHI as a chef student to bring my desire alive. I also work as part of the chef team in the Copper Dog Pub in Craigellachie. During my first 6 months at college I achieved a HIT (Hospitality Industry Trust) Patisserie Scholarship which will add to my already extensive skills. I would say my cooking style is definitely using a mixture of cuisines with the use of spices from all over the world. I would also like to own my one hospitality business of some kind which will be based in Moray but haven’t decided what shape this might be.

Grantis Gee

Gary is known locally by his nickname Grantis is an Elgin born chef who began his career in a local French Restaurant ‘Cleausous’ learning the basics of the trade, he then began work in one of the butchers in town, then moving onwards to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Melbourne, Sydney, Fernie and Canada. Grantis is well travelled around the world picking up lots of cookery knowledge from various parts of the world.  Along with sharing his skills he has lots of stories of his adventures around the globe. “The cookery school is an awesome place to teach, I love sharing my stories and hearing everyone else’s stories.  Its great I can use all the expertise that  I have picked up on my travels and share with everyone who comes to one of my classes.”

Sharan & Manju

"We are sisters and we live in very beautiful part of Scotland. We both work as Nursery teachers as well as Indian chefs. Both of our parents were really good cooks. We learnt to cook as we were growing up and our teacher was our dad. He taught us how to cook, with that we are able to cook traditional Indian food which is very flavorsome. We have our own little business which is called 'Authentic Indian Kitchen'. With our business we go to people's houses to cook for their party where we prepare everything from scratch. We are very excited to start classes at the Oakwood cookery school."

Vicky Farquhar

Vicky began the cookery school back in 2011 and has helped it flourish into the success it is today.  Due to having a young family she isn’t in the cookery school as much as she was at the start, but she is the one behind the scenes dealing with bookings and thinking up the new class ideas.  She teaches kids classes each month which are always great fun and really tasty. “I love working at the cookery school, all the chefs are great to work alongside – some which have been with me from the very start of the cookery school journey.  We have so many regular clients coming along to the classes that I have made great friendships along the way too.  The cookery school is a great asset to the people of Morayshire and beyond - I can’t wait to welcome new clients and help them on their cookery journey.”

Amanda Green

Description coming soon!

Wiktor Lemanski

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Erica Dougan

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