The National Cookery School Guide panel of contributing editors have been selected for their breadth of experience, knowledge and understanding of the cookery school industry. Meet the panel below – a group of the country’s most respected and experienced editors, writers and cooks.

Felicity Spector

I’ve worked at Channel 4 News for 28 years covering everything from the Czech revolution to the US elections. I also write about food in my spare time, judge for the Great Taste Awards and World Cheese Awards, and chronicle everything I eat – especially desserts – on Instagram.

Lulu Grimes

Lulu Grimes is currently the lifestyle editor at BBC Good Food, she was previously the deputy editor at olive magazine. She has also worked as a magazine food editor at Food and Travel and Sainsbury’s Magazine and as an editor for Murdoch books in Sydney where she researched and worked on a series of internationally published food and travel books covering China, India, Thailand, Italy and France. She loathes the word moist when used to describe food. @lulugrimes

Rachel Meddowes

Rachel is as a consultant, stylist and writer and the Associate Editor of The Covent Gardener. Rachel makes it her business to know where to get hold of almost anything to make life more comfortable and delicious and will either accompany her clients or go alone and source their desires. Based in Edinburgh she has a passion for Scotland, however, a huge part of her heart is also in London where she visits regularly.

James Ramsden

James Ramsden is the author of four cookbooks and has written about food and cooking for publications including the Times, the FT, the Independent, Sainsbury’s Magazine, delicious., and the London Evening Standard. He is the co-owner of Pidgin restaurant in Hackney, East London. 

Laura Rowe

Laura Rowe joined olive magazine as editor in 2015 but has been eating and writing professionally for the best part of a decade. She has a serious addiction to Percy Pigs, a phobia of baked beans, and her debut book, Taste: an Infographic Book of Food is now available to read in French, Finnish, German, Dutch, Spanish, Taiwanese and Italian.

Mina Holland

Mina Holland is editor of The Guardian’s weekly Cook supplement and a freelance food writer. She is the author of two books, The Edible Atlas (Canongate, 2014) and Mamma: Reflections on the Food that Makes Us – out in 2017. 

Thom Hetherington

Thom is the CEO of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant & Bar exhibition and associated events, and a speaker and writer on the Northern food and drink scene, as well as judging for numerous awards and guides. One of the founders of Restaurant Magazine and the 50 Best Restaurants in the World awards, Thom also sits on the board of Hospitality Action and is an Ambassador for MMU’s Hospitality Department, and consults on F&B for institutions including The Whitworth, Chester Market, The Independent Food and Drink Academy and Manchester Museum.

Mark Sansom

Mark Sansom is editor of Food and Travel, the world’s leading title in gastronomic tourism. When not propping up a beach bar in the name of good and proper research, he’ll be found on a golf course or recipe-testing for the magazine. Having edited hundreds of reviews on the UK’s cookery schools, he’s in a good position to help us select the very best.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith is a London based food writer who left corporate law and retrained as a chef at Westminster Kingsway college. He writes for various newspapers and magazines, and for his blog RocketandSquash.com. Ed’s first Recipe book, On the Side, will be published by Bloomsbury in May 2017.

Eloise Manners

Eloise Manners is a freelance writer based in Leicestershire. Married to a farmer and drinks producer, she is passionate about all aspects of food: how it is grown, harvested, what the associated environmental effects are – and how this all impacts on our health and general wellbeing.

Debora Robertson

Debora Robertson is a food writer and editor. She has written for many magazines and newspapers, including Red magazine, BBC Good Food magazine, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday and The Telegraph.

Rosie Birkett

Rosie Birkett is a cook, food journalist, food stylist and author who’s been writing about chefs, restaurants, and food since 2008. Her most recent book, a collaboration with the food photographer Helen Cathcart – East London Food, is an exploration of her neighbourhood’s diverse and exceptional food scene, and is out now.

Her debut cookbook A Lot On Her Plate was published by Hardie Grant in 2015 to critical acclaim.

Anthony Leyton

A freelance writer and editor specialising in food, travel and design, Anthony spent seven years on the editorial team of Mr & Mrs Smith before putting his typing finger out for hire. These days he spends most of his time helping brands and individuals find their written voice, juggling editing, writing, copywriting and tone-of-voice development, while attempting to raise three children and pretending he can cook.

Rebecca Seal

Rebecca Seal is a journalist, editor, TV presenter and author based in London.

She specialises in food, drink, travel, lifestyle and human interest features and her work has been published in the Financial Times, Evening Standard, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Times, Sunday Telegraph, Observer, Olive, Glamour, Red, Grazia and Psychologies in the UK, as well as the Globe and Mail and The Australian. She has published two books: Postcards from Greece and Istanbul.

She is also one of the food and drinks experts on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch TV programme, with Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer.

Melissa Hemsley

Melissa Hemsley: cook, food writer, judge for 2016 YBF awards, co-founder of Hemsley + Hemsley, co-author of internationally bestselling cookbooks ‘The Art of Eating Well’ and ‘Good + Simple’, Channel 4 TV series ‘Eating well with Hemsley + Hemsley’ with a cafe 3rd floor at Selfridges, London.

Anastasia Bernhardt

Anastasia has been writing about food, lifestyle and everything in between at Country & Town House magazine for four years, the highlight of which was sharing a cup of tea and cacen gri (Welsh cakes) with Mary Berry while sat on an Aga. When she’s not eating out she’s experimenting in the kitchen… which isn’t always a good thing. NB garlic cookies should never be a thing.

Diana Henry

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Rosie Sykes

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Ellie Michell

Cornish-based and food-obsessed, Ellie Michell is a director of PR Agency Barefoot Media, specialising in food and drink, travel and leisure, and representing some of the best that Cornwall has to offer. In addition Ellie is main contributor to the Barefoot Cornwall blog, writing a monthly Foodie Diary, along with restaurant reviews, interviews and lifestyle articles.

Leah Hyslop

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