Our Team

Rachel Demuth

Rachel Demuth

Rachel Demuth has been a professional vegetarian chef since the early 80s. She was a founder member of Neals’ Yard Bakery in Covent Garden, London and in 1984 opened Broad Street Bakery in Bath pioneering organic, vegetarian and vegan cooking. In 1987 Rachel opened Demuths restaurant, which she owned for 26 years and sold it in 2013 to her Head Chef Richard Buckley. In 2000 she started the Demuths Cookery School to teach people how to cook the ‘Demuths’ style of innovative vegetable dishes.  She was awarded Best Cookery Tutor in 2013.

Helen Lawrence

Helen Lawrence

Helen is Demuths head tutor and has led the teaching at the school for 8 years. She was Head Chef at Demuths restaurant, a post she filled for 5 years. She is a trained chef and has trained in classical French cooking and is now an expert in Vegan cookery training, also an expert in knife skills and chefs tips. She enjoys the creativity of vegetarian and vegan cooking, lifting vegetables to the central position, they deserve in our diets.

Lydia Downey

Lydia Downey

Lydia is one of our lead chef/tutor and specialises in World cooking and baking and teaches on all our longer Diploma courses.

Lydia comes from a food loving family and learnt to cook from an early age with her Chinese mother. She has spent all her working life involved with food. She is an experienced and gifted baker. Her sourdough starter is the stuff of legends and we always have a jar tucked away at the back of the fridge. Lydia is an excellent teacher, with a wealth of knowledge and creativity to impart alongside a warm personality. 

Jan Berridge

Jan Berridge

Jan has taught at the Cookery School since 2000. She is first and foremost an artist and a very accomplished food stylist. She has created many of the recipes taught at the cookery school and her specialties are desserts, perfect pastry and presentation.

Anna Shepherd

Anna Shepherd

Anna is a vegetarian food writer, food stylist and cook who joined the Demuths team in 2018. She has worked on a number of vegetarian cookbooks, both styling the food on the pages and developing and testing recipes for them. She has taught and cooked at food festivals and in homes around the country.

Anna has an unfussy, veg-packed and flavour first approach to teaching and cooking and believes that food can be a force for good, and should be fun!  

Rob Wicks

Rob Wicks

Rob Wicks points cameras at food for a living. He’s a producer-director specialising in short food films and photographs. He worked for the BBC for 17 years and now runs his own food media business – Eat Pictures – producing mouth-watering films and photography in Bristol, UK. He's been creating photographs and short films of Demuth's recipes for about 7 years. Rob is passionate about storytelling. He combines the use of narrative with irresistible food images to attract and engage a wide audience. More information at www.eatpictures.com

Erin Baker

Erin Baker

Erin Baker, of the Natural Cookery School, has been a professional vegetarian chef and cookery tutor for over 15 years focusing on whole food, world flavours and seasonal ingredients.  Prior to living in the UK, Erin was co-owner of an award winning vegetarian restaurant in California. She currently resides in Stroud teaching at cookery schools throughout Gloucestershire and further afield. She is an avid fruit and vegetable gardener with a passion for edible flowers.

Lucie Cousins

Lucie Cousins

Lucie is Head Fermenter at Bath Culture House where she creates artisan and handcrafted raw, vegan and gluten free food and drink. Educated as a biologist, she is a lover of all living things with a particular passion for plant-biology and fungi. 

Her interest in the ancient art of fermentation began during a career as an award-winning cheese maker on the north Cornish coast. It became clear that honing this craft was her calling, and she left the world of cheese making to pursue it.

Lucie now teaches the art of fermentation to others as a way to better health through simple, good quality ingredients and probiotic goodness.

Simi Rezai

Simi Rezai

Simi Rezai is an Iranian from the Azerbaijan region of Iran (in the North West) who lives in Bath. She visits her family in Iran regularly and is able to come back with new ingredients and ideas for her classes. She is an experienced teacher and has a passion for exchanging food knowledge and particularly teaching the authentic food of Iran.

Sachiko Saeki

Sachiko Saeki

Sachiko is a professional chef who has worked in top London Japanese restaurants. She learnt to cook in her parents sushi restaurant in Japan.  She has taught extensively, with students across the UK including celebrity chef Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall from River Cottage. 

Guest Chefs

Richard Buckley

Richard Buckley

Richard is founding chef and owner or Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen in Bath, winner of VIVA! awards best restaurant and Good Food Guide listed since the year it opened. 

Richard’s philosophy is that plants should be treated as the stars of the meal and should be cooked to the highest standards using a combination of classic technique, modern tricks and ancient traditions.