I was brought up in Cornwall during the 1970s and I loved messing about with food from a young age. Unable to buy some of the normal staples of today's larder, I would watch and help my mother make all manner of things, including her own tagliatelle which was then draped over the kitchen chairs to dry. However, it was a childhood trip to Venice and a particularly excellent lunch at the world-famous Cipriani which convinced me that food was truly my passion.
Later I went on to work for Rick Stein in his Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, but it wasn't until I moved to New York that I received any formal cookery education, studying at the Institute of Culinary Education. A move to Melbourne gave me invaluable experience working under the highly regarded food critic, Geoff Slattery, at his restaurant.
Having had four children, I've had my hands full both in the kitchen and out. I decided that as cooking had always been such a big part of my life, I wanted to share the skills I had acquired over the years and the fun I'd had in the kitchen, so in 2015 I opened my own cookery school based in Hampshire. My aim is to teach teenagers, young adults, and indeed anyone who wants to learn how to cook for themselves and others.
I have my DBS Enhanced Certificate, my Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Catering and full insurance. I am also delighted that Flora’s Kitchen is an Approved Activity Provider for the Residential section for the Gold D of E award.
Flora's ability to both teach and give her students a fantastic time in the process is a rare quality. To know that my child can now come home and cook something for ME is just brilliant. I cannot recommend Flora's Kitchen more highly. My husband is next on the list and maybe, just maybe - I can hang up my apron for a while.....
"Thank you so much for such an incredible afternoon. You went above and beyond everything with your characteristic boundless energy and the girls really loved it. Supper was completely delicious and there was an even spread of likes for the TWO types of potatoes, TWO types of beans and TWO types of cakes!"
Course: Customised Birthday Party
"It was a really wonderful session. I learnt loads of top tips not just about the basics (cutting an onion) but then the more detailed tips on chicken thighs and how to manage the cooking with a couple of dishes on the go."
Course: Cooking For Your Kids
"Thank you Flora for a really enjoyable morning - it was such fun! I got the children to try bits of everything for their supper tonight. Both chicken dishes were a great success and Henry loved the ribs. The only thing that was a no go was the soup - which I guessed would be the case - but I had it for my supper and it was delicious!"
Course: Cooking For Your Kids
"I cannot believe how much cooking you did with the girls - the list went on and on! Thank you so much for a great week. Daisy loved it and she loved you and all your family. It was the most lovely environment for her - hard work and great fun. Lunch yesterday was delicious - can't wait to get Daisy cooking here! You must be exhausted."
Course: University Basics
"Both my 11-year-old and 14-year-old sons are now up for cooking dinner for us – they are actually interested in creating food rather than just devouring it. What a brilliant idea. Thank you Flora for giving them such a vital life skill and the enthusiasm and interest to keep it going."
"The day was great fun. I came with two friends and we laughed all day. Flora made us do all the cooking ourselves and when we were eventually allowed to taste our creations, they were delicious. I feel so much more confident cooking for my family now as we had to remember and do everything ourselves. I highly recommend this course as you are always laughing but learning how to cook healthy meals that taste amazing. I'd love to do it again and Flora’s knowledge makes the whole day extremely worthwhile"
Course: Teen Cuisine
"My son loved the incredibly fun and informative day he spent at Flora’s Kitchen. He learned lots of new things but most importantly he was given the confidence to go away and use them. On Sunday I was locked out of the kitchen and the most delicious roast was presented to me. It looked and tasted better than the ones I have been making for him the last 15 years of his life! I will be sending him back for more days at Flora’s Kitchen, because if they come out being able to make food like that, then it is money very well spent."