We have many regular tutors and several visiting tutors for special classes. Below are just a few of our regulars:

Yvette Farrell
Cookery School Principal and Tutor


Yvette was born on a country estate and grew up gathering blackberries, nuts and wild garlic. Community has been important to Yvette from childhood when in Scotland she exchanged eggs with the trawlers for fresh fish and from these years has developed a passion for the land and its food.

Yvette worked in horticulture for 16 years gaining extensive plant knowledge and associations with food. She opened an award-winning organic farm shop with cafe and deli before launching Harts Barn Cookery School. She has a keen interest in researching heritage recipes.

Yvette also provides care and tuition to those with special needs both within the cookery school and her continued work outside.

  1. What is your favourite food? Rice.
  2.  What do you love about teaching at Harts Barn Cookery School? Watching people gain confidence and leave smiling.
  3.  What are your ‘outside’ interests? Fund-raising and my dog, Bertie.
  4.  What is your top cooking tip? Don’t struggle to peel fresh squash – pop in the oven for 15 mins and it becomes easy to peel and chop or just leave the skin on.
  5. Please tell us something not many people know about you. I sold plants to No 10 Downing Street.

Follow Yvette on Twitter @Yvettecooks4all

Versha Patel
Indian Cookery

Versha’s childhood was immersed in traditional Indian culture and cuisine. From the age of 8 she helped her mother cook a multitude of dishes for family and friends.

30 years on, she now teaches Indian cooking, showing that Indian cuisine doesn’t have to be daunting. Using simple and effective techniques, she breaks down the process into understandable steps, and reveals the secrets to making mouthwatering Indian foods.

After spending several years travelling around the USA, Versha now lives with her family in Cheltenham.

  1. What is your favourite food? Ice-cream
  2. What I love about teaching my class at Harts Barn Cookery School. The beautiful views and everybody booked on the a course is always eager to learn.
  3. What are your ‘outside’ interests? Growing vegetables in my allotment.
  4.  What is your top cooking tip? Always taste your food. Everyone’s palate is different.
  5. Please tell us something not many people know about you. I practice Kung Fu.

Andy Robertson
Chef / Tutor

As one of eleven children I had an early decision to make: either help with the washing up or the cooking. I chose cooking!

So from the age of eight I was helping​ Mum cook for more than ten at each meal. ​

​Professionally I trained as a bakery technologist in Gloucestershire. Having worked in a craft bakery I then moved on and became a bakery technologist for United Biscuits developing new cakes and breads for Mcvities, Tesco, Marks and Spencer and others. ​

From there I went into teaching, eventually becoming head of a bakery school and later head of catering at a college in Gloucestershire.

I having also been a publican and restaurateur and have gained a range of knowledge and skills in all parts of the food industry.

Now teaching at Harts Barn Cookery School, I believe that good baking and cooking comes from knowing your ingredients and how they work. Recipes are guides and should be used in conjunction with your knowledge of how ingredients vary from season to season.

I have three young children: 9-year-old twins and a 6 year old and all have a love of cooking and baking.

Les Rennie
Chef / Tutor

Les Rennie has been fortunate to work in some exceptional Michelin star kitchens in the UK throughout his career having also had the pleasure of working with some of the most fearsome chefs in the industry where he developed a love and obsession for doing things the right way with flair and imagination. This led to him taking on his first ex chef role and winning his first Michelin star (to name only one) at the Relais and Chateaux property Ynyshir Hall in West Wales back in 2002.

Les has trained and watched in earnest over the years at some of the chefs he helped train move onto winning their own stars.

He has a passion for training and giving his knowledge to the next generation of “young wannabe” cooks and his love of all things food.

  1. What is your favourite food? I love all food and couldn’t possibly list just one.
  2. What do you love about teaching at Harts Barn Cookery School? Love of passing on my food knowledge and hands on masterclasses with interested students, and its great views from the kitchen window…
  3. What are your ‘outside’ interests? The garden – I seem to have developed a love for growing my own – the taste is far superior.
  4. What is your top cooking tip? Cling film… If you have been on one of my courses you will understand.
  5. Please tell us something not many people know about you? I was the only boy at school in a class of 30 girls that did cooking – and the teacher said “one boy is more that enough”! Funny how times change.

Phailin Ashford
Chef / Tutor

I moved to the UK from the busy city of Bangkok in Thailand in 1993. I have always had a passion for Thai food, accompanying my mother to markets and watching my grandmother and mother cook delicious Thai food from scratch. We would travel 3 hours just to try a noodle dish we were told about. Food is very important to Thai people.

I have recently started a Thai catering business after giving up my job as an operations manager in the Transport industry. As well as regularly hosting supper clubs and popping-up in various venues I started teaching Thai cooking.
I hope you can join me in one of my classes and experience an authentic side of Thai cooking in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.