Cracking Good Food
 
 

Meet Our Cooking Leaders

 

Meet our Cooking Leaders 

Sam 

Classes: 

Vietnamese | Thai | Japanese | Vegan Chinese | Chinese Street Food

How are you involved in the CGF work?

I have been working with CGF since 2014, starting off as a volunteer before I became a Coordinator on the Community projects and the Cookery School. I now work as a Cooking Leader teaching the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese Cookery Classes. 

What are your food inspirations?

I really enjoy learning from other people, their traditional foods, and the stories behind their recipes. I think it is really important to keep traditional recipes alive and celebrate their origins. I take inspiration from the places I have travelled to as I try to take cookery classes to learn how to cook the local cuisines.

What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not working I like to eat out, practice yoga, and travel. As I’m usually working with food all day, it’s a treat for me to have my dinner cooked for me! I also enjoy pottering around my patio garden, where I’m experimenting with growing more unusual crops in a limited amount of space.

Sam’s Instagram: @koikitchen

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Kala

Classes: 

Indian Street Food | Indian Street Food 2 |  North Indian | Nepalese 

How are you involved in the CGF work?

I’ve been with CGF since early 2019, as a Cooking Leader teaching a variety of Indian and
Nepalese Cookery Classes. I’ve also enjoyed delivering online cooking classes as well as
cooking in the community classes in partnership with The Bread & Butter Thing.

What are your food inspirations?

I’m at my happiest when I’m cooking creative meals and feeding family and friends! My
mother has been very influential and taught me our family favourite recipes. I’m keen
to share these recipes along with our traditional methods of cooking and spark the passion of cooking in others!

What do you do in your spare time?

I cook Ready, Steady, Cook style everyday and I’m equally passionate about avoiding food
waste, so am always creating lots new dishes but I also love to eat out trying lots of other
cuisines. I’m also an active member of the local community volunteering and supporting
many local causes.

Kala’s Instagram: @chiitchaatmcr

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Ngwafu 

Classes: 

West African - Vegan 

I joined the Cracking Good Food team in early 2021 to share my passion for vegan West African cooking. Born in Cameroon, raised in the UK and now based in Manchester, I want to share my passion for vegan West African dishes with fellow foodies. As food is the fuel of life, why wouldn’t you want to experience all of it?! I lead both Community Cooking and Cookery School sessions and I managed the Gorton Kitchen for our emergency pandemic food response where, with tremendous help from our volunteers, we cooked over 400 meals a week for people in need of support across Greater Manchester between January and July 2021. 

What are your food inspirations?

I love learning how different cultures eat worldwide, drawing inspiration from them and apply to my heritage cuisine of West African food. As well as being a passionate vegan, I am also passionate about creating food using seasonal fruit and veg and sustainable cooking.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I run a takeaway business –gwafuvegan specialising in cooking and delivering affordable vegan West African food. Only using high-quality, sustainable produce that is locally sourced. Our number one aim is to spread our love of vegan food and our passion and love of West African food. By doing this we showcase new and exciting flavours to our ever-growing diverse community.

Ngwafu’s Instagram: @gwafuvegan

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Catriona 

Classes: 

Pastry Making – Patisserie 

How are you involved in the CGF work? 

I recently joined CGF (August 2021) and have so far been involved in making lunches to support children at risk of ‘holiday hunger’ and doing cooking demos for kids at Life Leisure holiday camps. I am looking forward to leading pastry making classes for the cookery school and help develop the new CGF catering service.

What are your food inspirations? 

I was inspired to get into pastry from looking at beautiful desserts in French patisseries. I try to seek out bakeries and patisseries wherever I go to try out their food and get ideas! I like to learn new recipes and cooking skills from people I meet as I find that everyone knows something different about cooking.

What do you do in your spare time? 

When I’m not cooking and baking, I like to get outdoors and go climbing when I can. I also coach gymnastics and I am learning to play the fiddle! 

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Zosima

Classes: 

Filipino

How are you involved in the CGF work?

I am a CGF Cooking Leader – I have worked in meal preparation in the community, making meals for children at-risk of ‘holiday hunger’ and I lead Cookery School Classes too. 

What are your food inspirations?

My food inspiration is taken from my upbringing in The Middle East, my travels and especially through the food cooked at home from both my English and Filipino heritage. I love to cook dishes that give me a sense of nostalgia and remind me of my favourite times in different places. I think food is so powerful in that sense and can evoke so many emotions just by eating delicious things.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to do all sorts in my spare time, especially entertaining my friends and just going out and enjoying delicious food. I love going swimming and also exploring new places whether that’s travelling abroad or going for walks in new destinations.

Zosima’s Instagram: @cookingwithmamaz

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Rob  

Classes:

Breaking Bread | Our Daily Bread | Sugar & Spice | Flour Power | Festive Bread 

Rob has been with Cracking Good Food from the very start. His passion for bread making  (and the politics of bread making!) and cooking delicious, sustainably sourced food from scratch really shine through in his welcoming, friendly and extremely informative classes. There really is nothing this man doesn't know about his subject! 

Rob also runs many of our community cooking sessions, including running cooking lessons with residents of homeless prevention hostels and sits on Cracking Good Food's Board of Directors.

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Marcello 

Classes: 

Pasta Masterclass 1 - Bon Bon & Trofle | Pasta Masterclass 2 - Lasagne & Gnocchi

Italian born Marcello Ghiretti has worked with Italian chefs since he was 11. He studied Italian and French cuisine in Switzerland, returning to his home town of Parma to specialise in pasta making. After being a sous chef for 10 years in two 3-Rosette restaurants, he then went onto work in two Michelin starred restaurants and the acclaimed Italian cooking school Alma La Scuola Internazionale Di Cucina, where his skills in bakery and pastry were further honed.

He also has experience in wine and olive oil tasting, a Masters in nutrition, a Chinese medicine diploma, and a professional macrobiotics and personal training diploma. He’s lectured at major universities and hosted visitors from cookery schools in Losanne, Parma, New York, Boston and London. Marcello has written and published his recipes and is currently Head Pasta Maker for all Piccolino restaurants in the UK, where he also runs master classes for the group. Marcello’s Instagram: @marcelloghiretti

Marcello’s Instagram: @marcelloghiretti

 
 

Chrissy 

Classes: 

Greek & Mediterranean 

How are you involved in the CGF work?

My journey with Cracking Good Food started as a volunteer in the spring of 2021 in the COVID19 food pantries and then blossomed into a Cooking Leader a few months later on. I've been able to share my experiences and expertise in Greek cuisine through team building cooking classes and alongside other Cooking Leaders in the Cookery Schools in the community.

What are your food inspirations?

My three main inspirations when thinking about food are my Greek upbringing and my passion for food and nutrition.Originating from a country with a very strong relationship to food and traditions provides me with the best ideas which I love to convey through my classes. Also as a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) I love to combine my knowledge on nutrition with selecting dishes that are both delicious and nutritious. In this way showcasing that food can be healthy,delicious and fun to create.

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I like to learn about different cultures whether it's through cooking or travelling and exploring new places. I love learning about others, their traditions, customs and beliefs. I also enjoy relaxing through seeing friends and family, seeing live music and dancing. Before the pandemic I enjoyed thoroughly going lindy hop dancing, a type of swing dancing, and greek traditional dancing.

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Jorge

Classes:

Spanish

How are you involved in the CGF work?

I first heard from CGF in 2014 after completing a fantastic Vegetarian Punjabi cookery course. After that one I continue joining some others and I have kept an eye on the volunteering opportunities. In 2020 I joined one of the Community kitchens as a regular volunteer and from there I have moved to a Cooking Leader role. I will deliver Spanish cookery classes and work on alongside the rest of the team delivering cookery classes in the community.

What are your food inspirations?

Food and cooking are two big things in my life. I was born in Spain, and we love our food and take good care of our beautiful ingredients. I enjoy learning and researching new recipes, trying new ingredients, and learning interesting food related stories. I want to continue learning and improving my cooking skills and share as much as I can through our cookery sessions both at the school and the community.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have two young boys which consume a lot of my spare time. I am also an elected representative of the Spanish residents in the UK and work as a volunteer on a supplementary language school for Spanish speakers. I love going out for nature walks, music of all kinds and cooking at home for friends and family. Whenever I can I go back to Spain to see my friends and family.