Diana Horsford
Diana HorsfordHead Chef & Teacher
Diana is a dynamic and innovative teacher who brings an imaginative spark to the art of cookery.

Starting off as a chalet chef, Diana climbed the rungs to founding her own specialist food ventures. This included a catering company and a refined delicatessen in Chelsea. She infamously taught at The Grange Cookery School in Somerset for seven years and has been with The Avenue for over ten years. This Mother Duck engages and educates her students with undying character and warmth.

With a knack for trailblazing twists on classical dishes, Diana simply loves food and is identified for her delectable culinary creations that will amuse and delight your palette. She does not do boring!

Sophie Horsford
Sophie HorsfordAccounts & Event Manager
Sophie, Diana’s daughter, is the absolute driving force behind The Avenue.

Her previous experience in corporate entertainment means she can identify exactly what people want, down to the finest detail. Sophie is on a constant culinary journey of discovering new exciting recipes and restaurants – and she’s always up for releasing the fridge to create magic out of nothing. Good food leaves her absolutely spellbound.

Having travelled extensively, this gypsy has cooked her way through the most exotic of lands – one local course at a time. She really has acquired a great knowledge of international cuisines and cultures (don’t get her started on Sai Ua – Chiang Mai sausages!).

If you have any queries about anything and everything, Sophie’s your girl.

Email: info@theavenuecookeryschool.com

Richard Horsford
Richard HorsfordChef & Teacher
Richard is Diana’s son, making The Avenue very much a family affair. His previous experience have included Chalet Hosting, prestigious Corporate Events and working as a chef in the South of France.

Richard is a self-confessed Foodie, with an interest in modern cooking techniques. His flair for experimental cookery will certainly broaden your culinary horizons. Working extremely hard to share his enthusiasm with the students and push out the traditional boundaries, he is the youth and energy in the Kitchen.

Ben Blackburn
Ben BlackburnSupport Chef
Ben has worked in the U.K, France and the U.S as a private chef, events caterer and teacher for four years following training at Leith’s School of Food and Wine.

Not averse to working in pressurised environments on NHS wards under his previous guise as a pharmacist he decided to change careers and follow his passion to work with food. Although a a keen traveller and classically French trained he loves to show off seasonal British dishes and ran a series of sell out pop-ups celebrating the best in Northern English cuisine.

As friendly as he is enthusiastic Ben loves nothing more than to impart his fervour for food on everyone who comes through The Avenue’s doors.

Emma Reynolds
Emma ReynoldsPR & Marketing Manager
Emma Graduated from University in 2016 and decided to take a Gap Year to indulge her passion for cooking. After completing a Chalet Host Course with us in the summer of 2016 she went to work as a Chalet Host in Courchevel for the Winter season.

Having fallen in love with The Avenue and our family she returned to manage the PR and Marketing and share her love of food with students and budding Chalet Hosts in as many ways as she can.

If you want to get in touch with Emma you can reach her on marketing@theavenuecookeryschool.com

Monica Gil Ruiz
Monica Gil RuizChef
Monica is a Spanish Londoner. She was born in Bilbao and was brought up by her grandparents in a very foodie family in North of Spain. It was her grandmother who inspired her love for good food and cooking.

Having moved to London 14 years ago she worked in the city for over 10 years and then decided to pursue her passion for food. Quitting her city job she enrolled in Leith’s School of Food & Wine, where she trained for a year. Since then, Monica has worked in some of the top restaurants in the UK and now runs her own bespoke catering company – London Basque Kitchen (www.londonbasquekitchen.co.uk), showcasing the best of both Spanish and British food.

Bringing a great knowledge of food and a great spirit with it, she fits into the Avenue family well!

Nikola Cucic
Nikola CucicCake Designer
Nikola is an amazing lady who designs incredible cakes at her SW London cake business, NDCake Atelier.

She is fuelled by indefatigable energy and boundless creativity. An acclaimed artist and graphic designer Nikola is a creative genius and has joined us at The Avenue to share her undeniable cake making talent.

Stefano Imperiale
Stefano ImperialeItalian Chef
Born in Italy, Stefano’s passion and interest in regional Italian cookery began at a very early age. Surrounded by the aromas coming from his parents Trattoria he couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and start experimenting himself. It was here that his passion for fun cooking, and his interest in making Italian cookery readily available to all, was born.

Having worked in several renowned London restaurants serving traditional and modern Italian dishes, Stefano has fed the bellies of top celebrities from around the world.

Alongside working in restaurants Stefano also worked for many years developing award winning Italian food products including fresh filled pasta, sauces and soups for major retailers both in England and abroad. More recently he has been using his skills to teach traditional Italian cuisine to all ages, including our favourite haunt – The Avenue Cookery School!

Becky Wilkinson
Becky WilkinsonAssistant Chef
Becky worked in the Nigerian Oil & Gas industry for some years before realising her passion was food, she ditched one oil for another and started her training at Leiths School of Food & Wine.

Becky soon realised that food reminded her of her glorious childhood growing up on a fish farm in Kent, having worked at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant her love for lobsters continues and she joins us at The Avenue with her great enthusiasm and knowledge.

As well as teaching Becky also works with food on TV, assists on the creation of books & as a private chef. We are happy to have her work with us!

Claire Meredith
Claire MeredithYogi
Claire has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching for the last two years, where she undertook her extensive 2 year training programme with Triyoga in London. Claire says “for me it was the most thorough and rigorous training available, covering asana (the physical practice), philosophy and anatomy”.

Claire says “you don’t need to stand on your head, be able to touch your toes or chant (unless you want to chant!) to practice yoga. But be prepared – Yoga changes things!”

Close links with the Ski Travel Industry and other Job platforms

We have close links with a number of ski companies and other seasonal and non-seasonal job platforms to help with placing you as a Chalet Host, a chef or assistant chef positions.