Our Team

The core team brings together people which are passionate about great food and have expertise in cooking, nutrition, physical activity, research, entrepreneurship and urban regeneration.

Carlos Montes Director has led entrepreneurship and health projects for Cisco, the Department of Health, Accenture and the Big Lottery Fund. He has worked for the World Bank (USA) and led the evaluation of programmes worth more than £15 billion for the EU Council of Ministers. Carlos was appointed Associate of the UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in recognition for his management and evaluation expertise. Carlos holds post graduate degrees in Economics from Yale University and Columbia University. In the last 5 years, Carlos worked closely with leading social entrepreneurs such as Lord Mawson and Paul Brickell connecting businesses to the regeneration of East London. In 2011, Carlos put together the funding and set up and successfully managed successfully the first Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food in London, until its license expired in 2014. Food Academy provides fun cooking classes to colleges, schools and workshops, corporate events and facilitates health research projects. Carlos received cooking training by the Jamie Oliver team and thanks to this has become a keen cook! Carlos is also a trained Ambassador for promoting the Hospitality and Catering industry through Springboard.

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San Channa  Operation’s Director: Sandeep is a nutrition professional and a trained cook. As part of the Food Academy team, she has become a well known face in Newham and participated in most of our more 200 events! Sandeep received Jamie Oliver’s training to become a Ministry of Food trainer and the official training to become a “Trainer of Trainers.” Previously she delivered projects for the NHS: “Cook and Eat” programmes providing cooking and nutrition advice to homeless people and the elderly and nutritional guidance for overweight children under MEND (Mind Exercise Nutrition and Do It programme). For NHS Chelsea, she reviewed Children’s Centres recipes using the NUTMEG programme and for NHS Brent, she worked with Children Centres providing mothers with weening advice, working with children that were fussy eaters. Sandeep has received culinary training from the award winning Oriental Culinary Institute and has gained a Level 2 Award in Culinary Arts. Sandeep was an Olympic Torchbearer in recognition of her remarkable community spirit and her cheerfulness and kindness! Sandeep holds a BSC in Nutrition from London Metropolitan University. She achieved this while working Sundays from 5am at Sainsbury’s Beckton! She is a registered Associate Public Health Nutritionist. Sandeep has lived all her life in East London.

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MaryJo Hoyne Food Academy Catering and Hospitality training, Mary Jo followed a classical apprenticeship as a Chef, working in iconic places in the hospitality industry. She has worked as a Chef at Harrod’s Harvey Nichols, Park Lane Hilton, Union Bank of Switzerland and has worked with Anton Mosimann. She was the first woman Pastry Chef to receive the prestigious Palmes Culinaires from the Association Culinaire Francaise. MaryJo holds a BSc in International Cuisine, a Certificate in Education and a MA in Food Policy. Maryjo helped to set up the training and subsequent cohorts for Jamie Oliver’s First Fifteen project as well as the First Hell’s Kitchen. MaryJo has brought these skills to education, spending 10 years raising the food education profile in different settings across London. She has been head of school hospitality at Haringey Council, Head of School Service Industries in Waltham Forest College and currently runs a fab training restaurant in a local College! MaryJo has cooked in the best restaurants in London and with the best Chefs!

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Jeremy Pang Food Academy Partner Chef, co-delivering our Get Into a Career in Hospitality training, a gold standard programme of cookery classes and work experience that gets great jobs for unemployed young people. Jeremy Pang is the owner and head Chef of the Oriental Culinary Institute and the School of Wok, an award-winning cookery school in London. Jeremy comes from three generations of Chinese chefs and having studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, there is very little that this food enthusiast doesn’t know about Eastern cuisine. Jeremy attributes his love of food to his father, who was keen for him to experience exciting flavours and exotic foods as a Jeremy’s expertise in the Chinese food industry has continued to gain recognition. Jeremy was a contributor to Nigel’s Simple Cooking series an has appeared on Sunday Brunch, The Big Eat, Blue Peter, Nigel and Adams Farm Kitchen. His fantastic new book Chinese UnChopped hits the bookstores in June 2015!

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Annemarie Knight Food Academy Nutrition and Dietetics associate. Annemarie coordinates the programme of Public Health work/research placements between Kings College London and Food Academy and other special research projects. Annemarie is Programme Director for the undergraduate and postgraduate Dietetics programmes and a Lecturer at King’s College London. Before joining Kings College London, Annemarie was Dietetic Services Manager at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and she worked as a dietitian in several London teaching hospital specialising in nutrition and gastroenterology. Annemarie’s research interests include food service and public health. She holds a BSC Hons, in Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College and a Diploma in Management Studies from Kingston University.

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Samantha Roberts Coordinates our action research projects on diabetes. Samantha is an experienced healthcare service improvement and optimisation profesional, she combines a good understanding of theory with practical experience. She is part-time research officer on systems modelling for performance optimisation and service equity with the London School of Economics and is researching diabetes treatment in Newham as part of her DPhil in Evidence Based Healthcare with the University of Oxford. Previously, she worked with McKinsey for 5 years and as Head of Operations and Service Improvement with the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is also developing clinical protocols and processes to support the implementation of one of the largest integrated care pilots in the UK (North West London Clinical Commissioning Group).

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Levi Roots Food Academy is honoured to have Levi Roots as a patron of its Kitchen Enterprise programme. Levi is the most successful entrepreneur to emerge from the popular Channel 4’s Dragon Den television programme and with strong support for his Reggae Reggae sauce from Peter Jones. Today the Reggae Reggae brand is a product well known across the UK and Levi Roots is a TV personality, celebrity Chef and a Reggae musician with a new album! Levi runs a multi-million business. However, Levi Roots has not forgotten where all started and he is a Prince’s Trust Ambassador and supports their cooking programmes for young adults (which Food Academy delivers) and spends considerable part of his time giving inspiring talks on his journey to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds all over the country. Food Academy’s Enterprise Kitchen programme, also supported by Excel, uses food and cooking to promote the development of entrepreneurial skills in school children. Food Academy currently runs these programmes at Oasis Silvertown Academy and St Paul’s Way Trust school.

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Danielle and Iain McCarthy -Live it UP Lead on public health research projects and corporate workshops. Live it Up was set up to unlock, connect and inspire happier, more successful ways of living. Danielle is a nutritionist PhD and research fellow with 7 years experience as a scientist and company nutritionist with large corporations (GSK and Suntory). She has run multi-trial research programmes, product development and brand communications. She has also advised business on the UK Responsibility Deal. Danielle’s PhD and post doctoral work was related to the effect of dietary fatty acids on the metabolic syndrome, the management of large human intervention trials (LIPGENE) and mathematical models of insulin sensitivity and as a key contributor to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s statement on Trans Fatty acids and health. Iaian had a successful carrier as private banker and wealth manager and is now developing Food Academy’s research and evaluation agenda as part of the work for his PhD in behaviour changes and health.

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Matthew Cockerill Food Academy UK’s innovation and special projects. Matt is co-founder of 1000 Cookbooks and of Bio-Med Central, the first and largest open access science publisher. Bio-Med Central pioneered the open access publishing model where all peer-reviewed research articles published are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BMC was acquired by Springer in 2008. 1000 cookbooks collects and shares the finest food content, including a ranking of the best 1000 cookbooks as judged by a panel of leading Chefs and food experts. Matt is a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cambridge University working on the cell cycle with Tim Hunt (2001 Nobel Prize) at the Imperial College Research Fund.

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Jon Croft is a patron for Food Academy.
Jon is the founder of Absolute Press, a multi-award-winning cookbook publishing house, which combines top quality authors and content with mass-market appeal. He has been at the forefront of the rise of the celebrity chef and restaurant cookbook trend that has dominated sales in cookery publishing. In 1981, Absolute Press published Keith Floyd’s first cookery book, followed by two more in conjunction with BBC Books, both of which went on to become number 1 bestsellers. Keith Floyd became the first true celebrity chef: a real landmark moment in food publishing and the restaurant world and one which shaped so much that came after in those two respective worlds. The rest is history! The years since have seen Absolute Press cement a reputation for being one of the finest food publishers around. Recent years have seen further additions to our expanding list of celebrated authors, including the much loved Tom Kerridge, owner of the Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers pub in Marlow, and television chef. Jon brings top quality editorial experience with exceptional food world connections, from celebrity chefs to top editors, food writers and publishers.

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Lord Mawson is patron of Food Academy. Andrew is a serial social entrepreneur. He is best known for founding the Bromley- by-Bow Centre in East London, Community Action Network (CAN), Poplar Harca (one of the first housing companies) and Leaside Regeneration Ltd. He has recently co-founded One Church 100 Uses CIC and launched Water City Group to create and implement a vision for East London revitalised by the opportunities of the 21st Century and the 2012 Olympic Games. Andrew was made a life Peer in 2007 in recognition for the social impact of his work and he now sits as an independent crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. In 2012, he was made a Freeman of the City of London. He is also the best selling author of the book, “The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work.” He is also a Director of the London Legacy Development Corporation. Andrew has inspired all the work of Food Academy! Everything is possible…

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Natasha Gavin delivers workshops in partnership with Food Academy to make children love eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables. Natasha has become the top Fruit and Veg PR person and runs fun amazing shows in primary schools (and nurseries!) all over London and even abroad! Previously, as a health specialist Natasha worked on the landmark report “Tackling Obesities” (yes, the one mentioned in our homepage!) and also as Audit Principal in the National Audit Office- on value for money on health! Natasha holds a Biology Degree (Bristol University) and a diploma in Nutrition (School of Natural Health Sciences). She is also a Qualified Chartered Accountant!

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Sophie Radcliffe @challengesophie Physical activity, challenges and sports lead. At Food Academy we believe that good performance and wellbeing depends not only on enjoying good food but as importantly on enjoying physical activities and being active. Sophie is fanatical about making fitness and adventures fun for everyone. Sophie is an endurance athlete and sports writer that challenges her limits through climbing, cycling and running. Sophie’s activities aim to show us that we can all achieve more than we think and they help us to develop confidence, resilience and drive to achieve more across all areas of life. Sophie has completed challenges such as a world-first by cycling the Alps and climbing their highest mountains in one month, cycled London to Amsterdam in 48 hours and ran London to Brighton (62 miles). Previously, Sophie excelled building and leading business development for MVF, the UK’s fastest growing tech company, winners of the Sunday Times Best Companies Award. Sophie was responsible for creating the company culture and grew her division from £300k to £4 million. Sophie holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of York.

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Our team depends for the delivery of our classes and events on a dedicated and enthusiastic team of trainers. Our classes and events also have the support of wonderful volunteers from London universities and local colleges.

1. We are relentlessly entrepreneurial! We develop the products and services that our clients want. We get things done, are creative and actively learn from mistakes.
2. Our focus is local but we run a project with a wide appeal! . Our management, decisions and funding are strictly local.
3. We are fanatical about food and cooking and its capacity to bring communities together! We use cooking to reach people that public services cannot reach.
4. We worked with a fantastic network of partners!