Californian cooking queen on board at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

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The Capital’s Californian cuisine expert Annette Sprague has now joined the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School as vice principal.

The classically trained cook, formerly chef patron of Californian restaurant Redwood, will take on the new role bringing over 20 years of experience in professional cooking and running food-related businesses to the school.

She said: “I am thrilled to take on the vice principal role at ENTCS. With over two decades of professional cookery and business experience, being classically French trained and growing up in California, I have a unique perspective on Asian Pacific-Rim as well as Mexican cuisines and their regional ingredients feature prominently in my dishes.

“I have been running a ‘California Cuisine’ class at ENTCS for several years, during which time I have had the pleasure of working with Fiona and getting to know her team.

“The school has a fantastic setup for teaching and is structured in such a way that I will be able to make a significant contribution to the curriculum as well as to the business side of the school.

“I have always enjoyed teaching, so taking up this position is definitely a career highlight.

“I am very much looking forward to passing on my business and cooking knowledge to the next generation of professional chefs, as well as the novice home cook.”

After gaining her diploma in Grand Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu, in 1999, having trained both in Sydney and London, Annette moved to Edinburgh in 2002, where she set up and ran a high-end catering company for six years.

Seeking a new challenge, Annette became Chef Patron at Redwood restaurant in 2008 – followed by Redwood Bistro in 2014 - managing all operations of premises, staff, food preparation and service, while also designing and teaching a wide variety of private cookery courses for customers on a part-time basis.

Annette joined Edinburgh New Town Cookery School in January last year as a part time teacher. The deputy role will see her not only plan, prepare and teach courses, but also support principal, Fiona Burrell, in the management of staff, health and safety standards and marketing the business.

Fiona said: “Annette is a fantastic part of the team and has already had a hugely positive impact on the school. She brings a wealth of experience, professionalism and drive to this new role and I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with her going forward.”

The professional cookery school offers classes from one day tasters for amateurs, to six month professional courses.