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Northcote Cookery School Tutors

Introducing Bruno and Emma...

Head Tutor Jason ‘Bruno’ Birkbeck and Junior Tutor Emma Lawson are here welcome you to the Cookery School and share their knowledge in a relaxed and friendly way.

Bruno has several year’s experience working as a chef at well-respected establishments such as The Samling, Hipping Hall, and The Torridon as well as being part of the Northcote family both at the beginning of his career at the hotel and as Group Head Chef across Ribble Valley Inns.

Bruno brings high-level kitchen experience as well as the teaching of trainees into the Cookery School, which means attendees learn a mix of simple and Michelin star kitchen skills, as well as unique recipes inspired by Northcote’s own culinary style.

Emma’s role sees her assisting Bruno as well as drawing on her vast experience, which combines general kitchen knowledge with specialist patisserie and chocolate skills, to create and lead courses.

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Bruno Birkbeck

Head Tutor

Jason Birkbeck (or Bruno as he is known in the industry) joined Northcote’s Cookery School in June 2017 as Head Tutor. His career as a Head Chef, means he brings his high-level kitchen experience into the courses so that attendees will learn a mix of essential and Michelin star kitchen skills, as well as unique recipes inspired by Northcote’s and Bruno’s own culinary styles.

Bruno has worked at several well-respected, fine-dining establishments across the UK, such as The Samling in Cumbria where he was part of the team that achieved the hotel’s first Michelin star. He then moved to Hipping Hall as Head Chef and worked hard with his team to take the restaurant to 3 Rosette standard, before spending five and a half years at The Torridon in the Highlands of Scotland, where he ran their fine-dining restaurant as well as their traditional inn. Bruno’s career has also seen him as part of the Northcote family, both at the beginning of his career at the hotel, and most recently as Group Head Chef across Ribble Valley Inns.

As well as taking existing courses, where he will focus on bringing more kitchen skills into the classroom, Bruno will be introducing some new and exciting options such as charcuterie and butchery, as well as those that focus on seasonality like game. Other additions include afternoon tea and chocolate-focused courses which he is developing with the school’s new Junior Tutor, Emma Lawson, whose expertise is patisserie.

Bruno, said: “It’s exciting to be back in the Northcote kitchens and I’m looking forward to bringing my Head Chef experience as well as my flavoursome, rustic style of cooking to the Cookery School programme. I really get a buzz from working with people, teaching them new skills and inspiring their confidence, as well as developing personally through working with the guest chefs that take classes at the school.”

This new direction in Bruno’s career also allows him to spend more time with his wife, three children and golden retriever. As a family, they all enjoy cooking together, especially baking with Bruno’s wife who is a pastry chef, and visiting their local farm shop to learn about where food comes from.

Emma Lawson

Junior Tutor

Emma Lawson joined the Northcote Cookery School in June 2017 as Junior Tutor with a love for passing on knowledge to people at home and giving them inspiration and faith in their cooking ability.

Emma’s great grandfather was a baker, which meant she began baking at a very young age and she found developing skills in the kitchen came easily to her. From 16 years old she worked in small cafes and pubs in her local area of Haworth, Yorkshire before working at a number of well-known local establishments including The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa and Bettys Harrogate and developing her pastry skills.

Emma studied at Leeds City College, where she passed Professional cookery level 2 and Patisserie diploma with distinction as well as winning Student of the Year. Outside of work, Emma has always used her spare time to read books, research new ideas and practice new recipes, create cakes, pastries, chocolates and patisserie items for friends and family.

Emma’s new role at Northcote will see her assisting the new Head Cookery Tutor, Jason ‘Bruno’ Birkbeck as well as drawing on her vast patisserie experience to create and lead new courses. Emma loves that pastry offers so much creativity from just a small amount of ingredients and hopes that her passion for baking, cooking and chocolate making will inspire those attending the courses.