Set up by chef Tara Guinness in 2017, Tara Cookery was founded to help everyone - regardless of their skill level - improve their cooking. Having completed her year diploma in Food and Wine at Leith's School of Food and Wine in London, Tara spent the years after her graduation in 2013 working at a five-star hotel kitchen in India. It was here where - in the remote jungle reserve in which the hotel was based - she learnt not only to craft menus for the hotel, but also train the hotel staff around her, where a love of teaching was sparked. After returning to the U.K., Tara spent 3 years at Carousel London, where she was introduced to a wide range of dishes and cuisines from around the world.

Tara offers a range of classes, from online pizza and pasta making classes, to the option for private classes for up to 6 people in her very own professional kitchen in West London.

We chatted to Tara all about her cooking journey, her favourite cuisine to cook, and what she loves most about teaching her classes.

(Tara's responses have been edited for length and clarity)

When was the first time you started cooking, and what drew you to it?

I have always been obsessed with food and cooking. My family weren't that into food, so as soon as I moved out of home and got the opportunity, all I did was cook! After going to cooking school, I then worked in restaurants in India and London.

An example of one of Tara's private classes

What made you realise that teaching might be for you? And was it difficult for you to make that leap from creating for yourself to teaching others?

After working in restaurants for a few years, I decided I wanted to leave that environment because of the gruelling hours. I had learnt so much, that I thought I had enough knowledge to give teaching a go. I wanted to share my own love of cooking with people, and try and give people confidence in their own cooking skills. Often people are frightened of cooking, and I think that is such a shame! I worked in a restaurant for 3 years called Carousel where, each week, they fly in a new chef from around the world to take it over for just that week. There, I was able to learn a new cuisine each week, so now I can offer classes in literally ANY type of cuisine that people want to learn.

Tara in action teaching one of her online classes

How do you maintain your inspiration now you’ve turned your passion into a career path? And how do you pass that inspiration onto your students?

To keep inspired, I always try to keep coming up with new classes to teach, with different cuisines and menus. As well as continuing to meet and teach new people, regardless of their previous cooking skills.

What is your favourite thing to create? And your favourite thing to teach?

I love making delicious Asian food, and using and experimenting with new and interesting ingredients.

An example of some of the ingredients Tara uses in her classes

What is your favourite part about teaching?

I love teaching people something in class that they then go on to recreate again and again at home. You get to go away knowing you have made a difference to people, inspiring others to cook and entertain with friends and family, and impacting what they are cooking and eating in a positive way.

Finally, do you have any tips for aspiring creatives who are looking to start teaching their own classes?

Just go for it. If you enjoy doing it, someone else will too!

Book Tara Cookery on Obby

Want to know more?

Interested in finding out more about our wonderful teachers? Check out some more blogs featuring Obby teachers and their stories below: