Our tutors

At Squires Kitchen, we work with a team of over 15 tutors who are the very best in their specialist areas, ensuring you get expert guidance every step of the way.

Not only are they great teachers, they are lovely people too who will share with you their vast experience and tricks of the trade, giving you the confidence to bake, make and decorate like a professional.

Naomi Lee

Born in the UK and raised in Singapore, Naomi Lee is an award-winning and professionally trained Pastry Chef. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then went on to work with the world-famous Pierre Hermé, specialising in French Patisserie. She also trained at the Valrhona Chocolate School in Tokyo and UFM International Baking School in Bangkok. Naomi then spent four and a half years working at Peggy Porschen Cakes in London where she rose to Senior Cake Decorator and Tutor at the Academy, specialising in sugar flowers and chocolate work. She also played a key role in the production of Peggy Porschen’s award-winning sugar flower book, Cakes In Bloom. She also participates in cake competitions and won silver awards fir her wedding cake displays at Cake International, Birmingham, in 2016 and 2017.

Naomi now teaches under her business name, The Cake Botanist, travelling the globe passing on her techniques. She is a warm, engaging and patient tutor who takes great pride and enjoyment in sharing her wealth of expert knowledge. Her precision, attention to detail and unique style ensure that students are instilled with cake confidence by the end of every class. Through her cake designs and teaching Naomi hopes to show the world that cake decorating and sugarcraft are more than just culinary sciences, they are art forms.

Elena Wilkinson

Elena Wilkinson was born in Russia and now lives in the UK with her husband.

Her love of sugarcraft started when she was looking for an idea for a friend's birthday cake in 2012. Elena saw some beautiful flowers on a cake and could not believe it when she found out that they were made of sugar. She taught herself how to make sugar flowers and developed a freehand and natural flower-making style, based on the study of real flowers.

Elena won Gold and First Place at the Squires Kitchen Exhibition Competition three years running - in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She is also a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine.

Today, Elena has a growing reputation for her amazingly life-like sugar flowers and travels regularly to teach, both in the UK and abroad.

Penelope DArcy Graham

Claire St Quinton

Sarah Hunter

Emma Woods

Emma Woods is an award winning wedding cake designer and owner of Fancie Buns whose passion is creating sugar flowers and experimenting with new decorating techniques.  Her design style is modern, with clean lines and an artistic eye for colour, whilst retaining a feminine touch.  She is known for styled cake tables and unique flavour combinations.

Rhian Hayward

I am a Leiths School of Food & Wine graduate with a passion for cooking, especially pastry and cakes. Over the course of my career I have worked as a Pastry Chef at a number of London's top Michelin Star restaurants. Having spent almost 10 years in the culinary industry I have established my own style of cakes and desserts. While I started out teaching myself cake decorating and sugarcraft, my skills grew as I began attending cake decorating classes. I won Weybridge's Bake Off in 2017 with my signature drip cake, one of my absolute favourites to make! With these newfound talents I set up my own small business began creating bespoke cakes for weddings and celebrations. I love being creative with cakes. My favourite parts of my job are coming up with bespoke designs and seeing the happy smiles that spread across people's faces when the cake greets them. It's a really proud feeling! I will be graduating from university this summer and will begin teaching Food Technology in a local Surrey school from September. I look forward to sharing my tips and tricks with you soon at Squires Kitchen.  

Claire Fitzsimons

Following 25 years working as a fulltime schoolteacher, Claire embarked on a career change and retrained as a chef, gaining a diploma in cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School in London. She subsequently attended several sugarcraft courses at Squires Kitchen’s International School and a three-year wired flowers and sugarcraft diploma course to Advanced Level at Brooklands College.

Claire is a member of the British Sugarcraft Guild and has received many private commissions for her work. She was a medal winner in the wedding cake category at the prestigious Salon Culinaire competition in 2011 and 2012. Claire’s patience and excellent teaching experience are ideal for students wishing to learn new sugarcraft techniques. Claire also works in the Squires Kitchen shop in Farnham as a demonstrator, where she specialises in making wired sugar flowers.

Tessa Whitehouse

Tessa Whitehouse has enjoyed decorating cakes since she was very young. She first learnt about sugarcraft from books and was never one to shirk a challenge, even making sugar flowers for the first time for her own wedding cake just three days before the wedding! Tessa has an honours degree in home economics, further improved her cake decorating skills with courses at Squires Kitchen and developed her chocolate skills at the Callebaut Academy.

While Tessa enjoys all aspects of sugarcraft, royal icing remains her key interest and for the last four years she has attended classes and trained with Eddie Spence for the pure pleasure of working with a master of his craft. Tessa has undertaken private commissions for a number of years and was inspired and encouraged by Eddie to share her interest through demonstrating royal icing in the Squires Kitchen shop in Farnham. Tessa has also recieved a gold award for her Rene Lalique-inspired wedding cake at Salon Culinaire in 2014.

Tessa teaches regularly at Squires Kitchen International School, passing on her intricate skills, eye for detail and impressive skills. With a relaxed style, Tessa aims to share her passion and inspire others to work with the amazing medium of sugar.

Tara Gan

Barry Johnson

UK Chocolate Master 2017, founder of The Cocoa Lab, and consultant chocolatier.

Vicky Teather

Vicky Teather, from the Yellow Bee Cake Company, is an award winning cake artist. After completing a BA (Hons) degree in Video Game Design, Vicky discovered the world of cake in 2011 and swapped computer graphics for sugar artistry. In 2012 Vicky entered the prestigious Squires Exhibition and came second with her cupcake entry. Her awards include, Cupcake Artist of the year 2016 and Best Magazine Cover 2017 at the Cake Masters awards, 1st place for her cupcake designs and miniature work at the prestigious Squire's Kitchen Annual Exhibition 2013, 2014 and 2016. Multiple awards at Cake International, Piece of Cake and the Cake and Bake show. Vicky also creates tutorials for Cakes and Sugarcraft, Cake Masters, Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft and Cake Decorating Heaven magazines. She spends the majority of her time creating tutorials and teaching sugarcraft classes at her home in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Stu Henshall

Since setting up The Alternative Kitchen he is now published in numerous books, magazines, and across his rapidly expanding social network. He also runs exclusive sell out supper clubs throughout the UK, bespoke catering, guest teaches at various prestige cookery schools and works as a Plant-based Food and Beverage Consultant developing holistic food for a number of establishments; with Cloud Twelve in Notting Hill, West London being the first permanent home in the UK for his food and has been featured in everything from Vogue to OK magazine. All this while squeezing in writing a book and raising two little ones. He admits he is not so punk rock these days but gets a similar amount of sleep.

Cassie Brown

Cassie Brown has over 30 years of knowledge and experience in the cake industry, designing for several well-known cake magazines and winning multiple awards and best-in-shows including one at Squires Kitchen in 2003. She has had a successful cake company called passion4cakes and now her business has evolved to teaching and developing her own products to help people along the way. Cassie no longer makes cakes but spends all of her working time devoted to training and sharing her skills, traveling the globe teaching to places in Europe and as far as Australia. Cassie’s passion has led her to write three books: Sugar Sensation in 2010, Airbrushing on Cakes in 2015, and The Kew Book of Sugar Flowers in 2018. All reflect her passion for the two favourite subjects –airbrushing and flowers. She can also be seen on TV as a guest presenter for QVC and Create and Craft, which has led Cassie to become a popular figure in the cake industry. Cassie has also been a well-known Cake International judge since 2012 where she loves looking at everyone’s work and giving help and advice on how they can improve for the future.

Christine and Phil Jensen (Peboryon)

Peboryon are passionate about creating deliciously memorable cakes for very special occasions. Established in 2014 they have grown from our early days in Penzance to now supplying cakes across the UK and to a number of 5 star hotels in London. We have also been delighted to feature in two series of Channel 4 Extreme Cake Makers.

Carlos Lischetti

Carlos Lischetti's passion for cake decorating, baking and pastry started over 20 years ago. What started out as a hobby, as his curiosity grew, Carlos slowly started to take different local cake decoration courses that eventually helped him to master various sugar modelling techniques. These first steps as a sugarcrafter started in Rosario, Carlos's home town in Argentina. When his hobby became a career, he continued to work in Rosario until his ever-growing curiosity led him once again to take more courses, this time in France and England. Ever since this point he has always been self-motivated to try and learn as much as he can from well-known sugar artists around the world.

Now a leading name in sugar modelling and recognised as a master around the globe, Carlos passes on the skills and knowledge that he has gained over the years by teaching at international culinary schools and exhibitions and is a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine. Published in September 2012, Carlos’ highly-anticipated first book Animation in Sugar (B. Dutton Publishing) was so popular that the first print run sold out in a matter of weeks.

Petya Shmarova

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor began baking and cake decorating at an early age by helping to make the family Christmas cake every year.  A few years later, interest in her designs snowballed and she started taking commissions to make cakes for friends and family.

In 2004 Karen became a mother and decided to leave her full-time job to raise her son. She continued to make cakes from home and set up her successful business ‘Cakes by Karen’ not long after, creating bespoke wedding and celebration cakes from her home in Worcester.

Karen has won numerous gold, silver and bronze awards in various competitions, including at Salon Culinaire, and has achieved NCFE levels 1, 2 and 3 in Cake Decorating from Birmingham College of Food.

She is a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine as well as Wedding Cakes: A Design Source. Karen is also the author of Quick Cakes for Busy Mums.

Emily Hankins

Emily is a Cornish based artist and designer with a passion for cake and a love of all things vintage and handmade.

She has had a huge interest in baking and cake decorating ever since she was a child. After studying a degree in graphic design at Falmouth College of Arts and starting a family, she decided to take the plunge and pursue her passion further, marrying her love of painting and her sugarcraft skills.

Emily has spent the past 5 years working in the wedding industry and developing her hand painted cake style, specialising in working with cocoa butter paint.

Emily has her own wedding cake business, Emily Hankins Cakes, supplying cakes all over the south west. She is also a regular contributor to Cakes and Sugarcraft Magazine.

Linda Garnham

Linda Garnham

Linda is a fully qualified tutor with a wide range of skills who has been teaching and demonstrating sugarcraft for over 15 years. She has been a British Sugarcraft Guild member for 20 years and is also a judge, accredited demonstrator and an assessor and trainer for the Demonstrator Training Programme. Linda started sugarcraft when her children were young and she attended a part-time evening course at Thurrock College. She then went on to be formally trained at Barking College, gaining the City and Guilds 7900 and 121 qualifications in the design and decoration of sugarcraft and cake decoration as well as Centra floral qualifications. As a result, she has worked both commercially and privately in the UK and overseas.

Linda has also entered many competitions at branch and international levels for the BSG, Le Salon Culinaire de Londres, Heart of England Culinaire, Le Festival International de la Gastronomie a Malte and Squires Kitchen’s UK Exhibition, gaining gold, silver and bronze awards. You can also see Linda’s work in Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine, as she is a regular contributor.

Natasha Collins

Natasha Collins has always loved baking and creating special cakes. After training and working as an illustrator and following a successful career in textile design, she returned to her passion for baking.

The owner and creator of Nevie-Pie Cakes, Natasha began her cake-making business as a hobby and had no idea where it would eventually lead. She has a built an incredibly successful business creating fabulous painted cakes for many different occasions, and can boast a string of well-known names amongst her clients including Capcom, ITV and Kerrang!. She has appeared on Blue Peter to demonstrate her unique painting techniques, was commissioned to create a Christmas range for Selfridges and helped to co-create a monster-themed tea party served at No. 10, Downing Street.

Natasha has a growing international reputation and places on her cake painting classes are very much in demand. Her style is well-known in the cake decorating community and her work has been featured in many publications including Cakes & Sugarcraft and Wedding Cakes – A Design Source magazines. Natasha has just finished work on her first book which will be released in early 2015.

Laura Dodimead

Laura Dodimead originally trained as an interior designer before trying her hand at a range of creative professions, including dressmaking and visual merchandising. After her first daughter was born, she began to bake and found her creative background and understanding of aesthetics lent itself well to the world of cake decorating. After several years supplying baked goods to local tearooms and cafés in Surrey, Laura quickly found herself receiving more and more requests for bespoke wedding and celebration cakes and started her business Cakey Bakes Cakes as a result.

Laura is a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine, as well as having her work featured in magazines such as Prima Makes and Brilliant Baking.

Mark Tilling

Mark TillingUK Chocolate Master 2006-2010, is Squires Kitchen’s Master Chocolatier and resident tutor. Mark has worked as a pastry chef at top hotels including The Lanesborough, Lainston House Hotel, Hotel du Vin and Le Pave d’Auge in Normandy, France, which boasts a Michelin star.

Mark twice represented the UK in the Chocolate Master world finals in Paris, where he was ranked 12th in the world in 2007 and 7th in 2009, the UK’s highest-ever placing. He has also won many other gold medals in chocolate work and patisserie as well as judging and demonstrating at many exhibitions both in the UK and abroad. Along with fellow pastry chefs Helen Vass and Samantha Rain, Mark won the first series of BBC2’s Bake Off: Crème de la Crème in April 2016, beating 14 other professional teams to seal victory in the final.

As well as teaching at Squires Kitchen, Mark is an ambassador for chocolate in the UK and has authored two books, Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Working with Chocolate and Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Making Macaroons, both published by B. Dutton Publishing.

Alan Dunn

Alan Dunn is a world leading sugarcraft designer, author, teacher and demonstrator and teaches all over the globe. His highly realistic sugar flowers are simply stunning and he has a wonderfully uninhibited style of his own and is well respected for his artistic talents in producing lifelike sugar and cold porcelain flowers.

Alan started cake decorating at an early age and has become one of the sugarcraft world’s leading authors with books such as Flowers and Foliage for Wedding Cakes (B. Dutton Publishing). Alan is an accredited demonstrator for the British Sugarcraft Guild and has taught in numerous locations such as Russia, Malaysia and extensively through Europe.

Ceri Griffiths

Ceri Griffiths is an international teacher, judge, author and TV personality. He started life in catering as a trainee chef, before changing his focus and training as a Master Baker and Confectioner at the South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education in Cardiff. After graduating with distinction in 1980, Ceri followed his passion and talent and immediately started working as a cake decorator and confectioner. During this period Ceri’s creations won several gold medals and acknowledgements at competition level, and he started appearing in international magazines.

Living in America and Australia for several years, he has taken on some of their own unique decorating styles which can be seen in the designs he produces today. Nowadays you are more likely to find Ceri at an airport than in a bakery; he regularly travels to teach, demonstrate and judge at major events. Ceri feels that he has been blessed with a gift and he loves to share his passion with students all over the world: the magic of teaching is now his biggest reward, and he loves nothing more than seeing the look on students' faces when they have achieved a project and turn to him to say "I can't believe I did that". Ceri is also the author of three books on the topic of royal icing.



Naomi Yamamoto

Naomi Yamamoto is a well-respected Japanese sugarcrafter who has been teaching sugarcraft for over 25 years. She studied in the USA and the UK and is certified to teach sugarcraft to a high standard by Brooklands College. Naomi taught at the Genteel Academy in Tokyo, sister school to Brooklands College, as an executive instructor for 13 years and now teaches at two technical colleges in Tokyo as well as overseas. She has demonstrated at the BSG’s International Exhibition and at Squires Kitchen.

Naomi’s creations often appear in Japanese media, including TV, as well as international media such as Wedding Cakes – A Design Source magazine. Her work is elegant, meticulous, shows a high level of creativity and draws recognition not only in Japan but also from enthusiasts worldwide, particularly her beautiful sugar flowers. Naomi is the author of Delicate Sugarcraft from Japan (Shibata 2007) and her latest release, Wedding Cakes: The Couture Collection (B. Dutton Publishing).

Carla Puig

Jan Clement-May

Jan Clement-May started sugarcrafting in 1995 after being inspired by a novelty cake book. Having originally qualified as a graphic designer, Jan applied her artistic talent and creative flair to cake decorating and began to make cakes for her two children, as well as for other family members and friends. In 2001, she set up The Too Good to Eat Company from home and shortly afterwards began to contribute projects to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine. Jan is now a well-recognised and regular professional tutor at Squires Kitchen International School.

She has established herself as a popular contributor to both Wedding Cakes – A Design Source and Cakes & Sugarcraft magazines and continues to run a very successful business. She has written four books, Merry Christmas Cakes, Bob the Builder™ Celebration Cakes, Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Making Sugar Animals and Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Making Sugar Figures (B. Dutton Publishing Ltd.). Due to popular demand, her book Squires Kitchen’s Guide to Making Sugar Animals has been translated into both Spanish and Italian.

Ann Skipp

Ann Skipp has been teaching and demonstrating the art of cake decorating for over 25 years. As Corporate Home Economist for Safeway for 14 years, Ann developed her passion for working with food and has spent a great deal of time working with Squires Kitchen to create new products. She now teaches and demonstrates in our baking school as well as our sugarcraft school. Ann is also an accomplished food stylist and contributes regularly to Inspired by Food and Cakes & Sugarcraft magazines.


Fran Willoughby

Fran Willoughby began her career in the theatre, working professionally in musical theatre for a number of years. In 2007, when her youngest son was one, Fran found she needed a new way to channel her creative spirit. Having baked from a young age with her mum, Fran decided to set up a cake business and trained with senior Squires Kitchen tutor and expert sugarcrafter Paddi Clark. Having developed her sugarcraft skills to a high standard, Fran went on to set up successful cake decorating business, Willoughby’s Handmade Cakes.

Fran has worked with Squires Kitchen for several years, alongside running her own business and contributing to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine. She specialises in creating feminine and elegant wedding cakes with clean, sharp designs and intricate sugar flowers, from David Austin roses to sugar succulents.

Susan Griffiths

Susan Griffiths is a popular tutor with a relaxed and friendly style of teaching. Celebration miniature cakes, couture cupcakes and sugar flowers are a few of her specialist subjects. Susan is the author of Making Sugar Teddy Bears  and Making Sugar Cats for Cakes (B. Dutton Publishing Ltd) and is also well-known for her projects in Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine. She demonstrates in Squires Kitchen's shop on Saturdays and Sundays and is always happy to offer advice and tips, helping you to achieve that perfect cake!

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford is an internationally recognised figure in the cake decorating world. With humble beginnings, Paul’s grandmother taught him how to decorate cakes, Paul went on to study Baking and Cake Design at Telford College before working as a baker in Oliphant’s bakery in Linlithgow, Scotland. Paul soon carved a successful career for himself as a cake decorator and he opened his own business in 2002.

Having created cakes for the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Albert of Monaco, Paul Bradford has had a wealth of high-profile clients as well as various television appearances under his belt. Having made thousands of designer wedding and novelty cakes over the years, Paul has now turned his wealth of experience and skill to focus on passing on his knowledge through teaching.

Paul’s teaching style is relaxed, informal and easy-to-follow and he is full of interesting anecdotes and stories of his experience in the cake decorating industry.

Helen Mansey

Helen Mansey discovered her passion for cake decorating while she was taking some time off from her career as a professional chef to raise her young family. With a background in fashion design and cooking, her creative instincts fuelled the conception of her successful wedding cake business, Bellissimo Cakes, based in Hampshire.

Much of Helen’s work is inspired by the clean lines and sharp sugarpasted edges of Australian cake design and these features are now part of her signature style along with hand-piping, a skill she learnt from Eddie Spence MBE. Self-taught in the art of sugar flowers, Helen’s delicate skill in their construction means that intricately made sugar flowers regularly adorn her stunning wedding cake designs.

Helen has been awarded many accolades for her beautiful cakes over the years. In the Squires Kitchen 25th Wedding Anniversary Cake competition Helen was awarded Gold, and was invited to exhibit at The Cake & Bake Show 2012 to demonstrate her skills in piping lace pieces. Helen is a regular contributor to Wedding Cakes – A Design Source and her work is also often featured in many bridal magazines and blogs. In 2012 she was shortlisted in the Hitched Breakthrough Awards for Best New Wedding Cake Designer. 

Jorge Cruz

Jorge Cruz is an award-winning Colombian artist and architect, praised worldwide for his intricate clay modelling and stop-motion clay animation.Jorge spent his childhood cultivating his creativity and talent – at six-years-old, he began studying clay modelling under the guidance of a renowned Columbian artist. He then attended the prestigious arts academy in Bogota, Plastilina Creativa Academy, on a scholarship and went on to graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in Architecture and Fine Arts.

Now based on Miami Beach, Jorge runs his art studio – ‘Clay World’ and ‘Cake World’ – where he runs a variety of workshops that are focused on developing and improving children’s fine motor skills and artistic capabilities. Having taught the art of modelling and character design for over 20 years to both children and adults, Jorge’s expertise lies in designing and hand-crafting human- and animal-based characters. He also applies various techniques to achieve unusual facial expressions, body proportions and body positions through the study of anatomy.

Jorge creates a spectacular level of detail in each piece that he creates and, as a result, has a large and loyal following across the globe. His clay figures and stop-motion clay animations are featured in numerous commercials, feature films and publications across the US and his sugar modelling work is always being commissioned. Jorge’s teaching style is relaxed and accessible, following teaching programmes which are easy for students to follow and fun to learn.

Liz Aplin

Liz Aplin has been sugarcrafting and cake-making for the last 10 years and focuses on big and bold figure modelling. She endeavors to give cuteness and character to all of her models and her main aim is to make people smile with her creations. Liz has taught sugarcraft in a variety of settings and believes that everyone can enjoy the process of creation and making something to be proud of. She was originally largely self-taught but has been expertly teaching students at Squires Kitchen International School for many years now.

When she’s not sugarcrafting, Liz works as a training manager within local government and has a passion for training and supporting people to raise their skill levels and confidence. She has been a trainer for the last eight years, using the principles of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and working with groups and individuals to challenge their self-limiting perceptions about their abilities to enable them to become more confident and creative without worrying about failure. Liz is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and has been awarded their certificate in training practice with distinction.

Kathy Moore

Kathy Moore is a professional cake consultant and decorator who has dedicated over 20 years to the design and creation of stunning and inspirational cakes. She gained her initial qualification in Cake Design and Decoration, went on to start her own cake decorating business from home and won a Salon Culinaire award for her amazing work. To further her desire to share skills with others, Kathy gained her teaching certificate and her talent and enthusiasm has led her to teach and demonstrate all over the world.

Before Kathy moved back to her hometown of Lytham St Annes, she was resident tutor at Squires Kitchen for many years, continually sharing knowledge. Kathy has written two books, Cakes from Concept to Creation and Starting a Cake Decorating Business from Home of which there have been three updated editions (B. Dutton Publishing Ltd.). Her passion for everything cake and her constant pursuit of new styles and market trends provides her with the inspiration to create pieces which are both stunning and practical, sharing them through publications, teaching and workshops. Kathy also uses her skill as a British Sign Language Interpreter with those cake decorators who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and whose first language is BSL.

Beatrice Harling

Bea Harling started her career in food as a commis chef but quickly realised that she preferred her home kitchen to a commercial one. After gaining a first class honours BSc Food and Consumer Sciences degree, Bea went on to develop and test new products and recipes as well as creating food styling concepts for Marks & Spencer.

From these impressive roots, Bea was inspired to begin writing and so trained with the National Magazine Company, writing features for various popular magazines. She then moved on to the Good Housekeeping Institute where she designed and ran commercial projects for their food and product test centre.

Bea’s passion for gluten-free began when she managed a culinary test kitchen for a major international food manufacturing company; guiding sensory taste panels, developing products and creating new recipes. After being appointed the resident ‘Food Expert’ for a food website, Bea was able to develop her expertise whilst working alongside chefs, nutritionists and respected food professionals, further fuelling her knowledge.

In 2012, Bea teamed up with Chef Phil Vickery to form Seriously Good Gluten Free Food Ltd. and developed a range of gluten- and dairy-free home baking mixes.

Bea’s ‘free from’ classes are designed to inspire confidence in those catering for special diets and to encourage a sense of fun when making cakes and desserts. Bea will provide invaluable information for allergen-free baking and will be on hand during her courses to answer any questions and give advice.

Geraldine Dahlke

Geraldine Dahlke began her career as an artist, having studied at Coventry College of Education and Warwick University. It was here that she found a passion for weaving, from small, richly coloured freestanding tapestries to huge, hanging structures. Geraldine went on to receive her master’s degree in education from Sheffield University and became a Deputy Head in London’s East End.

Geraldine started creating cakes for her two children, which quickly grew into a business carving novelty cakes, special occasion cakes and wedding cakes. As demand spiralled, Geraldine took a break from running her business to focus on home life, and signed up for sugarcraft classes at Brooklands College. With Chris Jeffcoate as her tutor, Geraldine found the freedom and encouragement to experiment with her own style: cakes with sculptural and fabric qualities.

On leaving college Geraldine started the Taste of Art group and together they exhibited sugarcraft creations in art galleries, long before sugar became accepted by the general art world and cake-making became commercialised. With members from as far as New Zealand and Canada, many of the artists are now well-recognised names around the world, including Lindy Smith, Gary Chapman and Paddi Clark.

Specialising in creating woven-pattern effects in sugarpaste, Geraldine is the author of The Book of Patterned Pastes (B. Dutton Publishing) and has had her sugar art exhibited in the fountain near Hampton Court as well as at the Eat Art exhibition. She has received much industry recognition including winning gold at Salon Culinaire and being awarded the City and Guilds silver medal for excellence, among others. Geraldine also demonstrates, teaches and judges at international exhibitions in the UK.

Makiko Searle

Makiko Searle is one of the UK’s leading names in wedding cake design. Her professional skills as a cake maker combined with a unique creative style have earned Maki a reputation for creating truly stunning and original designs.

Maki began her career as a pastry chef in Tokyo then moved to England to improve her skills by taking a sugarcraft course at Brooklands College. She later worked at the prestigious Great Fosters Hotel, Surrey and at the acclaimed Mandarin Oriental Hotels in Hyde Park, London and Tokyo.

Since completing her sugarcraft course, Maki has been awarded with several medals from many competitions. She currently runs Maki’s Cakes, a cake design company in Surrey which produces unusual and exquisite cakes for all occasions. Her work is regularly featured in the UK’s top wedding magazines, including BRIDESYou and Your Wedding and Cosmo Brides, and she is a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine and Wedding Cakes – A Design Source (Squires Kitchen Magazine Publishing).

Michelle Wibowo

Michelle Wibowo is a world-renowned sugar artist and cake sculptor whose cake creations regularly appear in both British and international media, including television and press. A qualified architect, Michelle moved to the UK from her native Indonesia to study at the National Bakery School in London and draws on her architectural training for the detail and construction of her cake creations. She set up her own business, Michelle Sugar Art Limited, in 2007 and teaches her skills to avid students around the world.

As a member of the Experimental Food Society, Michelle’s mission is to get people thinking more creatively about cake and she continues to push the boundaries of cake design. Michelle is famed for the stunning realism that she can capture through the medium of sugar and has been invited to exhibit her creations all over the world.

In 2008 and 2012, Michelle was awarded gold and silver medals at the Culinary Olympics and she has received many other accolades, including Ideal Home Show’s Cake Decorator of the Year in 2011. Michelle's first book Showstopper Wedding Cakes (B. Dutton Publishing) will be published in November 2014.

Mickael Jahan

Mickael Jahan is a French Master Baker with over 25 years of experience in the baking industry. His passion for baking began in a local bakery in France when he was just 14 years old. Selected as the ‘Best Bakery Apprentice’ for the Vendée region, he went on to have an illustrious career.

After travelling to the UK and working in an independent bakery, Mickael returned to France in 2000 and passed his Masters in Bakery at the well-known institute of baking, INBP. From here, he went on to work for and learn from Remi Coste (Un Des Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2000) and then Francois Pozzoli as bakery manager.

In 2002, Mickael returned to London and shared his knowledge of the baking world with Maison Blanc, an authentically French café chain in the UK. Within three months Mickael had developed and launched a new range of baked goods across the stores, which increased sales by 50%.

Whether it’s for small artisan bakeries, boutique houses or multi-national companies in both the UK and France, Mickael continually brings fresh ideas and new inspiration to his work. Mickael has baked bread for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, as well as desserts for the Sultan of Oman and continues to learn by inventing and experimenting daily with new recipes.

Mickael teaches his craft regularly to those who want to explore the art of baking, using his easy, step-by-step programme. He is driven by the satisfaction of seeing student’s reactions once they have mastered a baking recipe.

Ayako Saida

Ayako Saida is a passionate and creative flower designer who brings a wealth of experience from Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. Her work is realistic and classic yet has a unique urban flavour and is influenced by her love for fresh seasonal flowers and knowledge of interior decoration. After acquiring a diploma in Floristry Management at the Constance Spry Flower School, Farnham in 2001, Ayako has worked as a freelance florist for corporate clients as well as teaching individuals at home.

Vivian Lee

Vivian Lee joined the Squires Group as a new tutor in 2010 after her work was spotted at the Squires Kitchen Annual Competition. From growing up in a humble Hakka family in Hong Kong to graduating from Westminster Kingsway College and gaining her diploma in patisserie, Vivian has a true passion for cake decorating.

This passion has in turn brought many related successes: an Advanced Sugarcraft Diploma at Brookland’s College; a teaching post at Westminster Kingsway College for six years; and 23 cake decorating competition awards in just four years, including 13 gold, 11 silver, and two bronze awards. Vivian's enthusiasm for cake decorating complements the skills she has acquired to offer great promise and deliver rewarding results to bakeries and sugarcraft institutions alike.

Mirande Gore Browne

Miranda Gore Browne was a much-loved finalist on the first series of BBC2's The Great British Bake Off, where Mary Berry remarked that she reminded her of her younger self.

Miranda thrives on putting baking at the heart of life. She is passionate about making baking real, simple and achievable, but at the same time aspirational. Her first cookbook, Biscuit, was published by Ebury in 2012, and she is currently working on her second book. As well as cookery writing, Miranda is busy teaching, demonstrating, sharing her love of baking, and being a mum to three small children. 

Ildo Nicolello

Ildo Nicolello began his extensive 60-year career in confectionery and chocolate with four years of training at Park Lane Hotel and the Piccadilly Hotel, London. He went on to become Chef Pâtissier at the Howard Hotel and the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth.

After his successful career as a pâtisserie chef, Ildo was a college lecturer at Highbury College for 23 years, teaching pâtisserie, bakery and confectionery before going on to accept the position ofHead of Pâtisserie, Bakery and Science at Watford College.

Having achieved many gold, silver and bronze awards for his sugar sculptures, chocolate and pâtisserie work as well as appearing on a variety of different television productions, Ildo has no shortage of experience.

Ildo continues to teach his skills in confectionery all over the world, including Ireland, South Africa and India. He has also demonstrated sugar-pulling and -blowing at the Squires Kitchen Annual Exhibition for 25 years and has written five books on confectionery.

Angela Nilsen

Food writer Angela Nilsen brings a wealth of creative experience to her teaching style. Her career has involved all aspects of food, either teaching or writing about it, but her passion has always been baking.
She was a food journalist and food stylist in Vancouver, Canada for many years, where she also gained a diploma in Fine Arts. On her return to England she wrote several cake decorating books before becoming Food Editor of BBC Good Food Magazine, a position she held for 10 years.

She now enjoys a successful freelance career, writing, editing and more recently photographing food and occasionally drawing it, too. Angela is the 2004 winner of the Glenfiddich Cookery Writer Award and the Guild of Food Writers' Cookery Journalist of the Year Award for her work on the 'Ultimate' series in BBC Good Food Magazine. She is author of several books, including 'The Ultimate Recipe Book', BBC Books. Most recently, Angela has been shortlisted for the Guild of Writers awared for 'Work on Healthy Eating'. 

Alison Newman

Alison Newman founded The Little Sugar Box in 2012 and works as a successful wedding cake designer, as well as teaching her signature model designs. Whilst running her own company designing and making nursery sets, Alison attended a cupcake course for fun and became hooked. Only six weeks later she was booked in to complete her Masters Diploma. Alison excelled at the course achieving gold merits and completing further training with Mich Turner, Alan Dunn, Zoe Clark and Carlos Lischetti.

Alison’s bespoke wedding cakes are feminine and delicate with soft colours and an attention to detail that is reflected in her modelling as well. Alison’s teaching style is relaxed and inspiring, with the ability to make even complex projects seem easily achievable with the right guidance. The Little Sugar Box was regional finalist for Best Wedding Cake Designer and regional winner for Best Newcomer at the 2015 Wedding Industry Awards.

Christian Giardina

Christian Giardina is a talented sugarcrafter and tutor who specialises in creating extraordinary sugar figures with meticulous attention-to-detail and lots of character. Born in Italy, Christian started off modelling small characters and flowers with polymer clay whilst studying foreign languages. He went on to combine his natural ability to sculpt 3D models with his appreciation and passion for cakes and pastry, creating incredible sugar figures that he now teaches internationally.

Christian is a member of FIP (The International Federation of Pastry, Ice Cream and Chocolate) and was also coach to the Italian team at the World Championship of Cake Design 2015 in Milan, Italy. Having won gold he is nowFIP Cake Design World Champion!

Christian also works in collaboration with a variety of magazines and websites including Italy’s Cucina Chic Cake Design and major online media publisher Corriere.it.

Susanna Righetto

Susanna Righetto is a talented sugar florist and creates flowers that are stylish and feminine with a romantic flair. Susanna started out as a professional photographer before discovering that she could combine her passions for photography and baking through sugar floristry. After studying under sugar floristry experts Alan Dunn and Paddi Clark, Susanna obtained her Master Certificate from Squires Kitchen's International School in 2011. Having achieved her certificate, Susanna now teaches sugar floristry in northern and southern Italy.

She has demonstrated at both The Cake Show and the Cake Design Italian Festival, two major sugarcraft exhibitions in Italy and starred in two episodes of Le Torte di Toni, an Italian TV show hosted by Australian sugarcrafter Toni Brancatisano. Susanna is also a regular contributor to Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine and her work has featured in Squires Kitchen’s Bake School and Wedding Cakes–A Design Source (SKMP), as well as several Italian magazines.

George Thomopoulos

George Thomopoulos has four decades of experience in the baking industry. Born in South Africa, the surfing champion obtained his City & Guild qualifications in baking at London South Bank University and went on to travel the world with Unilever. He lived and promoted baking ingredients in countries as far flung as South Africa, Brazil, Holland, Japan and the UK. Recently retired from his position as Chairman of the international baking company Rich Products in Hampshire, George looks forward to sharing his passion for all things floury.

Judit Comes

Judit Comes specialises in carving fruit and vegetables into impressive shapes, and also sculpts ice, sand and sugar. She launched her company, FrutArt, in Spain in 2005, which specialises in gastronomic decoration and other types of ephemeral art and caters for a wide range of events.

With a long history in this area of decoration and a background in design, Judit also possesses many qualifications and has undertaken extensive training in carving a variety of mediums. Judit promotes the art of gastronomic decoration at key events and exhibitions all over the world as well as teaching students from a variety of countries her methods for creating intricate carvings.

Judit has won numerous awards for her pioneering work, including being named Absolute European Champion of Fruit Carving in 2009 and winning the gold medal with honours at the World Cup Championships in 2010. She has featured in many magazines and has appeared on television and radio. She now enjoys travelling around the world improving her skills, learning new techniques and teaching others how to master this impressive craft.

Anna Maria Roche

Award-winning cake artist, Anna Maria Roche, has well over 25 years of industry experience. Trained as a chef/pastry chef she has worked for some of Sydney’s top hotels and cake shops, including Sweet Art and Planet Cake, designing and creating cakes for people from all walks of life.

During her seven-year career at Planet Cake, she pioneered the teaching programmes for the successful school and was the creative force behind some of the most recognisable and original cake designs. Anna Maria was also involved in several bestselling cake-decorating books, as well as the popular LifeStyle TV series, Planet Cake. Her work has also featured in many magazines.

Anna Maria has competed in many prestigious cake competitions and won many awards. Most recently, she was honoured as Grand Champion at the Australian Cake Decorating Championships 2015 in Sydney.

In October 2013, Anna Maria founded her own business, Anna Maria Cake Design, creating private commissions as well as tutorials for companies to promote their products. Anna Maria also conducts private lessons and teaches at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, as well as other private institutions across Australia and overseas. She is very proud to see that many of her students go on to have successful businesses of their own.

Sarah Gale

Sarah has had a passion for baking and cake-making since she was very young, when she would help her mum and grandma in the kitchen. It seemed natural for Sarah to turn her passion for baking into a profession, so she started work in a hotel kitchen making cakes and desserts.  Sarah continued to make celebration cakes for friends and family as a hobby, but demand for her cake designs soon grew and she set up her own cake-making business, Cakes by Sarah-Mary, in 2011. Based in Haslemere, Surrey, Sarah specialises in creating unique novelty celebration cakes for her clients. Having attended many courses at Squires Kitchen International School, Sarah has developed a wide range of sugarcraft skills which she is keen to pass on to her students.

Vanessa Albury

Vanessa trained at Squires Kitchen, successfully completing several courses including the Professional Intensive Week under tuition from Paddi Clark.

Toby Griffiths

Claire Castle

Claire is an all-round cake designer, cake artist and sugarcraft expert with a passion for art and a wide range of creative hobbies.

After completing Foundation studies in art and design at Reading College, she obtained a certificate in design and art/sugarcraft. Claire has more than 10 years experience designing, baking and decorating bespoke novelty cakes, both at Need-A-Cake in Reading and Jane Asher Party Cakes in London. Since 2005, she has also been employed as a sessional lecturer in sugarcraft at Bracknell and Wokingham College, designing and teaching courses for adult learners.

In November 2017, Claire won the Bronze Award at Cake International in the Novelty Cake with Models category and in April 2017, she won the Silver Award in the Celebration Cake for a Special Occasion category. Teaching at Squires Kitchen, where she combines shop assistant, housekeeping and customer service duties, was the natural next step.

Claire enjoys making cakes and treats for friends and family, and enjoys creative activities such as photography, flower arranging, drawing, glass painting, scrap booking and card making.

Francesca Speranza

Italian sugar artist Francesca Speranza produces amazing cakes using painting and sculpting techniques and has won numerous awards for her creations.
Francesca has a Masters in graphic design and advertising illustrations and her first love was painting on porcelain. After the birth of her daughter, Francesca turned her skills to cake and developed her own unique style which includes a mixture of Chinese-style painted calligraphy and post-modern graphic design. Her trademark style is painting with vegetable-oil-based colours and a square shader brush traditionally used to paint porcelain.
Francesca has a passion for colours and her favourite techniques include airbrushing, modelling, high and low relief and of course, painting. She specialises in delicate and romantic backgrounds with deep colours and black and white portraits, using sugar just like a canvas. Francesca is continually challenging herself and is always on the lookout for new inspiration from nature and art around her.

Keith Kirby

Keith has been making bread for the last decade and it has become his passion. He is a member of the Bread Angels network, a group of artisan bakers who believe in real bread and baking for good. In 2017 and 2019 Keith won gold and silver awards at the World Bread Awards, held in London.

Gabriella Cugno

Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Junior Chocolate Master 2017 and Young Pastry Chef of the year 2015.

Katie Lake