Chefs

The best culinary talent that Belfast has to offer. Read about each Chefs background & how they put this into the preparation & delivery of every class.

Franco Cutrona

Franco is from a small town in the mountains of sicily called Marineo. He trained as a chef in Palermo and then spent summer seasons in north of Italy. Coming to Belfast in 1991 initially to improve his English, he hadn’t planned to stay but here twenty years later he’s still here. Franco ha...

Read More

Franco Cutrona

Franco is from a small town in the mountains of sicily called Marineo. He trained as a chef in Palermo and then spent summer seasons in north of Italy.

Coming to Belfast in 1991 initially to improve his English, he hadn’t planned to stay but here twenty years later he’s still here. Franco has worked in a number of establishments in Belfast, some specialising solely in Italian food and others influenced by worldwide flavours. His preference is still for Italian food.

Matthew McKinley

Matthew spent his formative years in Mourne Seafood Bar under the watchful eye of proprietor Chef Andy Rea. Following a short stint at Home Pop Up, precursor to the very successful Home Restaurant,  he embarked on a yearlong cooking adventure across the world.  He has recently returned to Norther...

Read More

Matthew McKinley

Matthew spent his formative years in Mourne Seafood Bar under the watchful eye of proprietor Chef Andy Rea. Following a short stint at Home Pop Up, precursor to the very successful Home Restaurant,  he embarked on a yearlong cooking adventure across the world.  He has recently returned to Northern Ireland to focus on his new health focused venture “Clean Eats Cookery”.

Matthew has been installed as a resident chef in Belfast Cookery School and works across a wide variety of classes.

Ben Arnold

Ben shot onto our screens as a participant and Northern Ireland heat winner in the BBC's "Great British Menu" in 2015. Having trained at college in London and later learned his trade working at two Michelin starred Le Gavroche, at La Trompette, and also for Theo Randall. He later spent time working...

Read More

Ben Arnold

Ben shot onto our screens as a participant and Northern Ireland heat winner in the BBC’s “Great British Menu” in 2015.
Having trained at college in London and later learned his trade working at two Michelin starred Le Gavroche, at La Trompette, and also for Theo Randall. He later spent time working in the kitchens at the House of Commons.

No stranger to competitive cooking, Ben has won numerous accolades including Northern Ireland’s prestigious Robbie Millar Scholarship, beating fellow Great British Menu newcomer Danni Barry in the process. He has also represented Great Britain in the World Culinary Olympics.

James Neilly

James' career started over 20 years ago under the watchful eye of Paul & Jeanne Rankin in Belfast’s highly acclaimed Roscoff restaurant. Contributing to one of the most talented kitchen teams ever assembled in Belfast and mentored by Mourne Seafood Bar owner Andy Rea, exceptional skill, knowl...

Read More

James Neilly

James’ career started over 20 years ago under the watchful eye of Paul & Jeanne Rankin in Belfast’s highly acclaimed Roscoff restaurant. Contributing to one of the most talented kitchen teams ever assembled in Belfast and mentored by Mourne Seafood Bar owner Andy Rea, exceptional skill, knowledge and quality was the norm. This background has led to the foundation for an exciting career.

James is currently one of our resident chefs at Belfast Cookery School and has hosted over 200 classes. His friendly, informative and approachable manner helps each attendee get the most out of each session.

Andy Rea

Andy is one of the most masterful chefs working in Northern Ireland. From his roots training in catering at the Belfast Institute, Andy went on to work throughout America before returning to Belfast and settling on a position in Michelin restaurant Roscoff. Andy was appointed Head Chef at Roscof...

Read More

Andy Rea

Andy is one of the most masterful chefs working in Northern Ireland. From his roots training in catering at the Belfast Institute, Andy went on to work throughout America before returning to Belfast and settling on a position in Michelin restaurant Roscoff.

Andy was appointed Head Chef at Roscoff and latterly Cayenne, scooping numerous accolades along the way. In partnership with seafood farming duo Joanne and Bob McCoubrey, Andy opened Mourne Seafood Bar in the heart of downtown Belfast to widespread critical acclaim.