Chequers Kitchen's at "Deal Seafront" - Photo by David Anstiss (CC BY-SA 2.0)

About Us

Our mission is teach people to cook, to eat well, and to develop a healthy relationship with food.

  • About Chequers Kitchen

    Chequers Kitchen Cookery School is a social enterprise run by Cinque Ports Community Kitchen CIC. We are a Community Interest Company, which means we have a social purpose as our driving force. Any profits made are reinvested into our social purpose and shareholders do not take profits out of the company.

  • What We Do

    Our mission is to teach people to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients so they can access a healthy diet. We offer a wide range of cookery courses for home or work, for young or young-at-heart. For those who cannot afford to pay for lessons we offer free classes and organise free transport to our teaching kitchen just outside Deal, Kent.

    We also help unemployed people access skills, confidence and work by teaching employment-related cooking skills.
    Find out more about our cookery courses.

  • Our Social Enterprise

    Many partners support and fund our work including The Big Lottery. You can see a list of current and past funders on Our Funders page. We are very grateful for all their support.

    In order to make ends meet and to be a viable, sustainable organisation, we also offer recreational cooking classes, team building, private dining and restaurant events. Find out more or book an event.


Meet Our Team

Our executive Directors are Stephanie Hayman and Pieter van Zyl. Our non-executive Director is Duncan Preston.
We also rely heavily on our team of fabulous volunteers. Find out more about our volunteer roles.

Peter Van Zyl

Pieter van ZylPieter van Zyl is Director of Food & Education and manages everything with cooking and teaching. He leads many of the cookery courses and heads the food team at Chequers Kitchen. Pieter has been a chef since moving from his native South Africa to train and work in Switzerland as a young man.

You will find Pieter teaching classes, leading team building events and cooking for private dining lunches and dinners.

Stephanie Hayman

Stephanie HaymanStephanie Hayman is Director of Business & Social Impact. Stephanie looks after everything that doesn’t directly involve cooking or teaching. Stephanie makes sure the Chequers Kitchen Cookery School runs smoothly and works behind the scenes to develop the social enterprise goals and Keen2Cook classes.

In 2013, Stephanie was recognised as Kent Life and Kent on Sunday’s Fine Food and Drink Hero for her work in raising the standards of school food in East Kent through Whole School Meals CIC.

Ralph Cade

Ralph CadeRalph has always had a passion for food. He cooked his first omelette at the age of six. After a career in London, Ralph set up The Dining Club in Deal seven years ago, bringing a different menu to the table every week for over 5 years. He now teaches for us, including some of our recreational cookery classes as well as leading cooking sessions with local teenagers.

Duncan Preston

Duncan Preston in a non-executive Director but keeps a close eye on our finances and financial management.

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is Pieter’s assistant. Karen joined one of our very first Keen2Cook classes in 2012 and now helps cook, teach and look after our lovely venue. Karen is an excellent cook and leads the team for our Friends’ Sunday lunches.

Debbie Templeton

Debbie Templeton is Stephanie’s assistant and looks after our marketing and volunteer team. Debbie also hosts our Friends’ Sunday lunches.

Sugarcane Thonglor

Sugarcane Thonglor teaches our popular authentic Thai cooking classes.

Debbie Keutenius

Debbie Keutenius is a passionate home baker and leads our children’s Saturday morning classes and children’s parties.

Lauren Waller and Harry Hayman look after our guests at dining and team building events. Harry also makes most of our short videos.

If you have an interest in cooking and would like to get involved, we are looking for volunteers. Find out how you can become a Volunteer.

Based by the seaside in Deal, Kent

Our location in East Kent, alongside Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course, is both beautiful and convenient with easy access from Deal, Sandwich and Dover, Kent. Behind the scenes, we are a social enterprise offering free and subsidised Keen2Cook classes for low income and disadvantaged local people.