Meet the cooks

The cooks behind the recipes are some of the best we’ve worked with, in over a quarter of a century on the farm and in our restaurant. From developing the special recipe for our famous mince pies, to creating menus for the multi award-winning Riverford Field Kitchen, this food obsessed bunch have impeccable credentials and know-how.

Rob Andrew
Rob Andrew

Former head chef at our award-winning farm restaurant, The Riverford Field Kitchen, which enjoys rave reviews from customers and food critics alike. Rob creates menus that are inspired by what’s growing in the fields around us on the farm. His creative culinary background influences his style of food, where seasonal veg is always the star.

Francesca Didymus
Francesca Didymus

For Francesca, cooking is about making people happy. Some of her fondest childhood memories are of helping her mum to cook the interesting specimens that grew in their vegetable garden, and her siblings scrambling over trayfuls of sweet treats as she pulled them from the oven. After studying history of art at university, and working in jobs as varied as nannying and the Probation Service, Francesca was drawn back to her first love: food. A vegetarian for 12 years before attending Ballymaloe organic cookery school, she knows her way around veg. There’s one thing on her mind when she’s creating recipes: that people should be smiling as they eat!

Kirtsy Hale
Kirsty Hale

Kirsty’s something of a recipe legend at Riverford. She’s been writing the much-loved recipes alongside our weekly organic vegboxes for years now, as well as all the ideas in our seasonal recipe booklets. Kirsty’s a champion of fresh, wholesome seasonal food that never compromises on flavour.

Guy Watson
Guy Watson

Riverford founder and organic pioneer. Guy started the Riverford organic vegbox scheme in 1993, has twice been awarded BBC Farmer of the Year and has two critically acclaimed cook books to his name. He firmly believes that good food comes from good farming; the closer you are to the source of your food, the better it will taste on your plate. Guy loves to cook and share his veg-packed recipes with family and friends.

Ben Watson
Ben Watson

Guy’s brother Ben has an encyclopedic knowledge of food. He writes the recipes alongside our organic meatboxes, as well as running the busy Riverford Farm Shop kitchen, making award-winning organic pies, tarts and soups. Flavour comes first – if a recipe doesn’t taste outstanding, Ben keeps working until it does.

Past guest chefs

Delicious magazine
Guest chef Rebecca Woollard, delicious. magazine.

The UK’s top food magazine, delicious. shares beautiful, seasonal recipes written by the delicious. cooks alongside stories and news from the world of food. Food editor and BBC Good Food Award winner Rebecca Woollard oversees all the recipe content, creates the design concept for the front covers and all food shoots, cooks and food-styles for shoots, as well as writing the occasional feature. Her favourite dishes are wide-ranging, from the herb and spice laden recipes of the Levantine to the indulgent cheese-heavy dishes of the Alps... and she credits her mum with instilling an adventurous foodie side in her from a young age.

James Dodd
Guest chef James Dodd

James Dodd is head chef at our farm’s award-winning restaurant, the Riverford Field Kitchen. We snaffled him up in 2015, realising that he is made for Riverford. He’s a serious veg nerd – in fact, he’s so committed to living life on the veg that he has a half-sleeve tattoo of his favourite vegetables! James’ dishes are a joyful celebration of what’s fresh in our Devon fields, with a global influence from his round-the-world travels. His recipes allow everyone to enjoy the Field Kitchen experience at their own tables.

Sarah Raven
Guest Chef Sarah Raven

Sarah Raven is a well-known passionate gardener and an award winning cookery writer. Best known for her sweet peas and her appearances on BBC’s Gardening World, Sarah is also an outstanding seasonal cook whose recipes and ideas for rethinking food are informed by her years as a doctor, and are inspired by the fruit and vegetables she grows at Perch Hill, her cooking and gardening school in East Sussex.

The happy pear
Guest Chefs The Happy Pear

The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, are chefs and authors of bestselling cookbook, The Happy Pear - Recipes and Stories from the first 10 years.  Based on the east coast of Ireland, their business includes a natural food store, wholefood cafes and evening restaurant, superfood sprout farm and online shop. They love what they do and use health education talks and courses to inspire a healthier, happier world! Riverford have teamed up with the infectiously enthusiastic duo to create a new limited edition vegetarian recipe box. ‘One of our missions is to get people to eat more veg and this is very much central to what Riverford do, so it’s a beautiful marriage of goals.’ say the boys.

Anna Jones
Guest chef Anna Jones

Anna Jones is a cook, food writer and stylist. One grey, late-for-the-office day, she decided to quit her day job after reading an article about following your passion.  Now freelance, Anna has two cook books under her belt; A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to cook. Anna offers truly practical and inspiring recipes for anyone who wants to put dinner on the table, without fuss, trips to specialist shops or too much washing up, but still eat food that tastes incredible and is doing them good. With all that in mind, working with Riverford is a natural match.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Guest chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster widely known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food. In his latest cookbook ‘River Cottage Light and Easy’ Hugh is offering “a set of new recipes that are healthy and well balanced, straightforward to put together, but always, unfailingly delicious”. Working with Riverford is the perfect match.

Hemsey & Hemsley
Guest chefs Hemsley & Hemsley

Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley launched their bestselling first cook book, The Art of Eating Well, in 2014. The sisters champion whole, organic, delicious and nourishing homemade food, so working with Riverford is a natural match: “Our mum introduced us to Riverford about 10 years ago and we have enjoyed their wonderful organic produce ever since”. We featured  their limited edition Riverford recipe boxes in January-February 2015.