Chef Academy

Training Chefs on Early Years Nutrition

London has some of the highest child obesity rates in the world. LEYF’s Early Years Chef Academy, the first of its kind in the country, is helping to tackle this threat by training chefs on Early Years nutrition and ensuring more children are getting the healthy, nutritious food they need to grow and learn.

The majority of LEYF nurseries have their own chef on site who prepares tasty, healthy home-cooked meals on the premises every day. Our menus are assessed by qualified nutritionists. Our Early Years Chef Academy in Stockwell, South London will be offering the first specialist qualification for chefs either working with children up to the age of eight.

Cook, Food Writer and Co-Founder of Wahaca, Thomasina Miers Proud supporter of LEYF’s Early Years Chef Academy

We really value Thomasina’s support as someone who cares deeply about where our food comes from, how it is grown and how its growth supports the soil, biodiversity and the planet. 

She has been writing a column in the Guardian’s Feast magazine every Saturday for five years, cooking seasonal, simple but delicious food and is a Trustee of the charity, Chefs in Schools.


Every day the chefs in our nurseries prepare healthy, nutritious meals and snacks for our children. Here they demonstrate how to cook some of the children’s favourite meals.

Spinach & Butter Bean Macaroni Cheese

Learn how to make this quick, 30-minute family favourite dish with Luke Nelson-Neil – chef at Wandsworth Bridge Nursery.

Download Recipe

Easy Berry Crumble Cheesecake

Cooking with Carol Leonard – chef at Earls Court Nursery & Pre-School – learn how to make some favourite family treats.

Download Recipe

Ginger Chicken & Vegetable Noodles

Cook this super healthy family noodle dish with Claudia Pop – Chef at Harrow Road Nursery & Pre-School.

Download Recipe

Lamb Cowboy Beans

Learn how to make this super quick and delicious dish for all the family to enjoy cooked by Bruno Agostini – Chef at Bessborough Nursery & Pre-School.

Download Recipe

Coconut & Lime Fish with a Crunchy Radish & Tomato Salad

Rochelle Scott-Ashby – chef at South Bermondsey Nursery & Pre-School (LEYF) shows you how to make this healthy, family fish dish with a super-nutritious salad.

Download recipe

The Chef Academy’s high-tech teaching kitchen at LEYF’s Stockwell Gardens Nursery has been funded by a generous grant from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. LEYF also had support from the Hilton Foundation which to launch the training programme to LEYF in-house chefs.

Students will achieve a fully CACHE recognised Level 2 qualification which offers practical training alongside their classroom studies. The long-term ambition is to deliver training for 80 chefs from both LEYF and other Early Years providers across London.

Read June’s blog: Launch Of The First Early Years Chef Academy