Welcome to Philleigh Way

Learn. Improve. Master. Delight.

Philleigh Way is a contemporary cookery school whose ethos is to teach, inspire and delight. Set next to stables, a church and an excellent village pub, the cookery school is located on the Roseland Peninsula, bordered by the Atlantic and the deep creeks of the Fal. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

At Philleigh Way we have access to Cornwall’s freshest and finest ingredients. Depending on the course you have chosen you may well be foraging or fishing for your lunch on the banks of the river, or cooking some of Cornwall’s best produce with top-level chefs in our state-of-the-art kitchen.

Head tutor and owner Rupert Cooper and his Philleigh Way team look forward to welcoming you so that you can learn, improve and master your cooking skills.

Philleigh Way is not just a cookery school.  We also have experts teaching non-Cookery Courses such as floristry, foraging, yoga and photography. Philleigh Way is a whole world in itself.  

Having recently done a cookery course with Jamie Oliver and Waitrose in central London, Philleigh Cookery School is up there with a wealth of modern dishes and incredible talent. Rupert is eager to share with you all his worldly culinary knowledge and give great tips that are game-changers in the kitchen.

Rupert has an incredible range of knowledge not only about every food known to man, (galangal is now a staple at home) but also about Cornwall itself.

What to Expect From A Day In The Philleigh Way Cookery School

Whether you arrive for a course alone, with a friend or with your whole family you should be excited because you are going to have a fantastic time. It stands to reason that if you are having fun while you learn, then we are too. Whatever your abilities we want you to be inspired by our knowledgeable team, to love our food and to immerse yourself in the kitchen camaraderie that arises when strangers and friends cook together.  

Following a morning of practical demonstrations and hands-on experience (helped along by a mid-morning-glass of fizz!) you will sit down to lunch – a main course, pudding and a glass of wine – at the chef’s table in the Philleigh kitchen.

In the afternoon you will once again be learning and cooking. Depending on the course, students can expect to head home at around 4pm with their goodies.

N.B: Please bring a variety of containers in order to bring your cooking home with you so that your friends and family can enjoy it too. 

We aim to ensure that you leave Philleigh having had a great day. Students often make a new friend or two, and many of our clients return again and again to immerse themselves in the Philleigh scene.

Our Cookery Courses

At Philleigh Way it’s all about having fun while you learn, and improving on your knowledge of foundation skills and flavour combinations. Whether you’re interested in Middle Eastern mezzes, hand-made Italian pasta, Asian fusion, French patisserie, or a simple fish or meat course, the basis of all cooking is about understanding what is traditional, what is relevant, what works and what doesn’t.

Our number one aim is to demystify cookery, but even the most experienced cooks sometimes need a reminder of the basics. Whatever your skills, we will make the course level viable for you.

Nervous about baking bread? Feel overwhelmed by the amount of spices used in Asian cuisine? Perhaps you think that filleting fish is beyond you? You will learn the foundation skills of the culinary theme that you have chosen, and leave your course surprised at what you have achieved, excited about your newfound kitchen confidence.

For those seeking to improve and enhance their general day-to-day cooking we will help elevate your skills to another level. By paying attention to the quality of the ingredients you use and the way you handle those ingredients, and by introducing some elements of Rupert’s kitchen know-how, you will learn how to transform your already competent cooking into something truly impressive.  

But if you are aiming to host your own Michelin star level dinner parties or supper club, then our top-level chefs, some of whom have worked at some of the best restaurants, hotels and private kitchens throughout the UK, can help you to perfect your skill set. You can raise your game to produce some seriously sensational food.

Owner & Head Tutor Rupert Cooper Welcomes You

Rupert from Philleigh Way Cookery School in Cornwall

“Hello, I’m Rupert, a former professional rugby player and life long lover of food. My passion for cooking comes a very close second to my passion for rugby and luckily for me they go hand in hand – you could say I taught myself to cook when I wasn’t at the bottom of a ruck! I’ve played rugby around the world and those times abroad have given me one valuable lesson: wherever you are and whatever culture you are in, food is the one thing you can rely on to bring people together.

Being a professional rugby player meant living with some of the other professional players, so I often had to create big, healthy and filling meals on a budget. My enthusiasm and enjoyment of cooking for the team encouraged me to become more creative and to widen my repertoire. So when I retired from rugby it felt a natural step to move on to buy a cookery school – and Philleigh Way was the result!

My love for cooking comes from my mum. She’s my culinary inspiration and from a very young age I enjoyed learning from her in the kitchen. As a family we spent a lot of time in France, which is where, as a child, food began to take on a deeper meaning for me and I gradually began to understand how food can embody national culture.

Developing a positive mental attitude was one of the main areas that we were coached in as professional sportsmen. It involved constantly focussing on improving our skills. I apply this ethos to my culinary life, and have sought out opportunities at Michelin-star restaurants such as Sat Bain’s in Nottingham, Paul Ainsworth’s No.6 in Padstow and also Rick Stein’s. Much of my culinary training has involved working with, talking to and observing the best in the business. 

In a nutshell, I love food. I embrace the challenge that comes with sharing that enjoyment through my cookery school, my community projects and my family life. To have a passion in life is a marvellous thing. I’m so lucky to have it and l look forward to sharing it with you too.”


Do you want to reconnect with the land and the sea? The Roseland Peninsula – a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – is the perfect place to do it. Surrounded by ancient oak woodland, arable fields, wild meadows, pastures, Cornish tea plantations and fishing villages, Philleigh Way has enviable access not only to some of the best produce and freshest ingredients in the county, but to some of the country’s best experiences too.

Some of our students incorporate a Cookery Course with some of our additional activities into their holiday. Whether you like cooking, walking, snorkelling, sailing, fishing, kayaking, riding, climbing, eating or drinking, the Roseland and surrounding area provides you with some of the best the county has to offer.  If you are interested in any of these activities – or something else that is not mentioned here – please contact Rupert who can organise all of this for you.

Or see Events & Experiences for more information.

Our Aim For Philleigh Way

Our team aims to make the reputation of Philleigh Way Cookery School & Event Catering synonymous with culinary excellence, community and celebration.

Whether you are an amateur or professional cook, a bride-to-be or someone in search of experiencing a deeper knowledge of Cornwall, we want the Philleigh Way name to inspire and delight you.

We are ambitious for Philleigh Way. In the past decade the standard of food produced in Cornwall has become nationally and internationally renowned. We want our school to reflect and enhance that high standard, to become one of the best culinary hubs not only in Cornwall, but in the country. Pleasing our students is a vital motivating factor, but so is our contribution to community life.

Food and Cornwall are inextricably linked. For hundreds of years, farming and food production have shaped its landscapes and communities. As tutors we are constantly learning about its organic and ethically sustainable farms and fishing practices through talking to and meeting with the suppliers and foragers of its fields, shorelines, seas and hedgerows. Cooking their produce at Philleigh Way – creating, experimenting and innovating – is a fantastic way to celebrate all that Cornwall has to offer.

Why Cornwall? Why Philleigh?

As blindside flanker for Nottingham and then Plymouth Albion, Rupert used to regularly play professional rugby against Cornish teams until he was signed to the Cornish Pirates  “So I had only been to Cornwall as part of the rugby experience. Then I met a girl…

“My wife is Cornish. All her family are from Bodmin and St Dominic. When she was pregnant with our first child we bought our first house here, not far from St Ives. The weather was so gorgeous. I was hooked.

“When I switched my career path from rugby to food, I was soon cooking for people in Cornwall and quickly realised the quality of the produce. When living in Nottingham, I was used to fish coming from the North Sea or Cornwall where it had already been in transit for two days. In comparison, the price, quality and variety of food in Cornwall was outstanding. The reputation of Cornish produce has boomed and I’m lucky to be riding that wave. It’s very apparent when I go back up north that Cornish produce such as dairy products, fish and beef have a certain kudos.

“When the Philleigh Way cookery school was up for grabs from its first owner, I couldn’t believe my luck. It meant not only could I improve, master and (hopefully) delight with my cooking but I could teach other people to do that too.”

Community & Conscience

Hospitality Table Cornwall (which aims to improve skills, productivity and aspiration in the food industry) has also been receptive to Rupert’s suggestions to aid and improve the mental wellbeing of chefs and kitchen porters. Working eighty-hour weeks mean chefs can often feel alienated from their friends and family, and from themselves too: frustration and resentment can build. By talking about his own experiences in both the food industry and in professional sport Rupert hopes to be able to give chefs and kitchen staff that vital sense of empathy, together with suggestions of ways they can adjust their lifestyles accordingly. More than anything he aims to give them positive and healthy coping mechanisms.

Motivational Speaking

If you think Rupert might be able to help your workers, your team or a group who might need a morale boost, then please get in touch. “I’ve been there. I know what a difference someone saying the right thing can make,” says Rupert. “Do give me a call and we can see if we can work something out.”

Call 01872 580893 or email info@philleighway.co.uk

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