A switch from professional sport to teaching cookery has proved to be a winning formula for Cornish entrepreneur Rupert Cooper.

Formerly a professional rugby player, Rupert Cooper took over Philleigh Way Cookery School on Cornwall’s idyllic Roseland Peninsula in 2018.

“I started paving my way into the food industry before I retired from rugby. I was asked to cook for a charity dinner and the guests loved it, and it snowballed from there.” Rupert explains.

“As a sportsperson, you’re aware that there’s a time limit on your professional time on the pitch, so when I was given the opportunity to have a career in another passion of mine, I knew it was one I had to jump at.”

Having spent time training under some of the best chefs in the world, Rupert’s ethos at the school is “low effort, high reward”. He’s known for sharing tips and tricks that minimise food waste, budget recommendations and seasonal ingredient suggestions. This is all part of his mission to help everyone make small changes that create a positive impact on both the world, but also the wallet.

“Everyone deserves to understand how to create interesting dishes for every day, and that aren’t restricted to dinner parties, with locally sourced fresh ingredients. I want people to leave with more knowledge and practical skills than when they arrived – oh and a full stomach!”

Set near the deep creeks of the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, Philleigh Way is renowned for its authentic and refreshingly unpretentious approach to cooking great food. Courses range from half-day fish cookery and bread baking, to Scandinavian cooking, France in a day and a Lebanese feast. Guest tutor courses include fermentation, chocolate making, photography and foraging.