Wednesday, 20 July 2016 08:54

Little Master Chefs

Chef Tracey Dyer with some of her students Chef Tracey Dyer with some of her students

Cooking up a treat in class

Summer is a busy time at Tracey’s Cookery School in Yermasoyia as young budding chefs flock to her cookery classes.

Tracey Dyer, of South African origin, started following her passion by doing a Cordon Bleu Diploma Course.

Her culinary career has spanned from running her own restaurant to lecturing on Cookery Skills and Restaurant Management at Manchester University.

Her ambition has always been to have her own cookery school for children which she fulfilled by opening The Cookery School, overlooking the Yermasoyia dam, in 2011.

Initially it seemed that children are too busy during the school year so the school started offering classes for adults and cookery birthday events which are still very popular among children of all ages.

As children shared their excitement with friends, word got out that cooking is actually ‘something cool’ and several local schools now also hold regular after-school activities throughout the year at Tracey’s with almost equal numbers of boys and girls learning to cook.

Teaching lifelong skills

“Apart from cooking being a valuable, lifelong skill, it also gives kids tremendous confidence,” said Tracey. Often parents will not let their children have a go at cooking for worries about their safety and the mess they may make. “But I also teach them to clean up after themselves.”

They learn how to use a knife, a peeler, a grater, to be cautious about ovens and hot pans and, according to the chef, are generally careful and responsible from a young age.

Things like pasta and bread are made from scratch and a focus is put on helping children discover how tasty healthy eating can be. “Parents are often amazed when they see what their children are able to produce.”

Participants usually do a two course meal, set the table, eat together, learn about table manners and of course… have lots of fun. While waiting for things to cook, students might make rattles with beans and form an impromptu ‘kitchen band’ or collect and learn about the herbs grown in the school’s garden.

Everyone enjoys coming ‘to the countryside’ for their culinary adventures and when moving to new premises in October, Tracey is looking to once again settle outside the city.

The cookery school owner says she loves different things about each age group. In fact, there are even classes for young adults getting ready to go off to university – a survival course without mother’s cooking so to speak.

Classes for various age groups run all summer, including weekly cooking clubs.

August is popular when regular schools offer no activities. Russian children’s groups, in Cyprus on a language holiday, also come for some cooking fun and have reported getting lots of hands-on language practice following recipes. The school is generally a big melting pot, offering new experiences for all.

Details can be found at or by calling 97643165.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of July 15, 2016

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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