Meet Our Tutors

Victoria’s Kitchen has a wonderful team of expert tutors, who specialise in certain areas to ensure you get the most out of every class. They will be with you every step of the way and will also share lots of tips and techniques in each class, so be sure to bring a notebook! Meet our team here . . .

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Umit Yilmaz

Patisserie and Cake Decorating Tutor

Having initially pursued a career in engineering 10 years ago, Umit finally decided to follow his passion... pastry. He attended the world famous Le Cordon Bleu, where he attained a Diplome de Patisserie mastering in French Patisserie covering all sorts including boulangerie, chocolate, plated desserts, sugar work and afternoon tea. Following his nine months there, he was promptly accepted for a position at The Dorchester Hotel, where he further built on his pastry skills and was introduced to the life of working in a professional kitchen. He was involved in the preparation of the hotel’s well known Afternoon Tea.

He then decided to take up the role of tutoring at a Putney based cake company, teaching everything from cupcakes, macarons, baking techniques, wedding and novelty cakes to chocolate making, royal icing and sugar flower skills. Although this was his first teaching position, he very quickly adapted to the role, enjoying the experience of passing on his knowledge to eager students.

Following on from that, he spent time at the world renowned Harrods department store, and was involved in preparing afternoon tea for the beautiful Georgian restaurant, as well as making pastries required by all the other outlets and the busy Food Halls.

He then returned to where it all began and started working at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school, running the pastry section of their cafe, enjoying being part of an educational establishment, and learning from the best.

This all led to him opening his very own patisserie cafe/tea room in West London, and he was involved in everything from the commercial fit-out and branding to the interior design and menu creation. After being a part of the operational team for a period, he successfully sold his shares and moved onto his next chapter which would be working at Ottolenghi.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Vic’s Kitchen and excited to share my love and knowledge of patisserie with the amazing VK students”
- UMIT


Claire Alexander-Brown

Patisserie Tutor

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A whole lifetime in food! At the age of 21 I decided to change from floristry to food. Following in my lovely Mum’s footsteps I trained at Tante Marie Culinary Academy (under her beady eye!), graduating top of my class and after various gastropub and private catering jobs I decided to return to the fold and follow my heart in training to be a teacher. The rest is history, I spent a fabulous 20 years teaching, demonstrating and eventually leading the teaching team at Tante Marie.

My experience has enabled me to demonstrate at some of the leading food shows in the country including The Taste of Christmas at Excel, The France Show at Earls Court and of course the amazing Woking Food and Drink Festival! Currently I am freelancing and working as one half of Brady&Brown specialising in demonstrations and chef’s tables. I love love love teaching and sharing and I hope that my exuberant creative flair, natural good humour and genuine enthusiasm for great food and presentation, motivates and encourages all food lovers, whatever their passion.

My most favourite thing is creating, experimenting and delivering Patisserie that makes people say “Oooooo!”.


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Lauren Smy

Wedding Cake and Sugar Flowers Tutor

I have been baking since I was very young but started decorating when on maternity leave after having my twin boys, and set up Honey Bee Bakes Epping soon after. I am mostly self taught but have attended a number of professional classes to hone my skills.

In July 2017 I gave up working as a teacher to focus on the cake business full time. The business has grown and I now focus on wedding cakes. My style is contemporary: tall cakes with sharp edges and clean lines. I love creating sugar flowers and designs I especially enjoy include watercolour painting on cakes, using metallics, calligraphy lettering, shiny lustred tiers and royal icing stencilling.

The teaching bug never left me – I started to run classes from home for local mums and am now very proud to have become part of the team at Victoria’s Kitchen! I love to teach how to get those super sharp edges as well as sugar flowers and all the pretty detailing!


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Annie Peters

Royal Icing and Biscuits Tutor

I have always loved to bake, I used to bake with my dad as a young girl and then spend hours decorating what I had made!

I studied Food Science at Reading University and then went on to work in the food industry as a food technologist.

After having my second daughter I decided to turn my hobby of baking into a business which became Mills and Belles Iced Biscuits named after my girls Amelia and Anabelle.

I’m self taught and I hope I can share my knowledge of working with Royal Icing with the students at Victoria’s Kitchen.

When Im not baking and icing I enjoy spending time with my husband Darren and daughters Amelia and Anabelle at our home in Surrey.


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Harriet Hutton

Piping Tutor

After being inspired to try cake decorating from the many Food Network cake decorating shows in the early 2010s, Harriet contacted every bakery she could find in London to ask for some work experience. From this she ended up with 2 days work experience a week in a Clapham cake company, who ended up taking her on as their first employee in late 2012. Subsequently she left her call centre job, went full time at the bakery, learnt an incredible amount on the job, undertook many classes, completed internships with Crumbs and Doilies and Rosalind Miller Cakes, and eventually became self employed, baking celebration cakes from home. Two babies later she decided teaching was the way forward and was lucky enough that Victoria agreed to give her some experience. Harriet loves teaching buttercream and piping classes and gets great satisfaction from seeing everyone leave the class happy!


Robyn Palmer

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Children’s Parties host and Parent & Child Tutor

Robyn has been making cakes casually for some time and always for the children’s birthdays! Robyn attended Victoria’s Business Course with a view to taking this further and has now set up her business: Robyn’s Handmade Cakes which she runs from her home in Walton–on–Thames. Although mainly self taught in cake skills, she has gained valuable knowledge through courses with VK including cupcake and big cake classes and is now sharing her skills with new students.

Robyn started off hosting Children’s Cupcake Decorating parties for Victoria’s Kitchen which she thoroughly enjoys and is now also involved in hosting adult classes too.

Robyn lives in Walton-on-Thames with her three teenage children – who are well versed in tasting cakes!


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Jo Harper

Cake Decorating Tutor

Wife to the long suffering Mr. H and mum to 3 lively and sporty boys, and as if they don’t keep me busy enough, I am the owner of The Jo Harper Cake Company. I started my cake business almost 5 years ago from my home in Epsom. I am extremely fortunate to have a separate studio (built by Mr. H) at home where my cake dreams come to life.

I’ve always been creative but first found my love of cake making about 20 years ago when I did a catering course at college. We made a Christmas cake with some Christmas roses and they pointed us in the direction of the local cake shop, I did numerous courses in the shop and I somehow landed myself a job there. I spent the first year working in the shop then progressed to the studio to make cakes full time. One of the best jobs I’ve had until now!

I love the challenge of the ever-changing cake world, giving me the opportunity to be continually learning new things. My favourite thing to make has always been sugar flowers.


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Suzanne Williams

Parent & Child Tutor

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t own my own wooden spoon & apron! Some of my earliest memories are of my nana & mum baking. I was always in awe of how they both made such wonderful bakes out of sometimes the simplest of ingredients. My love of baking grew as I grew older & once I started a family my desire to make my bakes look more professional meant I started my journey in cake decorating.

After attending numerous cake decorating courses, including many of Victoria’s, I quickly fell in love with cupcakes & decided to turn the hobby into a business.

That was now over three years ago. Martha’s Bakehouse, named after my eldest daughter, is keeping me busier than ever & I’m having a ball.

I love sharing my passion for creating lovely things to eat & can’t wait to help you do the same...