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Wilmslow - meet some of the talented locals who make this thriving community tick

PUBLISHED: 09:21 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 09:40 09 March 2015

St Bartholomew's Church, Wilmslow

St Bartholomew's Church, Wilmslow

Archant

Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School, Loved by Lottie and author KT Valentine

Sarah and David Bridge of Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery SchoolSarah and David Bridge of Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School

Sarah and David Bridge have travelled the world cooking for celebrities and dignitaries. Their food has been served to Hollywood star Bruce Willis, musician Phil Collins and international fashion designers at Louis Vuitton. They trained under the world renowned Roux Brothers at their London academy and have worked with chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Pierre Koffman and Tom Aitken. They also travelled around South East Asia, America, New Zealand and Sydney, again working with accomplished chefs.

Sarah, 44, said: ‘We were very lucky to have such incredible opportunities. We didn’t realise how cool it was at the time. But it was also very very hard. When we first started working in London I spent most days crying because it was just so difficult.

‘But that experience with the Roux brothers opened up every door we wanted to. If we ever applied for jobs, as soon as someone saw where we trained, we were in. Although it was difficult we also had an amazing time because of the skills we learned and opportunities we got.’

Charlotte GribbenCharlotte Gribben

But the couple moved to Wilmslow in 2006 from London and are very happy to call this charming Cheshire town home. The childhood sweethearts, who met when they were teenagers and have an 11-year-old son, Joseph, launched Wilmslow Kitchen Cookery School just a few months ago. It has been their dream to launch this kind of venture and they are now passing on their culinary skills to other chefs as well as local people and children.

They offer daytime and evening courses in everything from bread making and pastry and tarts to helping chefs get more from their food. Their kitchen at the cookery school, on Deanway Industrial Estate, is also used by Shauna Muamba, wife of former Premiership footballer Fabrice, who has her own range of sauces. Shauna uses it to record short pieces for her own YouTube channel. BBC’s Match of the Day also recently filmed at the premises.

Sarah said: ‘We wanted to pass on our passion for food as well as getting a better work life balance. It’s been better than we could ever have imagined.

‘Wilmslow has played a big part in that too. We love it here. We have really lovely friends and we couldn’t be happier.’

Another Wilmslow resident, Charlotte Gribben, also has plenty to celebrate. The 34-year-old, who used to work in business finance, is now breathing new life into unloved and unwanted pieces of furniture. Charlotte, mum to Harry, six, and Arthur, three, first started upcycling pieces for her own home.

But she then struck on the idea of doing it for other people. Last year, she launched her own brand, Loved by Lottie.

She said: ‘I love shabby chic items but when I started looking at furniture for our own bedroom I couldn’t believe the prices. I thought I could have a go at doing it myself. Why not?

‘I love being creative and it is great that furniture that was destined for the rubbish heap now has a new purpose. It’s very satisfying and as they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

‘I also really like being part of the local community that has lots of small independent businesses like myself. Wilmslow is a fantastic place and I love doing this.’

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