Our Ambassadors

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors

The Montessori Group welcomes Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, as the Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors group. The appointment of the Duchess of York as Chair follows her philanthropic work with families and commitment to supporting a wide range of children’s charities throughout her life. She is a strong advocate for the Montessori approach, with her daughter Princess Eugenie beginning her education at a Montessori nursery in Windsor in 1992.

I’m thrilled to have been invited to Chair the International Montessori Ambassadors. The Montessori approach encourages a love of learning and curiosity that is life-long, and this is something I’m very passionate about. It’s just as needed in today’s world as it was 100 years ago when Dr Maria Montessori developed her pedagogy. I’m looking forward to supporting the Montessori Group to reach more children, and ensure they get the best start in life.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors

Our Healthy Eating Champions

Akemi Yokoyama

Akemi Yokoyama is a Japanese chef, presenter and culinary educator. Akemi demonstrates Japanese cooking in the UK at various diverse events and regularly works with the Japanese government’s related organisations promoting Japanese ingredients and cuisine to the media and public. The Montessori Group and Akemi remain committed to promoting the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet for children and young people at every opportunity.

When I look at the ingredients I always think of how to get the best out of them. That often means doing very little. I make several of my favourite salad dressings and store them in the fridge so I can enjoy seasonal vegetables anytime with very little preparation, cooked or raw. The foundation of a Japanese meal is seasonality, a balanced diet and eating in moderation. Eating healthily does not need to involve expensive ingredients. It can be simple, playful and fun.

Akemi Yokoyama – Chef, Presenter & Culinary Educator

Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel is a renowned cookery author and advocate of good nutrition and a healthy diet in early years. As an established cookery author with 30 years’ experience in weaning babies, as well as feeding children and families, Annabel brings extensive expertise and unique insight to families and early years educators looking to give children the best start in life.

I am thrilled to be the Montessori Group’s Children’s Healthy Eating Champion, a role that aligns so well with my lifelong passion and long-term goal to ensure all families and children have knowledge about good nutrition and feel empowered to make healthy choices. Both the Montessori Group and I are dedicated to improving children’s wellbeing and development through nutrition from the get-go. Considering that early nutrition sets the foundation for later years, I’m proud to play a role in helping kids develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

Annabel Karmel – Renowned Cookery Author & Early Years healthy eating advocate


Chantelle Nicholson

Chantelle Nicholson is a multi-award winning chef, restaurateur and author. As an advocate for seasonality and sustainability, Chantelle champions veg-forward cooking through both her restaurants and her cookbook, Planted. Originally from New Zealand, and a trained lawyer, Chantelle is committed to creating a more sustainable future across her operations and activities, whilst also being an independent board member for ReLondon – moving London towards a more circular economy, and a member of City Harvest’s Food Council.

I’m thrilled to be working with the Montessori Group on such an important initiative and look forward to supporting their important work in respect of food across the organisation.

Chantelle Nicholson – Multi-Award Winning Chef, Restaurateur and Author