Who We Are

Our Mission Statement:

YOU CAN COOK will encourage and empower local communities to make informed choices about their food and health while allowing them to make these changes at their own pace.

We will enable participants to engage in a social and educational activity through learning basic techniques and skills in cookery.

Meet the Team!

Bosco Santimano profile picture

Bosco Santimano,

Executive Director

Born in Bombay a vibrant city full of life, colours, music, films, culture and cuisines, it was the perfect foundation to introduce my passion for good food in Scotland.

From a very early age I was surrounded by family and friends who excelled in home cooking. My inspiration for food comes mainly from my mother who went on to become the best cook in the family. I am also very passionate about social justice and through my investigative research and journalism highlight issues that are important to society’s well-being both locally and globally.

Guest Lecturer/Dissertation Supervisor at Edinburgh University for MSc in Environmental Sustainability (Postgraduate).

Emily Macinnes profile picture

Emily Macinnes,


With a passion for a social justice and localised food systems I am excited to have come on board the You Can Cook team and join Bosco’s vision for a healthy Scotland.

My background is in photojournalism and filmmaking, beginning at 17 when I moved to Peru to live and work in a children’s home. Whilst there I began photographing life around me and it was there that I realised the potential for combining my interest in politics and sociology with my love for storytelling. Since then I have worked to document the stories of both international NGOs and local grassroots organisations across several continents. I have had the privilege to live and work in communities in Ghana, Palestine, Colombia and more recently in refugee camps in Serbia and Greece - learning and growing deeply from a diversity of human interactions and connections in some of the most marginalised communities in the world.

Several years ago I made the less familiar decision to put my roots back down in Scotland in order to work on stories closer to home. Since then, I have had the joy of documenting the wonderful fruits of Bosco’s labour, in the form of community cookery classes and gardening sessions in schools and centres across the Scottish Borders.

Colleen McCulloch profile picture

Colleen McCulloch,


I love food – growing it, cooking it, and most of all eating it! My Mum and both Grannies played a big part in enthusing and teaching me about food and cooking when I was growing up, so I’ve always enjoyed having a go and trying new ideas (even though I didn’t always get it right first time). I’ve travelled and worked abroad a fair bit too, and part of the adventure for me is always trying new flavours in different places - however I think simple Scottish cooking is still my favourite. I also love being outdoors – and any excuse for a picnic!

My background is quite mixed, but involves working in the (organic) farming sector, research ecology (when I’m not in Scotland I study wild sheep in Mongolia – where the local diet involves a lot of mutton dishes!), and a number of community groups for which I’ve variously served as volunteer, steering group member and director.

Colin Macdonald profile picture

Colin Macdonald,


Bringing over 18 years of experience of business management to “You Can Cook”, I have previously owned 2 restaurants as well as owning a successful car dealership Group, Lawrence of Kemnay in Aberdeenshire.

Currently I am on the board of Brown Brothers, Peebles where I help to manage and run their Honda, Renault and Dacia dealerships. A lover of fine food, travel and trying to keep up with 4 kids, a task that sadly doesn’t burn off as many calories as I eat!

Alex Wilson profile picture

Alex Wilson,

Community Cook/Steering Group

I come from a big family that loves to eat and talk about food. We are always planning the next meal! I am a mother of two and love cooking everyday at least once. We talk about food and where it comes from all the time and sit together to eat as a family at the end of each day, usually in a hurry.

I was born in Peru and so have always tasted different food. Different to the UK but normal to Peru. We all get in to a place with our food that is secure but when we step out of the norm we get a great experience. I love to try new things especially when recommended by someone. I have lived in London for 22 years and there are so many tastes to experience there.

Eileen Inglis profile picture

Eileen Inglis,

Steering Group

I have over 20 years experience working in the social enterprise sector supporting early stage social entrepreneurs to test, launch and grow their ideas. I also love food and have a long standing interest in nutrition.

My interest in food and social change inspired me to set up Appetite for Change; an Edinburgh based volunteer collective that hosted five annual festive feasts between 2015 and the start of the pandemic for families who were using food banks and other support organisations. I believe that bringing people together to share a meal can address some of the issues we face around social isolation, mental health and lack of community.

My main concern about the current food system is the abundance of ultra processed foods that have made their way into our diets and the lack of understanding around what "real" food actually is.

Doug Clark profile picture

Doug Clark,

Steering Group

Born and bred in Edinburgh with a long and varied career in catering and hospitality. Previously involved in successfully running restaurants in Edinburgh city centre, smaller pubs and cafe’s along with restaurant consultancy. Celebrating seasonal and humble ingredients, nutrition and dietary restrictions to create attractive culinary experiences.

Currently working within a large UK bank providing business analysis and agility methodologies to drive quality and efficiencies to develop software and business priorities.

With these backgrounds I hope to help drive Bosco’s initiatives forward and imbed them into the local communities that You Can Cook support.

Alex Smithson profile picture

Alex Smithson,

Community Gardener

When I was a child, my parents let me plan a section of the garden at home and I planted roses and topiary, blossom trees and flowers. It was such a privilege to be able to shape the garden, and to watch it grow and mature. That was just the start, I've laid out a flower garden from scratch and learned to propagate my own plants. I now have a RHS gardening qualification.

I love to create, and I'm always crafting something new! I try to share the magic of gardens, plants and wildlife with young volunteers in the community garden; combining the garden club's ideas and designs with good horticultural practice to learn and play in a garden setting.

Nicola Orr profile picture

Nicola Orr,

Community Cook

My adventures with food and travel started over 20 years ago when I began to have a yearning to see the world. Therefore, as soon as I was able, I started travelling after university. I promptly found a job as a chalet cook in the French alps and that’s where my adventure with food really began. Since then I have had the opportunity to work as a chef and continue to travel across the globe, savouring different cuisines and experiencing different cultures and ways of life.

My passion is evolving now after feeling a deepening love for nature and I am now studying herbalism and weaving this into my cooking. I love colourful, fresh, vibrant flavors and love to share my recipes and cooking skills with anyone who is keen to learn

Joseph Jones profile picture

Joseph Jones,


I spend the majority of my time thinking about food. Whether I’m cooking for family or friends, baking bread or planning menus at work. Growing up in a single parent family in rural Wales, my interest in food began watching my mum always in the kitchen, surrounded by countless smells, colours and ingredients. Cooking what seemed like a mountain of all kinds of vegetarian food, or at least enough to fill the back of the car, to sell to people working in local industrial estates.

My interest in food, developed over time into an interest in nutrition and how food affects the body. This led to a 4-year degree course at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, where I graduated with a BSc (hons) in Nutrition in 2012. Since then, I’ve spent a number of years developing content for my own nutrition website and working with clients on diet plans and nutritional analysis. Alongside this over the last 10 years, I’ve enjoyed working in community development, always with a focus on food and nutrition. From volunteering with various charities, planning and facilitating cooking sessions in a number of communities across the city, to working as part of the food team at a community health charity in the north of Edinburgh.

While working in north Edinburgh, I was part of a variety of projects. Such as planning and facilitating regular cooking and nutrition sessions, facilitating a local food network and the development of a local food strategy.

Our Ethical Policies

We will use recycled and home compostable plates and cutlery.

We will reduce our printed marketing materials.

We will use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

We will massively reduce our carbon footprint through our operational strategy.

We will ensure that profits are invested in the community.

We will provide flexible and family-friendly policies.

We will offer a customisable service.

We are a social enterprise.

Our Memberships

Edinburgh social enterprise member CIC member The bridge member Volunteer centre borders member The code for social enterprise in scotland member Social enterprise scotland member Disclosure scotland member