She’s netted a Michelin star, been awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry, published a book featuring the recipes of her Italian grandmother, opened restaurants in Florida and Dubai, and has gone head-to-head with Gordon Ramsay on shows like Hell’s Kitchen. She teams up with Ramsay from time to time but she’s ultimately an Irish/ Welsh/Italian sister doing it for herself.
Read Angela Hartnett's Bio
Antony Worrall Thompson, or Wozza as he is known, is the popular presenter of Daily Cooks Challenge and Saturday Cooks.
For more information on Antony, please visit his personal website: www.awtonline.co.uk
Read Antony Worrall Thompson's Bio
Atul proved his spice master credentials while cooking for the Oberoi Group in India but it was after moving to London and developing his own unique style that Michelin came a-calling, not once but twice. In a small empire of restaurants across the UK, in cookbooks and regular TV appearances, he brings a thoroughly modern sensibility to Indian cooking that’s firmly rooted in his home country’s mastery of spices.
Read Atul Kochhar's Bio
Bryn Williams, 28, is senior sous chef at the Orrery restaurant, where he has worked since 2002.
His passion for food started when he was 10 years old. Inspired by a visit to a local bakery where he attended a breadmaking lesson, he admits he was "hooked on cooking" from then on, and got a job there two years later.
He attended Llandrillo College in North Wales from 1993 and obtained an NVQ level 3 in food preparation and cooking. He was a high achiever at college, being awarded Student of the Year NVQ level 3 in 1998.
He believes his experiences at college gave him a head start in the world of work, as the college funded four weeks' work experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Netherlands. While there, 12-hour days in the kitchen at the Restaurant Château Neercame gave him a good grounding.
He also worked as commis chef at the Brookhouse Mill Tavern, Clwyd, for two years before being appointed chef de partie at Café Nicoise, Clwyd, in 1994.
After finishing college, Williams took up the role of chef de partie at Restaurant Marco Pierre White in London in 1997.
Moving to Le Gavroche in 1999, he started as chef de partie, and after 16 months of hard graft was promoted to sous chef. He began working at the Orrery in London in 2002, and was awarded second place at the nationwide Roux Scholarship last year.
Having been in the industry for 12 years, Williams concedes that he enjoys the learning aspect of being a chef. "At MPW I learnt all about taste. At Le Gavroche it was more about methodology, and I started to understand why things were cooked in a certain way," he says. "But you have to know what the head chef wants and you also have to prove yourself, your loyalty, and your dedication if you want to climb up the ladder."
In the future, Williams hopes to open his own restaurant on his home turf in North Wales.
He is a vocal supporter of Welsh cuisine, and represents Wales in the Great British Menu series.
Read Bryn Williams's Bio
Outside of cooking I have two other great passions – my family and Norwich City football club. Both bring me enormous pleasure (although a certain amount of pain also comes with the latter!) and help ground me when I’m getting over excited in the kitchen!
My wife, Tracy, is the brains behind the business, and her brilliant management of all the business side of things allows me to focus on what I do best – the food!
We are blessed with two fantastic children, Harry and Sam. Both share our love of food (and Norwich City) and tell us straight if our home cooking falls below expected standards! Gathering them up and setting off as a family in our boat or going cockling at Blakeney produces afternoons of family fun that remind us of how lucky we are to live where we do
Whenever possible, I also try to escape from the pressures of the kitchen with bat and ball on a cricket field or club and ball on a golf course.
I have spent the bulk of my life in North Norfolk and feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the World.
As far as I’m concerned there’s nowhere better!
For more information about Galton Blackiston click here: http://www.galtonblackiston.co.uk/Default.aspx
Read Galton Blackiston's Bio
Perhaps more than any other chef, Gary Rhodes has reinvigorated British cooking with his own modern twist on the traditional.
Fittingly, Gary's first culinary success was a traditional lemon sponge made for his family when he was 14. It was the pleasure of that occasion that encouraged him to go to catering college at Broadstairs in Kent.
Three years later, he was student of the year and soon found himself a job at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam as a junior chef. Not long after, however, he had a life-changing experience when he was hit by a tram and had to undergo brain surgery. Fortunately, he made a complete recovery, proposed to his college girlfriend and returned to England to work at the Capital Hotel.
Gary received his first Michelin star at the Castle Hotel in Somerset, and another at The Greenhouse in Mayfair. He owns Rhodes 24 in London's tallest building, the Rhodes Restaurant at Calabash, Grenada, and Arcadian Rhodes, located on the P&O superliner.
His first TV appearance was presenting a live ten-minute slot in 1987, an experience he recalls as "pretty nerve-racking". He became a huge success and has since presented several TV series including Gary Rhodes' Cookery Year, Rhodes around Britain, a cookery series for children based on Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes and Gary Rhodes At the Table. He has also hosted MasterChef. In between, he's even found the time to write several very successful cookery books, and is a contributor to the BBC Good Food magazine.
To fit in such a hectic schedule, his day usually begins at 4.30am when he drives to his restaurant in London and usually arrives at 7am; he's rarely home before 11pm. As well as being a lover of food, Gary is a keen supporter of Manchester United and has a passion for cars, with his greatest ambition being to drive a Formula One car.
For more information about Gary Rhodes click here: http://www.garyrhodes.com/main.html
Read Gary Rhodes's Bio
Birmingham native Glynn Purnell is one of the country’s culinary rising stars. He's also been a major influence in putting his home city firmly on the culinary map. Glynn is chef-proprietor of Purnell's, in Birmingham's financial district. He was previously head chef at Jessica's restaurant, where he earned a Michelin star in 2005.
A lifelong Birmingham City FC fan, he started cooking professionally at the age of 14, as part of a school work placement. He began his cooking career at Birmingham's Metropole hotel before quickly moving up the ranks at various other restaurants in Birmingham and elsewhere.
His passion for cooking led him to work on 'stages' or placements with a number of well known chefs including Gary Rhodes at The Greenhouse, Gordon Ramsay at Aubergine and with Alistair Little, all in London. He's also spent time working in kitchens abroad, with the Pourcel brothers in Montpellier at their Le Jardin des Sens and at Zaldiarán in the Basque country of northern Spain.
Glynn has won numerous awards and critical accolades for his inspired, adventurous cooking.
His first public cooking appearance was at the BBC Good Food Show was in 2005 and he has since appeared on UKTV Food’s 'Great Food Live' programme as well as presenting a BBC One documentary called ‘Working The Sea’.
Glynn appeared in the 2008 series of Great British Menu, representing the central region and is back as a mentor for Great British Menu 4.
Read Glynn Purnell's Bio
Jeremy grew up in a village just outside Dundee. His father and grandfather were artists and originally Jeremy thought he'd go to art school, like his two brothers. Instead he got a job as a waiter in local restaurant The Old Mansion House Hotel, Auchterhouse. He didn't enjoy being front of house and eventually got a job in the kitchen, where he stayed for three years before moving to London.
Jeremy developed his knowledge of modern European food while working with Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum. He was head chef at the Frith Street Restaurant from 1992 until 1994 and subsequently launched Euphorium in Islington. Jeremy has been head chef at the Blueprint Café in London since 1995.
Jeremy has also had a successful food-writing career. He was shortlisted for Newspaper Cookery Writer in the 2002 Glenfiddich Awards for his work in the Guardian Weekend.
Read Jeremy Lee's Bio
John was born in Singapore, in 1957, the son of a British diplomat, and he spent his formative years travelling the globe, experiencing a multitude of cuisines.
His family settled in Hampshire and his journey to create the most beautiful food began then, and encompassed sous chef at ‘Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons’, Oxford and head chef and manager of ‘Le Petit Blanc’, Oxford.
In 1986, John Burton-Race opened a restaurant of his own - ‘L'Ortolan’, in Berkshire, gaining and maintaining two Michelin stars from 1986 until 2000.
John opened ‘John Burton Race at The Landmark’ in Marylebone, London, in 2000 and reclaimed his two Michelin stars as soon as he opened.
John is the only British member of the Chambre Syndicale de Haute Cuisine Française.
Read John Burton-Race's Bio
Born in Lancashire, Marcus Wareing trained at Southport College where he completed a three-year City and Guilds Catering course. His restaurant career started at The Savoy when he was 18. From there he moved to Le Gavroche to work alongside Albert Roux. Between 1991 and 1993 Marcus fine-tuned his expertise in classic French cooking in various international hotels and resorts including the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam under Albert Roux and Gravetye Manor in West Sussex.
In 1993 Marcus began working alongside Gordon Ramsay. He began this collaboration as sous chef at Aubergine, which went on to win two Michelin stars within three years of opening. Marcus then went to work at the two Michelin-starred restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris, during which time he was named the Restaurant Association’s Young Chef of the Year. 1996 saw Marcus return to London to open L’Oranger under head chef Gordon Ramsay. In March 1999 Marcus opened Pétrus and within seven months it had won a Michelin star. Pétrus received a second star in the Michelin Guide to Great Britain & Ireland 2007.
In 2003 Marcus was voted the Chef of the Year by Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine and, together with head chef Josh Emett, restored the Savoy Grill back to its former glory (it has since achieved its first Michelin star). In 2004 Marcus was voted Restaurateur of the Year at the Tatler Restaurant Awards.
In 2006 Marcus competed in BBC Two's Great British Menu and won the honour of cooking the dessert course at the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations.
Marcus also appears in the second series of Great British Menu.
Read Marcus Wareing's Bio
Rochdale-born Mark has been executive head chef at the Conran Bluebird restaurant since 2004.
Influenced by his relatives’ taste for fine dining, it didn’t take Mark long to decide he wanted to be a chef. He got a part-time job as a pot-washer at a restaurant opposite his school called the Yew Tree and was promoted to one of the sections after a week.
Catering college was the next step and alongside his studies he worked in various restaurants in the Manchester area. His big break came when, at the age of 17, he got a commis chef job in Knightsbridge at the Rembrandt hotel. He then worked at the five-star Britannia Intercontinental, spending three years working under David Nichols. Before taking his current job, Mark was executive chef at Oliver Peyton’s Isola.
Read Mark Broadbent's Bio
I was not quite sure what career path to take on leaving school, but from a very early age - I had always had a love of food. In the 5th year, I favoured Domestic Science instead of Metalwork and decided to follow my instincts and chose Catering as my career. I attended Weymouth College and completed my City & Guilds Qualifications.
I moved to London, to join the Staff Canteen at the Hilton as Commis Chef. I quickly moved on to the Grosvenor House Hotel for 2 years, working for Anton Edelman and Vaughan Archer. I left there to join the Dorchester as Commis Chef, working under Anton Mosimann. After working as a Commis Chef for a number of months, I was promoted to the position of Chef de Partie; where I remained for two years. The experience I gained, whilst at the Grosvenor House and The Dorchester was invaluable.
I took the position at Mr Pontacs as Sous Chef. Mr Pontacs was a small restaurant group, incorporating The Candlewick Room Restaurant. After only two months working as Sous Chef, the Head Chef decided to leave and I was promoted to Head Chef. this at the time, was a fairly responsible position - considering I was a mere 22 years of age. I was very keen to improve the quality and popularity of eating in the City and set about making changes and improvements as Head Chef of The Candlewick Room. After many months of hard work and effort, The Candlewick Room was awarded a MICHELIN RED M, the only restaurant in the City to be given this award.
I remained at the Candlewick Room, for a period of 4 years and subsequently took the position of Head Chef at Le Caprice. In 1990, the company, Caprice Holdings Limited owned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King; opened The Ivy in Covent Garden as a sister restaurant to Le Caprice. As a result of a second restaurant opening, I was appointed as Executive Head Chef for Caprice Holdings Limited; overseeing both Le Caprice and The Ivy.
At this time, both restaurants were awarded a MICHELIN RED M (an award that does not exist today).
In 1998, we opened our third restaurant J.Sheekey, an old established fish restaurant also in the heart of theatre land in Covent Garden.
Aside from the three restaurants, I have been involved in a number of other projects within the catering world, these include: judging on Junior Master Chef and other television cookery shows, consultancy work in Barbados and various cookery demonstrations.
In 2000, Caprice Holdings Ltd took over the management of Daphne’s, Bam-Bou and Pasha restaurants; for which I am also Chef Director. We have also recently re-launched our outside catering company – Caprice Events.
In 1997, I worked alongside AA Gill in writing ‘The Ivy – The Restaurant and Its Recipes’, a cookbook featuring classic Ivy style recipes. Then in 1999, ‘Le Caprice’ book was published; which is styled slightly differently to the Ivy reflecting the individual characters of the restaurants.
My own cookbook was published in 2000, by Fourth Estate called Eat Up. a book aimed at feeding real food to babies and children (and grown up’s too) which was re-printed this year in paperback. I also write a regular recipe column in ‘The Independent on Saturday Magazine’; for which I received the Glenfiddich award for Best Newspaper Cookery Writer of the Year in 2003.
In September 2003, my ‘British’ book was launched for Sainsbury’s, as part of their ‘Simple Ways to Success’ series. My current book ‘Fish Etc’, was launched in September 2004 - published by Quadrille and I am currently writing a new book with Malcolm Gluck for Mitchell Beazley.
Read Mark Hix's Bio
Matt Tebbutt was born in High Wycombe but moved to Newport when he was 6 months old, and classifies himself as ‘an honorary Welshman’.
After 8 years away he returned to home to Wales in 2001 to take over the former Foxhunter pub at Nantyderry. With his wife Lisa he has transformed it into a top restaurant which is winning wide acclaim. The Foxhunter has been AA Restaurant of the Year for Wales 2004; Best Newcomer in Wales - Good Food Guide 2003 ;and won Taste of Wales Dining Out Gold Award in 2004 and 2005.
Matt is a passionate exponent of modern British cooking, using only the best locally sourced ingredients in simple, honest recipes. In a quest to use only the most seasonal and fresh The Foxhunter menu changes daily, sometimes twice a day. He believes in ‘rustic, informal cookery - not towers of spun sugar’.
Foraging is one of Matt’s hobbies, something he started on long country walks with his children. He has recently started foraging classes at the Foxhunter – groups go out and collect all sorts of weird and wonderful produce such as pig nuts and then cook what they have collected in the Foxhunter kitchen. Matt often creates dishes for the Foxhunter menu that contain recently foraged produce.
Matt’s career began with a diploma course in London with Leith’s School of Food & Wine. Matt then completed a traineeship with Marco Pierre White, working at The Oak Room and then The Criterion. Matt later moved to the kitchens of Chez Bruce before finding his greatest inspiration at Alistair Little at Lancaster Road and Alistair Little Frith Street where he was strongly inspired by Alistair’s rustic cooking and honest approach to seasonal ingredients. Working at ‘Clarke’s’, Sally Clarke’s Kensington restaurant, Matt was exposed to the art of bread making at one of the most skilled bakeries in the UK.
Matt is married to Lisa, another Monmouthshire local. A lover of fine wine and good restaurants with a background in accountancy, she manages the running of the business. They have 2 children: Jessie aged 4 and Henry, 3.
Read Matt Tebbutt's Bio
Michael Caines is one of Britain’s highest profile chefs. He is based at Gidleigh Park, the prestigious 2-star Michelin country house hotel on the edge of Dartmoor at Chagford, Devon. In partnership with hotelier Andrew Brownsword, Michael and Andrew are currently in the process of creating a group of individual boutique ABode hotels throughout the United Kingdom which will each have a Michael Caines Restaurant, Michael Caines Champagne and Cocktail Bar, MC Café Bar, MC Boutique and/or MC Tavern. ABode Exeter, the first ABode, is fittingly in Michael’s hometown Exeter in the Royal Clarence on the city’s Cathedral Yard. There are further ABodes opening soon in Glasgow, Canterbury and elsewhere. There is also a signature Michael Caines Restaurant in the Bristol Marriott Royal.
Born in Exeter in 1969 and adopted into a large and loving family, Michael gained his passion for food from his mother who he used to enjoy helping in the kitchen. Says Michael, “I grew up in a large family, and my love of food and cooking came from the big family meals we always shared together, prepared by my mother, who was a wonderful cook. My father loved to grow vegetables and fruit in our garden, and so I grew up appreciating the flavours of the freshest foods, picked that day and simply prepared.”
Michael attended Exeter Catering College where his precocious talent was already evident, earning him the accolade ‘Student of the Year’ in 1987. He subsequently spent an influential three years under his mentor Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, before moving to France for a further couple of years, learning his profession under the guidance of such superstars chefs as the late Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and Joël Robuchon in Paris.
Michael returned to Britain in 1994 to take up the position of Head Chef at Gidleigh Park. Gidleigh’s restaurant was already rated amongst the most prestigious in the country so the position represented a massive challenge and opportunity. Yet, only two months into the job, Michael suffered a terrible car accident in which he lost his right arm. Remarkably, he was back in the kitchen part time within two weeks, and full-time after just four. With the support of Paul and Kay Henderson and an unwavering belief in his own ability to overcome obstacles, he returned to the kitchens of Gidleigh Park more focused and determined than ever to pursue his dream of reaching the top of his profession.
Michael’s cuisine is truly original and brilliant, a fact recognised not just by appreciative visitors to Gidleigh Park but by guidebook editors and those who give out awards and accolades. With his classical French training in some of the finest restaurants in the world, and utilising the best and freshest local produce and products from the West Country, Michael has created a style that is uniquely his own, at once classic yet also highly innovative, a fact recognised with the award of a second Michelin star in 1999. In 2001 he won Chef of the Year at the prestigious Cateys Awards.
Michael founded Michael Caines Restaurants Ltd in 1999 and the next year opened his first signature restaurant Michael Caines at The Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter. Michael Caines at the Bristol Marriott Royal, Bristol followed in July 2003.
In 2003, a chance meeting with Andrew Brownsword resulted in a dynamic partnership and the purchase of the Royal Clarence in October of that year. Michael and Andrew’s shared vision for ABode and Michael Caines Restaurants is ambitious, exciting and far-reaching.
Says Andrew, “Michael is so enthusiastic and inspirational. We share the same values in food, hotel, and life in general. The creation of ABode gives us a wonderful opportunity to create a modern lifestyle group of individual boutique hotels that can cater for our customers’ needs in all ways, from fine food and wine, to the most modern comfort and hospitality, to a good pint of local cask-conditioned ale.”
Even with all the ongoing activities and developments, Michael continues to cook regularly at Gideigh Park and alongside his head chefs in Exeter, Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere. Says Michael, "Cooking is my passion. I love it and I can never see not being in the kitchens."
Whether dining at Gidleigh Park, Exeter, Bristol, or Glasgow, enjoying an informal meal in the MC Café Bar, or a pint and a traditional pie in the Well House Tavern (the first MC tavern), a glass of MC champagne in the Champagne and Cocktail bars in Exeter and Bristol, or a takeway duck wrap from the MC Boutique, Michael believes passionately that good food – and yes great food – should be accessible to all, at whatever level.
Michael, who currently lives in mid-Devon, roughly between Gidleigh Park and Exeter, with his partner Ruth and their small son Joseph. is an active supporter of a number of local and regional initiatives such as the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink.
He is furthermore involved in a number of community activities and initiatives. As Patron of Families for Children, a Devon adoption charity, he is able to bring to bear his own experiences of being adopted into a loving family. Says Michael, "I intend to use my profile to raise awareness of adoption and the changes it makes to your life.”
Read Michael Caines's Bio
Started cooking at the age of 8 with his Father (also a chef) in Kent. He has worked under Peter Kronberg, Gary Rhodes, Eric Charvot, Rick Stein and Paul Ripley.
Describes his food style as clean, simple, classic with modern techniques. Passionate about British cuisine & the best local produce. “Above all my food is accessible to all comers and avoids gimmicks and pretentions.”
Very driven & wants his staff to love food like he does and doesn’t want to create a pretentious kitchen. Has a high regard for the likes of Heston (he knows him fairly well and Heston’s parents eat in Nathan’s restaurant), John Campbell (who he trained with) and also Rick Stein and Gary Rhodes (both of who he worked with). Michelin star and 8/10 in Good Food Guide.
Nathan creates a fun but productive environment in his kitchen, with great banter amongst his chefs. He says his last meal on Earth would be his Mum’s Told in the Hole and trifle with hundreds and thousands for dessert!
Nathan’s Dad is a chef and since he was young he wanted to go into the business too. He always cooked with both his Mum and Dad. His Dad didn’t want to make it easy for him though and made sure he did lots of work experience in holidays to understand how the job worked, so that Nathan would not be shocked by the realities of the industry.
Nathan was an ambitious and hard working trainee. He used to have to leave the house at 5.30 to get the 3 trains that took him to catering college and has always pushed himself. He finished his two year course on a Friday and by the Monday was in his first job at the Intercontinental Hotel, on Hyde Park Corner. He then worked very briefly for Gary Rhodes before walking out (something he really regrets). He then worked for Eric Chavot at The Capital in Knightsbridge who apparently was tougher than Gordon Ramsay.
It was Rick Stein’s restaurant that brought Nathan to Cornwall. He was the youngest sous chef working there at 21. He still felt he had more to learn though and went to work for John Campbell at Lords of the Manor restaurant in the Cotswolds and from there he moved back to Cornwall to open his first restaurant ‘The Black Pig’ in Cornwall. This was a small restaurant, in not the best of locations, but he still was spotted by the Michelin team and got his first star. The business closed due to falling out with his partner and he went to work for a luxury B&B, which again he got Michelin star for. He was then offered an opportunity to move to London
He opened Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in February 2007. He doesn’t own the restaurant but has complete control over the kitchen and front of house Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has 1 Michelin star with rising 2 star status.
Read Nathan Outlaw 's Bio
Nick Nairn is one of Scotland's most exciting cookery talents.
A self-taught chef (he went into cookery by accident), his determination to master the culinary arts has resulted in the creation of two successful restaurants - one near Aberfoyle and the other in Glasgow, called Nairn's.
In 1990, he became the youngest chef to win a Michelin star in Scotland. His unflagging energy and distinctive style of cooking have ensured the popularity of his TV and radio appearances. He has presented three cookery series, all with accompanying books, and he also writes a column for the Scottish Sunday Mail.
He's a founder member and is also on the advisory board of the Scottish Chef's Association, which aims to promote Scottish cooking and to encourage young emerging talent. He's also an enthusiastic campaigner for fresh Scottish produce.
In 2003, he sold his restaurant in Glasgow to concentrate on Nairn's Cookery School and a catering business and to spend more time with his family.
For more information about Nick Nairn click here: http://www.nicknairn.tv/home.html
Read Nick Nairn's Bio
Noel McMeel is executive head chef of Castle Leslie estate and cookery school in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland.
He has earned critical acclaim for his use of carefully sourced ingredients and his modern Irish cooking style. His upbringing in a farming environment, with the family more or less self-sufficient, helped to spark this interest in produce and good food.
Noel trained at the Northern Ireland Hotel and Catering College. His first job was an apprenticeship at the Villager, Crossgar, followed by a stint working with Paul and Jeanne Rankin at Roscoff, Belfast.
Noel got a scholarship to the United States and studied at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and Boston University. He then worked in some of the most respected and well known restaurants in the world, such as the Watergate hotel in Washington DC and Chez Panisse in San Francisco. Noel then returned to Northern Ireland and took up the position of head chef at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel. He opened his own restaurant, Trompets, in the late 1990s.
Noel cooked for the wedding of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. He regularly contributes to magazines such as Bon Appetit and Food and Wine as well as numerous trade magazines.
Read Noel McMeel's Bio
As well as appearing on a number of TV shows, Paul Rankin runs a successful restaurant business, the Rankin Group, in his native Belfast. His wife Jeanne is also a familiar face, cooking alongside him.
Paul left Belfast to travel around the world in 1980, and met Jeanne on the way. They travelled together, often working in kitchens to earn some cash.
In 1984, they ended up at Le Gavroche, the Roux Brothers' restaurant in London. There, they worked their way up the kitchen ladder, learning the tricks of the trade.
The couple then started travelling again, working in Canada before returning to Belfast and setting up Roscoff. The restaurant won Northern Ireland's first Michelin star which they kept for eight years running. They closed Roscoff in 1999, but refitted the premises and opened Cayenne, a restaurant with a more informal feel.
Over the years, the Rankin Group has extended its portfolio in Northern Ireland to include Cayenne, two Rain City Restaurants and six Cafe Paul Rankins. In addition to several new cafes and restaurants opening across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, Paul has revived Roscoff, opening Roscoff Brasserie in Belfast city centre in autumn 2004 after a five year break.
Paul and Jeanne have appeared together in three series of a television culinary journey called 'Gourmet Ireland'. Together, they have written five books, New Irish Cookery being their latest publication. Paul also hosted three series of The Rankin Challenge, for television, with numerous appearances on Masterchef, Who'll do the Pudding?, and The Good Food Show. He is also one of the long time favourites on Ready Steady Cook.
Read Paul Rankin's Bio
Richard Corrigan is the hugely successful chef/patron of Lindsay House, his characterful townhouse restaurant in Soho, London. He achieved a Michelin star in 1998 and has been awarded many other culinary accolades, including Outstanding London Chef at the London Restaurant Awards.
Lindsay House has become one of London’s hottest reservations and Corrigan is considered amongst the elite of the capital's chefs. He is recognised, and has had top marks bestowed by the UK’s leading critics as the ‘Irish Chef in London’.
Richard joins several chef colleagues on the select Culinary Council at British Airways where he is devising and supervising the menus on the airlines long haul flights and Premier class flights.
In recent years, Corrigan has worked on some prestigious events including preparing lunch at 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair and the King & Queen of Jordan.
More recently, his passion for food has made him a key player in the success of the TV series "Full on Food" on BBC.
His food remains loyal to his Irish roots, with an earthy sophistication, as seen in his first cookbook ‘From the Water and the Wild’.
Read Richard Corrigan's Bio
Great Food Live presenter Simon Rimmer opened his vegetarian restaurant, Greens in Manchester, in 1990, armed with only two cookery books and no idea how to cook.
Two years later, The Guardian had described Greens as one of the most exciting new restaurants in UK, and it has gone on to win several awards, including The Big Issue's 'Restaurant of the Year'.
Simon believes chefs should excite people about cooking, and that it should be "sociable, straightforward and sparkling". The success of his stylish but friendly Greens certainly seems testament to that: tune in to find out his tricks!
Read Simon Rimmer's Bio
Stephen Terry is chef-proprietor of The Hardwick, a country pub-restaurant in Abergavenny.
After two years studying catering at Barnfield College, Luton, at the age of 18 Stephen left home to learn his craft at several of London's top restaurants, including Marco Pierre White's first restaurant Harvey’s and Michel Roux's Le Gavroche. He then worked with Nick Nairn in Scotland before returning to London to open Canteen with Marco Pierre White and actor Michael Caine. It was here that he was awarded his first Michelin star, at the age of 25.
He then spent some time working in France, at the two Michelin-starred Les Roches near St Tropez and L'Arpège in Paris. When he was offered the opportunity to work as head chef at Oliver Peyton's restaurant Coast, in London's Mayfair, he returned once again to London.
After a period of travelling, Stephen was approached to purchase the Walnut Tree Inn in Abergavenny from Franco and Ann Taruschio. He opened the Walnut Tree restaurant in 2001 and won a Michelin star the following year. After leaving the Walnut Tree, he had another stint in London and at a pub in Wiltshire, before opening The Hardwick, where his menu is based around Welsh seasonal produce.
Stephen appeared in the 2008 series of Great British Menu on BBC Two, representing Wales. He is a mentor in the 2009 series.
Read Stephen Terry's Bio
Stuart grew up in Crawley, Sussex. His parents came from Glasgow and his fondest early memories are of the delicacies his parents would bring home from trips back to their native Scotland.
Stuart wasn't particularly interested in cooking while he was growing up, but when, at a loose end after finishing school, his brother suggested he enrol on a catering course, he agreed.
Once he'd completed his City and Guilds apprenticeship at Crawley, Stuart worked at a local chain hotel for a year as part of a YTS scheme. Although the food was 'bog standard', Stuart was impressed by the chef, David Wood. It was around this time that Stuart and a group of fellow cooking students visited Albert Roux's Le Gavroche restaurant, which was an eye-opening experience. However, it wasn’t until he worked abroad, first in Italy, then Sweden, that Stuart discovered a real passion for cooking and its ability to bring families and friends together.
Stuart worked as head chef alongside Angela Hartnett at The Connaught, then moved on to London's famous celebrity haunt Le Caprice. He has also worked at Daniel's in New York. Stuart was chosen by Gordon Ramsay to run the Boxwood Café at The Berkeley, which opened in May 2003.
Stuart conducts regular cookery demonstrations and hopes to write a book in 2007, but says that running the café, as well as raising three young children, leaves him with very little spare time.
Read Stuart Gillies's Bio
Tom Kitchin, head chef at The Kitchin restaurant, is one of Scotland's most talented young chefs. He opened The Kitchin on Leith's waterfront in June 2006, with the aim of showcasing seasonal Scottish produce prepared using the techniques of classic French cookery. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in January 2007.
Tom began his career at the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel, near his childhood home in Kinross. He went on to train and work alongside some of the world's most respected chefs, including Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire, Guy Savoy at Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris and Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV in Monte Carlo.
The philosophy of The Kitchin is From Nature to Plate. The ingredients are always fresh and seasonal.
From the moment Tom first considered opening his restaurant, he was totally committed to using only the freshest, seasonal produce, locally sourced wherever possible. In the lead up to the restaurant's opening, Tom and wife Michaela had scoured the country, finding suppliers for fresh, seasonal produce. ‘In summer look for fresh vegetables, chilled soups, scallops and langoustines. Winter will see Scottish game such as venison, pheasant, grouse, while spring will of course feature lamb. We are never going to serve asparagus in December, or other out of season food" says Kitchin.
Tom appeared in the 2008 and the 2009 series of Great British Menu on BBC Two, representing Scotland.
Read Tom Kitchin's Bio
Tom Lewis is becoming recognised as one of Scotland's foremost culinary experts.
Tom was 13 years old when he moved to the Monachyle Mhor Hotel in Perthshire with his family in 1983. After finishing school he left home to travel and work in the Middle East, New Zealand and the US for ten years before returning to Perthshire in 1995.
On his return Tom made the decision to pursue a career as a chef after being inspired by two people – namely well known chef Nico Ladenis, who he heard enthusing about food on Desert Island Discs, and David Wilson of the Peat Inn.
By the end of 1996, the Monachyle Mhor Hotel had won its first AA rosette. Since then the awards have come thick and fast for Tom and Monachyle Mhor, including Booker Prize Industry Award in 2003, an Egon Ronay Award in 2005.
Tom and his team also are great believers in preserving the best of their produce, from homemade jams and pickles to cured beef and bacon. "I change the menu every day - that makes it more exciting and keeps me from getting stale."
Read Tom Lewis's Bio