The Maldon Salt 50

The First Power List

Welcome to The Maldon Salt 50, our first EVER rundown of the 50 most influential users of our iconic, hand-harvested sea salt flakes. From the Michelin-star holders at the pinnacle of their careers, to the contract caterers feeding thousands, our sea salt is loved by chefs the world over, a testament to the quality and heritage of our brand.

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#Elevate Every Flavour

We will be showcasing the 50 most influential Maldon Salt users in hospitality. Chosen by a panel of industry experts including individuals from Maldon Salt, The Craft Guild of Chefs, The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and The Caterer Magazine.

The Influencers

To influence and be influenced. Where we get our inspiration from is changing all the time. The colossal rise of social media over the last decade is no secret. Its constant evolution along with the emergence of new platforms, new formats, new trends often have its users running to keep up. But it’s also what makes is magical.

Because really, what better way to provoke creativity? And build a platform? Delicious plates of food created in seconds have captured many a pair of scrolling eyes, inspiring a whole generation of foodies and introducing a realm of cuisines, brands and ideas – that often go far beyond food – into our homes. No denying, The Influencers are a powerful bunch.

The Influencers

The chef influencers and social media sensations who don’t necessarily wear whites every day.

Olia Hercules

Chef, activist, food journalist, torchbearer… @oliahercules defines what it means to be a modern-day influencer. Born in Ukraine, Olia subsequently lived in Cyprus, the UK and Italy, entering the working world as a journalist before following her dream to become a chef, initially working on the London restaurant scene, ultimately becoming a best-selling food writer. But on 24th February 2022 a line was drawn in the sand. The day after the invasion of her homeland, Olia turned activist, combining her passion for food with her compassion for the Ukrainian people. In co-founding the #CookForUkraine movement, she has helped to raise over £2 million to date and continues to keep awareness of the conflict front of mind. And she still finds the time to host an online cookery school and community. It’s a Herculean effort, in every sense.

Jesse Jenkins

Jesse Jenkins

With cinematic videos racking up millions of views, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Jesse, the man behind @adip_food, is an old hand in the world of food. In truth, he’s a relative newcomer, taking the social media world by storm with his laid-back Americana vibe and fresh, fast dishes. His content, which has echoes of his previous life as a skateboarder in LA and fashion photographer in the UK, is a reminder that influence can come from anywhere and everywhere. In Jesse’s case adding expertly to his unique style, creating his own perfectly formed niche, in the saturated world of social media.

Melissa Thompson

Penning powerful articles on the British food industry that became focal points for important discussions around identity, diversity and inclusivity, is a multi award-winning food writer, whose influence extends far beyond Instagram. Panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, columnist for BBC Good Food magazine, regular recipe writer for The Guardian, her debut cookbook Motherland – which explores the evolution of Jamaican food – was published in September 2022 but her first foray into the foodie world was back in 2014 when she started a supper club in her front room. She’s never looked back. Given her recipes and writing, she’s never needed to.

Xanthe Ross

Xanthe Ross

Organic grower, chef and sustainable food advocate @xanthemross is a new type of influencer. The supper club host may now be based in London, but time spent living in the countryside learning to grow her own vegetables taught her the significance of telling stories of suppliers and ingredients, which she now aims to do through all that she cooks. Combine that with a grounding in Food Sustainability thanks to a stint at the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School – sited on an organic farm in Ireland – Xanthe’s love of seasonal produce and all that the UK has to offer is at the heart of all her content and an insight, perhaps, into her love of Maldon Salt.

Sabrina Ghayour

Iranian-born Sabrina has brought Persian food to the masses. The self-taught cook and food writer, who has been hosting her immensely popular supper club for over a decade now and has seven bestselling cookbooks to her name, has legions of loyal fans in both the real, and virtual, world. Her dedication to those who follow her (@sabrinaghayour) on social media is remarkable, tirelessly responding to questions and queries about her recipes, unwavering in her belief that anyone can recreate the dishes she knows so well. No doubt that the UK’s perception (and love) of middle-eastern cookery is intrinsically linked to Sabrina and her platform.

Max La Manna

Max La Manna

Millions of followers, billions of views. Max knows a thing or two about influence. The award-winning, plant-based chef (@maxlamanna) has captured audiences everywhere with his fuss-free, low-waste style of cooking and transformed the appeal of vegan food for a whole generation. From how to use an entire cauliflower (leaves and all) to what you can do with the leftover pickle juice in a jar, his ideas are endless and his approach to living a more sustainable life is prescient, timing perfectly with the wider societal shift in how we view consumption and waste and making his platform a crucial tool in his followers’ lives.

Soph Wyburd

Sophie Wyburd

With years of experience behind her, and a debut cookbook ahead, the foodie world is @sophiewyburd’s oyster. Her background – training at Leith’s Cookery School and working with chef Jeremy Lee – put her in prime position to take over as head of food for much-acclaimed social channel Mob where she championed the development of the simple comfort food loved by fans across the country. Now, it’s full steam ahead for the self-confessed feeder, hosting sold out supper clubs, co-hosting podcasts and keeping her followers replete with inspiration.

Melissa Hemsley

Melissa Hemsley

Melissa Hemsley (@melissa.hemsley), of Hemsley sisters spiraliser fame, is on her way to a new legacy. The self-proclaimed lover of leftovers may be an excellent chef, but her platform is about far more than just the recipes thanks to her work as an ambassador for @mentalhealthmates, @thefelixproject – the charity redistributing food to those in need, and @futuredreamscharity – supporting those touched by breast cancer. The former private chef turned food columnist now has five cookbooks to her name in which she champions feel-good, sustainable food that not only tastes delicious but also nourishes bodies in a way that allows her followers to begin to understand seasonality as well as respect those working in the supply chain.

Nathan Smith

Nathaniel Smith

Nathaniel aka Mr Grubworks (@thegrubworkskitchen) is a selftaught chef who started posting his incredible recipes during the first lockdown back in 2020. Originally from Derby, but now living in London, Nathaniel spent a few years working as a junior sous chef before leaving to focus on his Grubworks channels full time. He’s now known as the ‘King of Flayvas’ across TikTok and Instagram drawing inspiration from his Caribbean heritage when curating his incredible dishes. His aim is to show how flayvaful and fun cooking can be. Nathaniel’s debut cookbook, ‘Flayvaful,’ was released in April 2024, aiming to help everyone to ‘spice up their kitchen’!

Gen Taylor

Genevieve Taylor

Genevieve is the live-fire chef flipping the Man vs Meat BBQ trope on its head. Under the handle @genevieveeats, and through her unique project @bristol_fire_school, she’s on a mission to show how, with a little bit of knowledge, everything can be made slightly more delicious when cooked on a BBQ. A trained biologist, her love of nature, sustainability and seasonality comes through in all she cooks. From her garden in Bristol, she’s perfected the recipes for 12 game-changing cookbooks, grilling, charring and searing meat, fish and veg to show her followers just how versatile a BBQ can be.

The Establishments

There’s little denying that Britain is known for its establishments. From the Royal Family to the NHS, we’re a country built on some remarkable institutions, some known for their grandeur and opulence others for their quirks or discipline. They’re the standard bearers for many – both the tourists who want to bear witness to age-old traditions and those of us who exist around them every day, shaped by the unique position they hold in British society.

The Establishments is a celebration of all those who work in these unique institutions – the hotel chefs, contract caterers, front-of-house managers and bartenders who uphold tradition and are at the vanguard of creating new ones – all with a little help from Maldon Salt.

The Establishments

The chefs, caterers, and bartenders working in some of Britain’s most celebrated establishments.

Phill Khoury

Philip Khoury

Harrod’s Head Pastry Chef, Phil Khoury, is no stranger to the exacting standards demanded by the world’s most famous department store. But whilst he honed his craft in some of the world’s most prestigious establishments, he’s now blazing a trail towards modernity, proving that there’s a place for plant-based innovation even when it comes to classics – revolutionising Harrod’s famed food halls with his own take on pastry. A pâtissier and chocolatier determined to carve out his own legacy, Phil goes beyond the ‘easy’ substitutes to eggs and dairy, sourcing the finest quality ingredients to redevelop recipes and never underestimating the importance of salt to perfect the balance of flavour. The result? The same classic sweet treats, reimagined for the present day.

April Partridge

2023 Roux Scholar April Lily Partridge is cooking up metaphorical storms. Now sous chef at British institution The Ledbury, she’s trained her way to success via 2-Michelin Starred The Clove Club, the iconic London restaurant The Ivy and New York institution Bluehill Farm (along with a hell of a lot of hard work). A precocious talent, who readily cites some of the women in this very list as her inspiration (hello Angela and Lisa), Britain’s best-loved establishments can rest easy knowing that the likes of April are primed to take over the reins in across some of the country’s most famous kitchens.

Carlos Londono

Carlos Londoño

Most foodies who know and love Mexican cuisine hold a soft spot for Covent Garden’s Café Pacifico. Established in 1982, London’s first Mexican restaurant and tequila bar firmly cemented its place in the capital’s dining hall of fame, thanks in large part to the passion of Londoño, who first joined the waiting staff in 1999. Now co-owner, he’s the man responsible for their award-winning Pomelon Margarita made using Reposado tequila, fresh watermelon, mint, lime and pomegranate, orange liqueur and homemade citrus bitters, served on the rocks with a chilli salt rim, which perfectly balances out bitterness whilst also creating a beautifully presented drink. Style as well as substance.

Adam Beaumont

Surely one of the UK’s most celebrated institutions, The Ritz’s reputation precedes it. Joining its ranks in 2021, Adam Beaumont is the current Chef de Partie and has wasted no time absorbing the atmosphere and the expertise of his esteemed peers in this much-revered kitchen. It’s a strategy that’s paid off having been selected to represent Team UK in the role of Commis Chef in the 2022 Bocuse d’Or. With an unnerving attention to detail and a meticulous approach to all that he cooks, no doubt the influence of The Ritz kitchen’s heavyweight stars – in the shape of Executive Chef John Williams MBE and Executive Sous Chef Ian Musgrave – has stood him in good stead for a stellar career and a future shot at the Bocuse d’Or.

David Mulcahy

David Mulcahy

Culinary Director at Sodexo UK & Ireland, Chairman of Springboard’s FutureChef competition, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Ambassador for Love British Food… David Mulcahy’s CV is a smörgåsbord of successes. Truly embedded in the hospitality industry, David is a highly experienced chef whose efforts are currently focused on food strategy and sustainability. His passion lies in development – of fantastic dishes but also of those creating them. Deservedly recognised time and again for his dedication to the foodservice sector, his energy and commitment puts him at the vanguard of hospitality establishments as we know them.

Ryan Chetiyawardana

Ryan Chetiyawardana

Innovative, sustainable, welcoming. Adjectives often thrown around in the hospitality world, but when it comes to Ryan Chetiyawardana, they check out. Master mixologist and industry maverick, Ryan – more commonly known as Mr Lyan – grew up in a place where food and drink were the heart of the household. First training as a chef, the need for personal interaction incited a natural transition to behind the bar. Now with four bars to his name, his first – White Lyan – revolutionised the global bar scene upon opening in 2013, in part thanks to its approach of avoiding perishables. Fruit and ice forgone, flavour remained paramount (with a little help from Maldon Salt) whilst food waste became a thing of the past and drinks were redefined. A new era of drinking establishments had arrived.

Liana Oster

Liana Oster

Now heading up the drinks offering across three distinct bars at NoMad London – a World’s 50 Best Hotel – it’s fair to say that Aussie bartender Liana Oster has a fine pedigree from some of the most renowned global drinks spots. Learning her trade at Melbourne’s Bar Americano, awards and accolades flooded in after making the leap to esteemed New York cocktail bar Dante which won The World’s Best Bar in 2019 under Liana’s command. NoMad London now has her pioneering attitude to thank for their world-class drinks’ menus, developed collaboratively with the kitchen team for a focus on seasonality and sustainability, grounded in the best quality ingredients.

Harry Lomas MBE

A Lancashire man, Harry Lomas’ chef journey all started thanks to a two-year apprenticeship with the Army, instilling in him methods and processes which he still follows now. Handy, since his day job – catering for up to 90,000 stadium visitors in his role as Culinary Director at Club Wembley – requires the similar sort of discipline to feeding thousands of hungry troops. But the iconic Wembley arch and the British Army have not been Harry’s only remarkable “offices”. Over his fifty-year career, he’s been the man behind some of our most notable organisations including the 2012 London Olympics and Hertfordshire’s 5* The Grove Hotel. A man at the forefront of British life, simply doing so out of sight.

Nick Vadis

Nick Vadis

Few establishments are revered in quite the same way as the NHS. It’s a British institution like no other and Nick Vadis, its Supply Chain Chef Ambassador, has a background worthy of the role. His role as Culinary Director at Compass Group UK – the catering brains behind countless organisations, event spaces and businesses – comes following tenures at other national stalwarts including British Airways and the Royal Navy. Presented the Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2022 Foodservice Cateys, Nick has dedicated much of his time to nurturing the next generation of culinary talent, aware that setting the framework for the future is absolutely crucial to ensure the continued success of so many of our beloved organisations.

Agostino Perrone

Repeatedly named one of the world’s best bars, at The Connaught you may visit for the name, but you return for the experience. For the last 15 years its Director of Mixology, Agostino Perrone, who hails from Italy, has been at the helm of an unprecedented journey, centred on a highly personalised experience for anyone who visits and complemented, of course, by the taste, flavour and serve of the drinks. Citing creativity, attention to detail and presentation as key to making The Connaught as special as it is, there’s no doubt that of equal importance are the best ingredients and the dedication of its bartenders.

The Educators

They say that those that can, do and those that can’t, teach. This lot do it all. Some of the biggest chefs of their age, they’ve gone the extra mile, dedicating time and energy into the future of the industry. Nurturing, mentoring and coaching, steadfast in the mindset that what they put in today, will make a difference to the chefs of tomorrow.

The Educators have been there themselves, survived the rigours of kitchen life, the long hours and the high pressure. Whilst still doing all that, they’re building the next generation.

The Educators

The individuals that put everything into developing the chefs of tomorrow.

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

Chef Tom Phillips is what you might call something of a highflyer. His career to date has taken him through the kitchens at The Ritz in London, Per Se in New York and L’Enclume in Cumbria. With his current post as Executive Chef at two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story, and a recent fourth place as part of Team UK in Bocuse d’Or Europe, you wouldn’t venture that ‘spare time’ is a concept he knows well. And yet in 2022, having once already competed as the UK candidate in the Bocuse d’Or, he took over the mantle as coach for Team UK, determined to revolutionise the UK’s approach to competing, taking a stance on the organisational side, focusing on how best to prepare the team, knowing that this was the platform to showcase the incredible calibre of chefs in the UK and inspire a whole generation to work in the industry.

Rav Gill

Rav Gill

The world of professional kitchens can typically be a pretty tough environment in which to cut your teeth. Thanks to the likes of Rav, that’s changing. A pastry chef by trade, she’s worked in some of London’s hottest restaurants including St. JOHN, Llewelyn’s, Jamavar, Black Axe Mangal and Wild by Tart. In 2018, having experienced all the ups and downs of kitchen life, she set about creating a community that would be dedicated to sharing and shouting about the best working environments, connecting like-minded individuals and holding food-related events. Countertalk was born. With it, a platform set to help and foster new talent across the industry and showcase just how rewarding a career in hospitality can be.

Alain Roux

Alain Roux

A member of the astonishing Roux dynasty, naturally, chef Alain Roux is joint Chairman of the prestigious Roux Scholarship, along with his cousin Michel Roux Jnr. But it was the passing of his mentor and father, Michel, that prompted his latest educational endeavour.  Alain has converted his late father’s home, next door to the three Michlin-starred Waterside Inn of which he is Chef Patron, into a state-of-the-art culinary school and library. Filled with his father’s collection of ancient and rare culinary titles, it's the perfect legacy, continuing the family’s passion for gastronomy, to inspire guests and the kitchen team.

Nicola Pisani

Nicole Pisani

Nicole Pisani is no traditional school dinner lady. Having held the position of Head Chef at Ottolenghi’s Nopi, her career took an interesting turn when she took on the position of Executive Chef at Gayhurst Community School to improve her working hours. Witnessing the very real disconnect between children and food, she’s now the woman at the head of a school food revolution. As Co-Founder and Executive Chef of charity Chefs in Schools, she’s launched a food education programme, teaching children about the importance of fresh food, where it comes from and most importantly, how to cook it.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen

Lisa Goodwin-Allen

Having led the kitchen brigade at Michelin-starred Northcote since the age of 23, chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen knows better than most what is required to achieve culinary excellence at a young age. Perhaps that explains her unparalleled dedication to helping young chefs in the industry today, nurturing talent that steps through Northcote’s kitchen doors from day one. An ambassador for the School’s Game Changer project and Springboard’s FutureChef, Lisa also allowed six up-and-coming chefs to work under her tutelage in a very special Maldon Supper Club in 2023. She is also Chair of Judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year, a role no doubt made all the more poignant when this year, Northcote’s own demi chef de partie Sam Dixon took home the title – in no small part thanks to Lisa’s years of mentoring.

Cyrus Todiwala

Cyrus Todiwala

Industry treasure Cyrus Todiwala has done more than his fair share in the role of educator over the years. Revolutionising the reputation of Indian cuisine in the UK after his arrival in the 1990s, he’s since inspired a generation of Asian chefs thanks in large part to his commitment to education and training. Regularly mentoring young chefs and providing work experience for dozens of others, his flagship Café Spice Namaste was the first UK restaurant to win a National Training Award. Since 2013, along with wife Pervin, he has spearheaded culinary competition Zest Quest Asia, helping to raise the profile of Asian cuisine and cookery as a future career for budding chefs in Britain. Cyrus may be a chef by trade, but he’s a teacher at heart.

Matt Abé

Working his way up through the ranks under Gordon Ramsay, safe to say that Aussie-born Matt Abé is the educated turned educator. Chef Patron at the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay he’s honed his craft with the best and is now turning his sights to nurturing the industry’s next legion of chefs. Announced earlier this year as the new Chair of Judges of National Chef of the Year – a title his mentor Ramsay previously won – he’s bringing a new energy to the role, determined to push new ideas and grow the competition to celebrate UK’s inimitable chef talent.

Romy Gill MBE

Chef, presenter, and author Romy Gill has had a direct hand in changing perceptions of Indian food in the UK. Starting out by hosting dinner parties and cookery classes, she opened acclaimed restaurant Romy’s Kitchen in 2013, and formalised her classes in doing so. Noted for her expertise she was quickly asked to demo her skills at food festivals across the UK and world. Connecting with others around food, where it comes from, and its future, has been a common thread throughout her career, from supporting organisations such as School Food Matters to speaking at the globally renowned MAD symposium in 2018. Her passion for her subject knows no bounds.

Simon Rogan

Simon Rogan

Simon Rogan’s pedigree needs little introduction. Pioneer of farm-to-table dining in the UK, Chef Patron at the three Michelin starred L’Enclume in Cumbria and the man behind countless other award-winning restaurants across the world, his tremendous success has now allowed him to sidestep into the fulfilling world of mentorship. The Simon Rogan Academy offers hungry young chefs and front-of-house professionals hands-on learning experiences. For those slightly further along in their careers, he’s been the mentor everyone needs. A knack for recognising talent and passion has allowed him to support with the slightly less glamourous elements chefs also need to understand to be successful – from the financials to HR. He’s the kind of man to have in your corner.

Sabrina Gidda

Sabrina Gidda

Sabrina Gidda has had a slightly more eclectic journey in hospitality than many on this list. From running gastropubs and working as Executive Chef at numerous firms in the City to her award-winning rise on the London restaurant scene, one thing has kept her focus – her desire to work with food. Her perseverance has paid off. At the end of 2023, Sabrina was welcomed into the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts – whose Academicians and Fellows are among the most well-respected members of UK hospitality. Signing the Academy’s famous charter – pledging to give back to the industry and support the next generation – was a natural step for a woman who has always championed young people in the industry.

The Next Gen

Our shores are blessed with an abundant talent pipeline comprising some of the most exciting next generation chefs in the world. But at what moment is a star born? For some, undoubtedly, it’s the arrival of accolades that proves their (Maldon) salt. But others are stepping into the breach in new and innovative ways, changing the industry as we know it and carving out new spaces, redefining how to be at the top of the foodie world in 2024 and beyond.

The Next Generation are primed and ready to take on the realm of culinary excellence as we know it. They’ve got the passion and the plates of food to prove it.

The Next Gen

The ones to watch – chefs just on the cusp of breaking through.

Ayo Adeyemi

Proud owner of a new Michelin star, Ayo Adeyemi is making all kinds of culinary waves. Raised in Dorset by Nigerian parents, food and a culture of hospitality was in-built into his childhood and formal training soon followed, pursuing a degree in culinary arts. Built on this foundation, it’s no exaggeration to say his career has skyrocketed, most recently winning a star for Akoko, where he is Executive Chef, thanks to a menu developed around three core pillars – fire, spice and umami. Inspired by the likes of Gordon Ramsay and his mentor Ryan Clift who was making fine dining fun at Tippling Club, Ayo has made it his mission to refine the bold flavours of West-Africa for a new audience. Now, he’s one of a handful of chefs putting this cuisine firmly in the gastronomic spotlight and is resolute in his quest to be bigger, braver and pave the way for a new generation of ground-breaking chefs.

Thom Bateman

With 1.2 million followers on Instagram, double that on TikTok and influence in spades you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d put Thom in the wrong category. He may be influential but he’s also a pioneer, showcasing how chefs today can harness modern technology to cement their status in the culinary world and build a successful business along the way. Now Chef Owner at The Flintlock, Cheddleton, a fine-dining destination in the heart of Staffordshire, Thom’s story has very much gone full circle, his career having started in the same building at the tender age of 17 when a Latin American restaurant stood on the same site. Safe to say now however, his station is somewhat different.

Nieves Barragán Mohacho

With a Michelin star to her name at Spanish sensation Sabor (as well as previously holding one whilst Executive Head Chef at London’s Barrafina) Nieves’ dedication to her craft is second to none. Going to market as a child with her mother – whom she cites as her first and biggest inspiration – understanding the importance of quality ingredients and a resulting love of food shines through in all that she cooks. But Sabor, which translates as ‘flavour’, does not only celebrate the dishes from her native Basque Country. It’s a showcase of the best food and ingredients from around Spain and has set Nieves on a direct path to what we can only anticipate will be superstardom.

Luke Selby

You name it, Luke’s won it. The 2017 Roux Scholar, who won National Chef of the Year in the same year, has plenty of additional accolades – including winner of the Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence, the Annual Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards and the Young National Chef of the Year (which he won in 2014) – to his name. He’s also worked at some of the most celebrated restaurants around the world, and currently holds the position of Executive Head Chef at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, where he first got a taste of kitchen life through work experience as a teenager. It’s been a meteoric rise.

Sally Abé

For Sally Abé, it was an accidental love affair with a placement at The Savoy that catapulted her into the world of culinary greatness. Stints at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s and The Ledbury followed – where she quickly learned the ropes – before ultimately taking on the role of Head Chef at The Harwood Arms for which she retained a Michelin star. Now heading up The Pem, the flagship site at Conrad London St James and named after suffragette Emily Davison, serving up nostalgic British dishes with a twist, her food is memorable to say the least, as will be her name, to anyone who eats there.

Karan Gokani

As Co-Founder and Creative Director of the immensely popular Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant group, Hoppers, Karan has created a perfectly formed niche, both in the restaurant world, and for his career. Instead of training as a full-time chef, Karan chose a more all-round creative role, where he could hone his passion for food through recipe development with a team of skilled chefs; concept creation and storytelling; FOH training and operational oversight. Thereby influencing all aspects of a guests’ journey at Hoppers. Now, he’s at the vanguard of a new tranche of culinary professionals flexing their skills in recipe and business development, building the culinary scene of the future.

Elliot Cunningham

A certified rising star of the London foodie scene, Elliot is a live-fire chef with real vision. Working first at some of London’s most favoured barbecue joints, he struck out on his own with pop-up Lagom, meaning ‘just enough’ in Swedish, a heritage that comes through in his dishes. Temporary became permanent – and very, very popular – at his residency at Hackney Church Brewing Co, in part thanks to a burger deemed the best in London by many a chef across Top Jaw’s social media. Expanding most recently into the Sunday Lunch scene, with his own take on a roast, he’s going from strength to strength and certain to be a man around for some time.

Michelle Trusselle

Michelle Trusselle is very much one to watch. The Masterchef: The Professionals semi-finalist not only has clout to her cooking but the training and expertise to back it up, having qualified at Westminster Kingsway and worked at establishments including The Savoy and Claridge’s along the way. Her working experience may have taught her the technical skills but it’s her passion for Caribbean flavours that has shaped her culinary pathway. Launching Myristica, her supper club in 2018, Michelle set a new standard in Caribbean food, elevating ingredients and dishes to fine dining standards whilst conserving its unique vibrancy and flavour-packed soul. She’s a chef who should be on everyone’s radar.

Tommy Banks

When Yorkshireman Tommy Banks retained a Michelin Star for his family’s Oldstead pub in 2013, he was the youngest ever chef to hold the accolade. Since then, it’s been a stratospheric rise. Two Michelin stars – one each for his two restaurants – as well as a Michelin green star thanks to his dedication to sustainability, a chef residency at Lord’s Cricket Ground and three further foodie enterprises make up his impressive CV. Spearheading the next generation of topflight chefs, Tommy draws on his family’s farming background, an appreciation of fantastic ingredients and an unflappable adaptability (the pandemic led to his premium food box delivery service) to lead the charge.

Helen Graham

It’s no exaggeration to say Helen has changed the face (or at least reputation) of vegetables. Despite no formal chef training, she quickly gained the practical kitchen experience needed, working at esteemed restaurant The Palomar before teaming up with Marc Summer in 2018 to set about transforming the somewhat uninspiring veggie offering London had to offer. For five years, as Executive Chef of London restaurant group Bubala, she took the restaurant from strength to strength, so that what started as a series of pop ups, ended with two bricks and mortar sites and rave reviews all round. Leaving Bubala at the end of 2023 to pursue solo projects, there’s certainly an anticipatory air around Helen to see what’s coming next. We’ll just have to watch this space…

The Innovators

The crème de la crème of the chef world with deserved seats at the top table. This lot know a thing or two about food – and, dare we say, the importance of a little Maldon Sea Salt to help elevate their beautiful dishes.  With countless stars, awards and accolades between them, The Innovators have truly shaped the way all of us eat, changing the dining landscape for the better, ensuring British cuisine is right up where it belongs.

The Innovators

The chefs at the top of their respective games with the awards and accolades to prove it.

Angela Hartnett MBE, OBE

As one of the UK’s best loved chefs, restaurateurs, and authors, very few can lay claim to the moniker of national treasure with such ease as Angela Hartnett. Born in the UK to an Italian mother and grandmother, Angela’s passion for simple, honest ingredients, including Maldon Salt, is evidenced in her sophisticated yet easy going Italian-inspired cooking. Brought up in the male dominated kitchens of the 1990s, Angela has beaten a trailblazing path for women in the industry to follow, leaving in her wake an ongoing legacy of diversity, inclusivity, and opportunity. Not to mention multiple Michelin stars, an enviable portfolio of successful restaurants and proud personal honours. Feted by mentor Ramsay as a ‘true grit chef’, this national treasure, trailblazer and dyed in the wool ‘Maldonite’ more than deserves her place at the top table.

Adam Byatt

With a professionally trained chef for a mother and an army cook for a grandfather, Adam Byatt always seemed destined for a life behind the pass. Just three days before his 16th birthday he won a prestigious apprentice chef placement at Claridge’s, beginning the classical training that would set the scene for his impressive career. Focusing on classical yet honest cooking, with a bent to show off the best local and seasonal produce, this hard-working chef now calls Clapham his spiritual home, by way of the sublime, Michelin-starred Trinity. He also co-owns casual dining joint Trinity Upstairs and Bistro Union, serving quintessentially British dishes in homage to childhood memories growing up in Essex. Proof if it were needed that spirited hard work really does pay off.

Ben Tish

Refreshingly bereft of any airs and graces, few chefs are more respected for their authenticity and hands on approach than Ben Tish. Brought up under the watchful tutelage of chefs such as Jason Atherton and Stephen Terry, it didn’t take long for Ben to find his own style, grounded in the flavours of the Mediterranean. As much chef consultant as cook in the kitchen, he has successfully elevated the offerings of numerous operations including, The Crinan gastropub in Scotland, the Salt Yard Group, The Stafford Hotel and most recently at Cubitt House – a group of iconic central London pubs including Marylebone’s The Barley Mow. Whilst doubtless adept in understanding his audience, Ben’s most personal work, to which he so often returns, centres on authentic Mediterranean flavours.

Clare Smyth MBE

The first and only British female to be awarded three Michelin stars for her restaurant Core, Clare Smyth stands alone at the very top of her game. Though a lofty position earned through years of uncompromising devotion to her craft, honing her talents under both Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay, it’s not a space she intends to remain alone in for long. An active member of the international culinary community, Clare recognises the importance of fostering young chefs and attracting new talents to the trade, mentoring the next generation by acting as the President of the Bocuse d’Or UK team and a returning judge for the S. Pellegrino World’s Best Young Chef Competition. Put simply, this is a chef that embodies the very best of the trade.

Jamie Oliver MBE

Chef, campaigner, author, TV star, global brand; Jamie Oliver is many things to many people but what is irrefutable is the huge impact he has had on the landscape of food and cooking in the UK. Jamie has built an undisputed empire, opening a chain of Italian restaurants, creating a range of branded food products and kitchenware, filming multiple TV shows, and becoming a champion for the promotion of healthy food for kids in schools and the improvement of packaged food labelling regulations. Despite broadening his horizons to take on multiple causes – he remains stoically single minded in his dedication to improving the way we eat and enjoy food in the UK. Undoubtedly a force for good.

Gordon Ramsay OBE

It is testament to the sheer force of nature that is Gordon Ramsay that so many in this list can call upon the chef as the pivotal mentor in the development of their own successful careers. Scottish by birth, his dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of the world’s leading chefs, including Albert Roux and Marco Pierre White. He went on to revolutionise British dining as it was then known, reinventing classic dishes to deliver exceptional plates of food. Now internationally renowned as a highly successful restaurateur – holding no fewer than 7 Michelin stars, including 3 for his eponymous London restaurant. He is quite simply one of the UK’s most innovative, and hardest working chefs to ever grace the scene. A true original.

Anna Haugh

Having been told by an overzealous careers advisor that becoming a chef wasn’t a realistic ambition for a woman, Anna Haugh has comprehensively returned that misguided advice back to sender. Beginning her kitchen life at L’Ecrivain alongside owner Derry Clarke, Haugh was inspired to find that the restaurant had an equal working split of men and women. Swapping Dublin for London, Haugh began working at Pied à Terre under legendary chef Shane Osborn, who she says taught her everything she needed to know about working in a top London kitchen. In 2019, after leaving a role as executive chef at Bob Bob Ricard, Haugh launched her debut restaurant Myrtle. Serving an Irish-inspired menu with a predominantly female-led kitchen, it has rapidly won plaudits for its informal but elegant style of cooking.

Nigella Lawson

Not only an internationally renowned food writer and TV cook whose television programmes have made her a household name around the world, Nigella Lawson could better be described as a cultural icon, whose impact has changed the face of how we eat. In 1998 she published her first cookbook, How To Eat, The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food. She now has twelve bestselling books to her name and has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Yet it is on the small screen where she has arguably had the biggest impact on the ways in which we consume and enjoy food. Much vaunted for her engaging presenting style and evocative language Nigella has taught us the language of cooking and eating for pleasure.

Heston Blumenthal OBE

Never one to do things conventionally, Heston Blumenthal dedicated a decade of evenings after work to teaching himself classic French dishes. During that time, he became immersed in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, a book by Harold McGee which encourages the reader to question everything in terms of sensorial dining – a life mantra he would go on to adopt and translate into his own unique culinary language. In 1995, Heston opened his first restaurant, The Fat Duck, which now holds three Michelin stars and was one of the first places to practice ‘New Cookery’. This scientific approach to cooking covets precision techniques while valuing tradition. A true outlier in his field, few embody the spirit of innovation like him.

Jason Atherton

Honing his craft under chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Nico Ladenis, Ferran Adria and Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton has wasted little time in moving out from the long shadows of these cooking greats to set up his own ever-growing portfolio of iconic global restaurants. His flagship ‘Pollen Street Social’ opened in April 2011 in Mayfair and was awarded a Michelin star within just six months of trading. Since then, The Social Company has grown into a globally renowned restaurant group. Alongside multiple London restaurants, Jason has also opened critically acclaimed restaurants in Shanghai, Dubai, Mykonos and St Moritz – an empire of repeat successes driven by a passion for perfection and an ethos of hard work.

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