Meet the chefs

Meet the chefs

Meet the chefs2018-02-16T17:37:24+00:00

Project Description

Adam Banks

Head Chef at Fifteen Cornwall

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Adam took up the post of Head Chef at Fifteen Cornwall in April 2017. He worked with them previously as a Senior Sous chef for five years before leaving to follow his love of food in Australia. Returning to the UK in 2015, Adam joined the team at the Star and Garter in Falmouth alongside two other former Fifteen chefs. Adam played a key role in shaping the Star and Garter menus and style of food in the restaurant, contributing to the accolade of Best Foodie Pub in the South West as voted for by the readers of Food Magazine. Adam Banks works closely with our trusted local suppliers whose passion and dedication to growing and rearing high quality produce is celebrated in the innovative dishes he creates. Since his arrival, Adam’s considered approach to cooking and nose to tail ethos has been inspiring our chefs to make the most of this produce, whilst encouraging them to ferment, pickle, preserve and cleverly use every edible part of our beautiful ingredients.

Andy Appleton

Appleton's Bar and Restaurant

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Andy Appleton is the former Head Chef of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, in that position for 9 years, originally a senior sous chef at Fifteen London, he was part of the team that launched the Fifteen concept back in 2002. Andy left Fifteen in February 2016 and started his own venture, a restaurant called Appleton’s at the Vineyard, a small restaurant within a new vineyard and winery in Cornwall, Trevibban Mill. For Andy, food is about more than the recipes – it’s a whole attitude and lifestyle that makes great food the focus of every day. It’s about sourcing the best seasonal ingredients at their peak, and letting them do the talking without unnecessary clutter and complexities. Andy uses some exciting and specialist ingredients from Italy but also a lot of small artisanal local producers to support the local economy.

Angus McCaig

The Holt, Honiton

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Angus McCaig runs The Holt pub and restaurant and Toast Cafe and patisserie with his brother Joe. Using local ingredients to create accessible, simple and tasty food at both venues on Honiton High Street. The pub serves the full range of Otter beers. Angus now teaches bread making and smoked and cured food classes at The Holt. The Holt has previously won Taste of the West Dining pub of the year, and currently holds 2 AA rosettes.

Ben Ambridge

Pollocks Pub Co Ltd

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Ben Ambridge is executive chef for the Pollocks Pub Co Ltd., which runs the Longstore restaurant and Short & Strong café on Charlestown Harbour, The Sharkskin in Mevagissey, and the Golden Lion in Port Isaac. A graduate of Jamie Oliver’s renowned Fifteen Cornwall apprenticeship programme, Ben’s worked at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, No 1 Rock Road, and the Plume of Feathers in Mitchell.

Bini Ludlow

Sweet Cumin

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Bini’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Her portfolio of accolades now includes a raft of awards for her cookery classes (Olive magazine, best Indian cookery courses as well as the Guardian top food courses in the UK) and frozen ready meal range winning 11 Great Taste Awards, numerous high-profile TV and Radio appearances (BBC, ITV and C4) as well as featuring in local and national press (The Guardian, Delicious Magazine, Olive Magazine, Crumbs Magazine). Bini’s longstanding collaboration with Thatchers Cider (pairing curries with ciders) has been rolled out across the UK, Australia and the US. She is also a champion for Women in Business for the Federations of Small Business (FSB) South West region sitting on the national task force.

Darrin Hosegrove

Ashburton Chefs Academy

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After training at Exeter College, Darrin began his career at Gidleigh Park followed by working for several years in fine dining restaurants around the UK. His love of teaching brought him back to Exeter College, and he joined the Ashburton Cookery School in 2004 with the vision to create a cookery school with a strong ethos supporting South West producers and artisan suppliers. Five years ago he was instrumental in the development of the Ashburton Food Festival and in 2012 was responsible for launching the Ashburton Chefs Academy which has now become a professional accredited training centre teaching culinary diploma's in cuisine and patisserie to an advanced level.

Dez Turland

Saunton Sands

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Dez's career started in London with jobs at the Law Courts on the Strand and a private hospital on Baker Street. This led to a role at the world famous Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly working with Michael Quinn MBE and Andreas Antonia, now of the 1 Michelin starred restaurant Simpsons in Birmingham. Dez then spent two years at the Michelin rated Terrace Restaurant situated at the NEC, Birmingham before helping to open The Alverton Manor, a country house hotel in Truro, Cornwall. In 1990, Dez became Head Chef at The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth which quickly gained recognition and was awarded its first AA Rosette. In 1992, Dez was approached by Brend Hotels to take over at The Royal Duchy Hotel, Falmouth and quickly helped them achieve their 4 Star status as well as being awarded 2 AA Rosettes which they continue to hold. In 2008, Dez became Group Development Chef for Brend Hotels in charge of 11 hotels, 2 Restaurants and some 100 chefs.

Elly Owen

Head Sommelier at Fifteen Cornwall

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Elly Owen has been working in the restaurant trade since she was thirteen, predominantly as a waitress but with a brief spell as a chef working in France. Whilst in France, Elly worked a vintage in the Medoc and did the vendange (grape harvest) in 2005 for Chateaux Meyney. This sparked her passion for wine and became the focus of her interest when she joined Fifteen Cornwall in 2009. Elly initially started as a waitress at Fifteen and gradually progressed into wine, whilst observing, learning and putting into action the knowledge she has gained over the years. In 2015 she was appointed as Head Sommelier. Elly couldn't be happier training new staff, writing the wine list and tasting wonderful new wines with fresh light, energy and purpose. Elly is renowned for her approachability, enthusiasm and ability to make wine accessible. She enjoys breaking down wine walls and being able to share some amazing wines with staff and customers alike.

Emily Scott

The St Tudy Inn

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The St Tudy Inn. Emily and her team won *One to Watch* in the top 50 Gastro pub awards in 2016 and Emily was a finalist in the Best Chef category South West Food mag awards. In 2017 the St Tudy Inn was voted No39 in the Top Gastro Pun awards and remained in the Top 50 for 2018. In 2016 Emily and her team were awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for 2017 and have now retained this in the Michelin Guide 2018.

The St.Tudy Inn is a wonderful Cornish pub that celebrates the finest seasonal produce from the surrounding area. Situated in the beautiful Cornish village of St.Tudy, the Inn has a warm and cosy atmosphere and a passion for simple, rustic cuisine, real ales and fine wines.
The kitchen is headed by Emily where she creates an ever evolving menu that combines her passion for beautiful, seasonal food with the best Cornish produce available in this wonderful village location. Emily has a fantastic team. Always about the team and what you can achieve together.

Guy Owen

The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall

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Guy was born in Hampshire and developed his culinary expertise with some of London’s leading chefs, including Gordon Ramsay at his Michelin starred restaurant at Claridge’s, Jerome Tauvron at L'Etranger and James Bennington and Bruce Poole at Michelin starred La Trompette. Guy moved to South East Cornwall at the age of eight and throughout his school years began helping in the kitchens of local restaurants after lessons and at weekends. More recently, having returned to the West Country in 2009, Guy worked at leading hotels Gidleigh Park, under Michael Caines, and the Driftwood Hotel, where he became sous chef under Chris Eden. It was Cornish produce that fuelled Guy’s passion for food. The menu at The Idle Rocks reflects the hotel’s ethos of re-engaging with the simple pleasures in life and uses only the best ingredients with a mix of classical and modern cooking methods. Guy is totally focused on sustainability, and promoting local businesses. Whether that be a local day boat

James Golding

THE PIG

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The Savoy Hotel first employed James while still just a student on the Specialised Chef course, and within 3 years he had completed all sections at the Savoy and hand a firm grasp of Classical French cooking. During the next 7 years James’s love for British seasonal produce began to present; truffles, foie gras and caviar were happily exchanged with elvers, lamb’s kidneys, Dorset cockles and snipe.Through his work as Group Chef Director at THE PIG & Home Grown Hotels Ltd, he has worked to raise interest in where his food comes from and how it tastes. All three PIG hotels have been awarded two Rosettes from the AA and Brockenhurst has made it into this year’s Michelin guide as a recommended restaurant. The Pig has also been voted for the second time the UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the SRA this year and have been placed in the top 100 restaurants for the third consecutive year at the National Restaurant Awards 2014.

James Mason

Kentisbury Grange

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James trained as an apprentice chef at Exeter College while working at the Diggers Rest at Woodbury Salterton. He then moved to Oxford to work as chef de partie in a 2 rosette pub and worked a stage at Gordon Ramsey’s 3 star Hospital Road restaurant. James then returned to Devon temporarily to take the position of chef de partie at ABode Exeter before moving to Sussex to work at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Tristan in Horsham, Sussex. James then returned to Devon again to work as junior sous with Tom Williams-Hawke at The Salutation Inn, Topsham. Later taking the position of sous chef, it was from here that James entered and won South West Young Professional Chef of the Year. Thanks to his success in the competition, James was offered the position of head chef at No.1 Rock Road, Rock, Cornwall and he began his new role there in March 2016.

Jim Fisher

Co-owner and head chef / tutor at Exeter Cookery School

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Co-owner and head chef / tutor at the award-winning Exeter Cookery School, Best in the South West according to Food Magazine readers, Jim Fisher is an entertaining and engaging demo chef who has honed his skills during an extensive culinary career. A former Masterchef semi-finalist, Jim first started cheffing in the kitchens of Exeter’s White Hart Hotel, where he met and proposed to his now wife and business partner, Lucy. He then went on to cook alongside Rick Stein in Padstow and Alistair Little in Notting Hill before the couple upped sticks and headed to the Dordogne to open up a residential cookery school. Despite the locals’ bemusement at the idea of an Englishman teaching anyone to cook, not least in France, CookinFrance became a big hit! Fifteen years later, Jim and Lucy returned to the UK, following their roots back to Devon, and are now making a huge success of their exciting new venture on Exeter’s thriving quayside.

Joe Simmonds

The Beach at Bude

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Joe Simmonds is head chef at The Beach at Bude, a two AA rosette restaurant and hotel in north Cornwall. His love of cooking started as a child, baking with his grandma.
Classically trained under Sam Moody at Michelin star restaurant, The Priory, Joe has a genuine passion for developing menus which use fresh local ingredients.

John Burton Race

Grovesnor Hotel

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John Burton Race is a Michelin starred chef, restaurateur, author, and media personality. Born in Singapore in 1957 to a British diplomat father, John spent his early years travelling the globe with his family. This exposed him to a variety of tastes and flavours that continue to influence his style to this day. In 1983, John Burton Race landed a role under the renowned chef Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. He was soon promoted to sous chef. When Raymond opened Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, he turned to John to head the restaurant and the kitchen. It was here that John won his first Michelin star. Last year he opened The New Angel in Notting Hill which was awarded three AA Rosettes, and was voted into Harden’s Top 10 new openings 2015, and OpenTable’s Top 100. John is currently heading the new brasserie and terrace restaurant team at the newly refurbished Grosvenor Hotel in Torquay Devon, which has just been awarded two AA Rosettes.

Josh Eggleton

The Pony & Trap

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Josh Eggleton is Chef Patron of multi-award winning pub The Pony & Trap in Chew Magna, founder of Salt & Malt, a fish cafe and tearoom on the banks of Chew Valley Lake; Chicken Shed an all organic fried Chicken restaurant on Bristol’s iconic harbourside as well as being co-owner of the popular Bristol gastropub, The Kensington Arms. Josh is also the co-founder of the pop-up restaurant and food festival, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. Making his name at The Pony & Trap, Josh and his sister Holly have taken the 200 year old pub from strength to strength since their arrival in 2006. Now recognised as one of the most exciting places to eat in the South West, in 2011 the Pony & Trap was awarded a prestigious Michelin Star which it has held ever since. In 2017, The Pony & Trap was named the third best gastropub in the country at the Estrella Damm Gastropub Awards and was listed in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants.

Joshua Murphy

Lucknam Park Hotel

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South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2017

Liam Finnegan

The Castle Hotel, Taunton

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Liam Finnegan, has been head chef at The Castle Hotel in Taunton since 2012. He grew up in Carlingford, Co Louth in Ireland where he spent his time as a self-professed ‘menace’. So much so that his grandmother put him to work in her kitchen, just to keep a watchful eye. Little did she know that her intervention would grow into his lifelong appreciation for the hard work and graft it takes to cook quality food. Since then, Liam’s career path took him through some fantastic restaurants such as The George Hotel on the Isle of White, The Bath Priory and Gidleigh Park where he worked for Micheal Cains, and The Nuremore Hotel (Ray McArdle). When asked about awards, Liam says that a full restaurant and happy customers are more important. “Of course, accolades are brilliant, but anything we get, we receive and share as a team.”

Mark Dodson

The Masons Arms, North Devon

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The Masons Arms, Mark and Sarah Dodsons’ Thirteenth Century characterful thatched Inn with a cosy beamed bar and comfortable lounge, offers log fires and a warm welcome. Mark was, for twelve years, Head Chef of Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn, Bray. His food displays a modern take on British and French classics with a certain complexity to the cooking and with that it comes as no surprise that the Masons Arms has been recognised by all the major guides and was awarded a Michelin Star in 2006 which has been retained since.
Award winning exceptional local cuisine using only the finest ingredients and presented with taste and style. Wonderful friendly service complete this first class restaurant within this North Devon pub in the village of Knowstone. Truly two experiences in one!

Matt Mason

The Jack in the Green

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Matthew Mason has been Head Chef of The Jack in the Green at Rockbeare near Exeter for nearly 25 years. Born and brought up in Devon, after serving his apprenticeship under the tutorage of Shaun Hill at Gidleigh Park, Matthew took over the kitchens of The Jack in the Green in 1994. A year later the Jack became one of the first pubs in Britain to achieve 2 AA rosettes; an award that it has maintained ever since. A proud father of two, Matthew's driving ambition is that his passion for good food comes through in each of the dishes the kitchen serves every day. The restaurant is a firm favourite of the Exeter Chiefs and was recently voted 2017 'Best Foodie Pub', 2017 'Best Gastro Pub of the Year’ and 2017 ‘Local Food & Drink Hero’.

Matthew Peryer

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton

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Born in Bournemouth in 1985, Matthew studied the Specialised Chefs course at Bournemouth and Poole college. From 2001 he took on a three year apprenticeship at one of the best country house hotels in the UK, The Chewton Glen Hotel, and spent a total of six years working under three great head chefs Pierre Chevillard, Alan Murchison and Luke Matthews, moving through the ranks from apprentice to chef de partie. In 2007, Matthew moved on from Chewton Glen and set his sights on Jersey in the Channel Islands. He started with Mark Jordan at The Atlantic Hotel as junior sous chef and after a short time Matthew was promoted to sous chef. Then in 2010 with the business at The Atlantic expanding Matthew was promoted to head chef while still working under the watchful eye of Mark Jordan. In April 2013 Matthew moved his family to Lewdown in Devon and is now Head Chef at Lewtrenchard Manor. Working closely with his team to produce simple clean dishes using the best of what Devon has to offer.

Michael Caines MBE

Lympstone Manor

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Michael Caines MBE is one of the UK’s most celebrated and acclaimed chefs. Over the past fifteen years, he has also proved himself to be a successful and imaginative hotelier.
Lympstone Manor marks the pinnacle of a career that has been simply scintillating. For the past two years, Michael has spent his time creatively and imaginatively transforming an historic Grade II listed Georgian mansion overlooking the Exe estuary into his wholly personal and exciting vision of contemporary country house hospitality for the 21st century. With 21 stunning guestrooms and suites named after the birds of the estuary, three beautiful and individual dining rooms in which to savour Michael’s acclaimed cuisine matched with a world-class wine cellar, 28 acres of gardens, grounds and parkland all set in the beauty and tranquility of East Devon and the Jurassic Coast, a stay here is a totally exceptional experience.

Mitch Tonks

Chef and owner at Rockfish

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Though an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, Mitch Tonks, most succinctly summed up, has a love of seafood and an insatiable desire to share that passion with others. His prestigious restaurants are International and National multi-award winning, with Rockfish taking 2 awards at this year’s Seafish awards and The Seahorse being in the Sunday Times Top UK 100 restaurants. His book ‘Fresh’ scooped ‘Best Fish Book’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Mitch’s desire for sharing wonderful food is in evidence across all the restaurants in his group, from his flagship Seahorse to Rockfishes in Dartmouth, Torquay, Plymouth, Brixham & Exmouth (with Exeter opening summer 2018). Mitch is committed to constantly giving back to the community, having embarked on an academy scheme to train new chefs in partnership with South Devon College. On matters of UK fishing, sustainability and supply, his is arguably one of the most erudite, passionate and credible voices out there.

Patrick Hanna

The Riverford Field Kitchen

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The Riverford Field Kitchen is pleased to announce the appointment of new Head Chef Patrick Hanna to the farm based restaurant in February 2018.

Patrick is responsible for creating the daily-changing, inspiring menu at The Riverford Field Kitchen, using ingredients grown fresh at the farm or from the kitchen garden. His commitment to carefully and sustainably sourced British ingredients, and his enthusiasm for cooking with seasonal ingredients grown for flavour, is a perfect match for Riverford’s own principles. It's exciting to see what his experience and imaginative cooking style brings to the award-winning, Devon restaurant.

Patrick has most recently been Head Chef at L’Entrepot in Hackney, London and prior to that he was at the notable establishments Duck Soup and Rochelle Canteen. However, his passion for cooking started at The Riverford Field Kitchen in 2008 when he was Chef de Partie.

Peter Gorton

Gorton's

Consultant and celebrity chef Peter Gorton and Fellow Masterchef of Great Britain is one of the best-known chefs in the south west of England. Peter has many years of Michelin Star experience and provides consultancy services to hotels and restaurants throughout Britain and abroad. He also runs a successful Hospitality Academy in association with GHQ Training and works extensively with schools in food education.

Peter began his culinary career in 1980 at the age of 16 and trained at some of the finest restaurants in the UK and around the world, from The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny to the Burnham Beaches Hotel in Melbourne, Australia and Jamin in Paris. He has made a number television series including Little Chefs, a six-part programme for ITV Westcountry, and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It for BBC3. Peter is happy in the media spotlight and regularly contributes to magazine articles and recipe columns for the local and national media.

Richard Hunt

The Devon Scone Company

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Richard has a passion for local produce and utilising the best of West Country seasonal ingredients and can often be seen showcasing the best of the South West’s produce at local and national food festivals throughout the year.

He has managed a variety of quality operations throughout the UK, from exclusive private clubs to central London hotels. He is a member of the prestigious Royal Academy of Culinary arts as well as the Craft Guild of Chefs and an elected member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, and most recently as Executive Chef of The Four Star Grand Hotel in Torquay for 5 years.

Now a Chef consultant and proprietor of The Devon Scone Company, he is supplying artisan made Devon scones throughout the Country, as well as guest teaching in local cookery schools and consulting on local food businesses to enhance and streamline their operations.

Robert Cox

Tudor Farmhouse Hotel

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Rob is the overall South West Chef of the Year and South West Professional Chef of the Year 2017.

Robert Spencer

Ashburton Cookery School, Devon

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Robert joined Ashburton Cookery School in 2011 after a distinguished chef career cooking in many fine-dining restaurants including sous chef at L'Ortolan, head chef at the Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, and the New Angel in Dartmouth.

Scott Paton

Boringdon Hall

Scott started cooking at The Jack in the Green near Exeter, having joined them as a kitchen porter when he was still at school. He worked his way through the ranks at The Jack over a period of 9 years, from KP to Commi Chef to Pastry Chef to Sous Chef. Whilst there he completed various work placements in other acclaimed restaurants and patisseries, both in the UK and in Paris. In terms of awards, Scott has won South West Chef of the Year in 2009, and Dessert of the Year in 2008. The Horn has also won a whole host of awards during his time as Head Chef there, including “Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Devon” in the 2012 Food & Drink Awards. They have also won a bronze award for “Devon Hotel of the Year” in the 2012 Devon Tourism Awards. There is a strong emphasis on local produce at the restaurant, with over 70% of their produce sourced within the County, and 90% from the South West.

Simon Hulstone

The Elephant by Simon Hulstone

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Simon has been cooking professionally since his school days and is one of the UK’s most decorated chefs. Simon has twice represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most challenging and prestigious culinary contest. He is captain of the British team in the Culinary Olympics and was also captain of the English Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010 and 2012. Since heading up the team at The Elephant, Simon has brought his extensive influence of traditional and world cuisine to Torbay, putting the English Riviera on the culinary map. The Elephant was awarded a Michelin star in 2005 which it maintains today. Simon and his father, Roger (also a successful chef) recently took over Burridge’s tea rooms on the Torquay harbourside.

Tim Bouget

Director at ODE - true food

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Tim Bouget was born in Devon and studied at Exeter College, going onto the work with Michel Roux at the Waterside inn in Bray and other top London eateries. Later years saw Tim travel and work in North America, Asia, Caribbean, South Africa, and the Middle-East at the highest levels in the hospitality industry in a career spanning 30 years.
On returning to the UK in 2007 Tim and Clare opened their intimate dining room ODE in the coastal village of Shaldon which went on the win South West Restaurant of the year for 2 years in succession and listed in the UK top 100 at the National restaurant awards and awarded sustainable restaurant of the year in 2012
ODE-true food was awarded the prestigious Catey 2014 for sustainable business and is widely recognised as being at the very forefront of the sustainable food movement operating the highest rated sustainable restaurant and the café in the UK.

Tom Williams-Hawkes

The Salutation Inn, Topsham

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Tom started his cooking journey during a school work experience at Gidleigh Park, Chagford under the guidance of Michael Caines. Michael, himself started his professional career at The Imperial Hotel in Exeter run by Tom’s forefathers. His great grandfather ran Deller’s of Exeter for 17 years between the First and Second World War. It was an amazing cafe renowned for its quality and architecturally a leading Art Nouveau building. Tom attended Exeter College as a chef trainee for three years graduating as Top Student, then on to Gordon Ramsey at Hospital Road, Chelsea then to Petrus under Marcus Waring before returning to Devon and working his way up to Sous Chef at Gidleigh for Michael. A spell in France followed for the Rothschilds during Gidleigh refurbishment and then onto the Abode in Exeter as Executive Chef for three years before opening the Salutation with the family. Now Tom, with the help of his wife Amelia, runs The Salutation Inn; a fabulous restaurant with rooms, café

Vicki Montague

The Free From Fairy

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Vicki Montague has been making food without gluten since she was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome over 20 years ago. Ten years ago her daughter was born and at nine months old was diagnosed with egg and milk protein allergies. At 2 she was diagnosed with coeliac disease necessitating a strict gluten-free lifelong diet. Vicki now shares her knowledge and expertise, along with her unique wholegrain gluten-free flour blends at her website. As a scientist by training, she approaches cooking as an experiment and specialises in creating wholesome free from food that the whole family can enjoy together. In addition to her website, she offers 1:1 cookery lessons and is developing a number of online courses to help those with restricted diets.

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