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Food & Drink

Chef and Restaurateur
Jason Atherton is the chef behind the group of Social restaurants whose flagship, the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, opened in 2011. His latest London opening, Temple and Sons, aims to be ‘Brexit-proof’ by using mainly British ingredients and suppliers. Atherton, who also has restaurants in Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai, New York and Singapore, became the first British chef to complete a stage at el Bulli in Spain, for many years regarded as the best restaurant in the world. He has trained under Nico Landis, Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White, and until 2010 was executive chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze.
Executive Chef, Barrafina
The Michelin-starred Barrafina on Adelaide Street in Covent Garden was named Restaurant of the Year at the 2015 National Restaurant Awards, making its head chef Nieves Barragán the first woman to win the award. Barrafina’s first branch opened in Soho in 2007, modelled on Barcelona tapas bar Cal Pep. Barrafina Drury Lane opened a year after the Adelaide branch, and all three are overseen by Barragán; who was born in Bilbao and taught to cook by her mother. The restaurant’s no-reservations policy means nightly queues, and its Adelaide Street branch was also named Best Restaurant at the 2016 Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Food Writer and Great British Bake off Judge
Mary Berry has held a place in British hearts for over four decades, most recently as a judge on the BAFTA-winning The Great British Bake Off. Although she says she was ‘hopeless’ at school, Berry found solace in Domestic Science classes and went on to study at Le Cordon Bleu in France. She announced her departure from Bake Off in 2016 ahead of its move to Channel 4, but 2017 will see her fronting a new BBC show exploring the culinary histories of the UK’s stately homes in Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses.
CEO and Co-founder, Gousto
Timo Boldt set up online grocery company Gousto with his neighbour James Carter in 2012 when they found themselves too short of time to prepare home-cooked meals. The pair appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2013 and, despite failing to secure backing on the show, have since raised more than £30 million in funding for their cook-at-home food boxes. Each box contains ingredients for recipes including crispy prawn tacos and harissa-glazed aubergine, and Gousto claims to offer more choice and better value than its competitors. Boldt was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by IDG media company.
Owner, Caprice Holdings
Billionaire Richard Caring left school aged 16 and started work in retail, going on to set up International Clothing Designs (ICD) in Hong Kong, which at its height supplied 70% of the UK’s high street retailers. After narrowly escaping the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he diversified his business interests into restaurants and members’ clubs, and today his Caprice Holdings owns some of the capital’s most famous venues including The Ivy, Le Caprice, J Sheekey, Annabel’s and Soho House. 2015 saw the much-hyped opening of Sexy Fish, in Mayfair, and a new Ivy restaurant is due to open in Cobham in 2017.
Mixologist
Ryan ‘Mr Lyan’ Chetiyawardana was named International Bartender of the Year at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in 2015. He opened his first bar, White Lyan, in Hoxton in 2013, offering a menu of pre-mixed cocktails served from bottles and without fruit and ice, much to the alarm of traditionalists. Chetiyawardana opened Dandelyan a year later at the Mondrian Hotel on the Southbank, and it has since been named among the best bars in the world. His pre-mixed cocktails – including a Spotless Martini – are available to buy, and he has recently collaborated with Selfridges on its new bar The Fount.
Food Writer
Linda Collister is the author of the highly popular companion books to The Great British Bake Off, which feature recipes from the show and contributions from judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. She trained at Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cookery school, where she subsequently taught, and has written 25 books, mostly on baking. In 2007 Collister collaborated with Divine, the fairtrade chocolate company, on a book of chocolate recipes, the royalties from which went to Kuapa Kokoo, the co-operative of Ghanaian cocoa farmers that co-owns the company.
Restaurateurs
Chris Corbin and Jeremy King are responsible for some of London’s most iconic eateries including The Wolseley in Piccadilly and The Delaunay in the West End, and their company Corbin & King Ltd opened its first hotel, The Beaumont, in Mayfair in 2014. Partners for over 30 years, their first acquisition was Le Caprice in the early ’80s, followed by the The Ivy and J Sheekey, pursuing an aim to restore neglected restaurants to their former glory. They recently opened Bellanger in Islington, a classic brasserie-style restaurant which will serve food and wine originating from the Alsace region of France.
Chef, Food Writer and Campaigner
Broadcaster, writer, chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has based much of his work on his experiences at River Cottage, a former gamekeeper’s lodge in Dorset where he first ventured into smallholding in an effort to become self-sufficient. Numerous Channel 4 series have followed his exploits rearing livestock, growing vegetables and integrating with the local community, alongside recipes based on foraged foods like nettle gnocchi and fruit fool. Fearnley-Whittingstall is also a vocal campaigner on a range of food-related issues including sustainability, animal welfare and waste. His latest campaign targets coffee chains to encourage the use of recyclable cups.
Chef-Patron, The Sportsman
Gastropub The Sportsman in Whitstable has held a Michelin star since 2008 and in 2016 it was named Best Restaurant at the National Restaurant Awards. Head chef Stephen Harris developed a passion for food and cooking after eating a life-altering lemon tart at Nico in Park Lane. Aged 34, he gave up a career in finance to pursue his dream, and took over ‘grotty, run-down pub by the sea’ The Sportsman in 1999. In 2016 he won the Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Writing Award for his columns in the Telegraph’s Weekend supplement.
Chef
Chef patron at Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Murano, Angela Hartnett is a protégée of Gordon Ramsay and became The Connaught’s first female chef when she launched its Grill Room with him in 2002. Hartnett now owns a further three restaurants as well as Murano – Café Murano, Mercha¬nts Tavern and Hartnett Holder & Co at the Lime Wood Hotel, with plans for a new venue on the Southbank. She was taught to cook by her Italian grandmother and believes food should be sociable and unpretentious. Her down-to-earth approach ensures she is a popular presence on television shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef.
Food Writer
Award-winning food writer Diana Henry published her tenth book Simple in 2016 and says that she wrote it for new mums and those too busy to cook having found herself weeping over takeaway pizza after her son was born. Henry also writes a weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph magazine Stella and a monthly one for BBC Good Food Magazine, and appears regularly on Radio 4. Her ninth book, A Bird in the Hand, won a prestigious James Beard Award and she has been named Cookery Journalist of the Year on three occasions by The Guild of Food Writers.
Chef
Pierre Koffmann was an early employer of – and influence on – many of our most prominent and successful chefs today, including Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens. After moving to the UK in 1970 he worked for Michel and Albert Roux, and was appointed head chef at their Waterside Inn, where he won two Michelin stars. He subsequently opened La Tante Claire, becoming one of only a very few chefs in the UK to hold three Michelin stars. The restaurant later moved into the Berkeley Hotel where it has now been reincarnated as Koffmann’s at the Berkeley, serving simple, traditional dishes from South-West France inspired by Koffmann’s childhood, when he was taught to cook by his grandmother.
Founder, Social Bite
There are currently five Social Bite cafés in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, and its founder Joshua Littlejohn hopes the chain will eventually rival Pret and Starbucks in ubiquity. But Social Bite is a company with a conscience: all its profits go towards solving social problems and a quarter of its staff come from homeless backgrounds. Customers can also ‘pay it forward’, buying a sandwich or coffee for a homeless person as well as as their own. In 2015 the Rose Street branch was visited by none other than George Clooney, who bought an avocado sandwich. Social Bite won the 2016 Observer Food Monthly Outstanding Achievement Award.
Head Chef, Lyle's
Chef James Lowe opened his first restaurant Lyle’s – named after his grandmother – in Shoreditch in 2014 with front-of-house partner John Ogier. He previously ran the kitchen at Fergus Henderson’s St John Bread and Wine and was a member of the Young Turks collective of British chefs who hosted pop-up dinners around London. This same collaborative approach has been central to a recent ‘Guest Series’ at Lyle’s, which welcomes chefs from restaurants around the globe, from Sweden to Mexico, to take over the kitchen once a month, allowing diners to sample some of the world’s best cooking without the airfare.
Chef and Food Campaigner
Known today for his campaigning as much as for his cooking, Jamie Oliver has played an influential role in shaping government policy on health and nutrition education with his 2015 Obesity Strategy and proposal for a 20% sugar tax. Having grown up in the Essex pub run by his parents and honed his cooking skills at Carluccio’s and the River Café, Oliver first appeared on UK screens as the Naked Chef of the ’90s, bringing a fun, informal approach to cooking. He has since made over 30 programmes, published 22 cookery books and owns more than 60 Jamie’s Italians worldwide.
Chef, Restaurateur and Food Writer
Chef, deli owner and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi plays an influential role across the food industry. He discovered his passion for food after taking a course at Cordon Bleu, and he now has three Ottolenghi delis around London serving fresh salads, cakes and baked goods. The Jerusalem-born chef is an advocate of flavourful vegetarian dishes – though he eats and loves meat – and also writes weekly recipes for the Guardian. He has also written five books, selling millions of copies worldwide. His sixth, Sweet, written with long-term collaborator Helen Goh, will be published in 2017.
Co-founder and CEO, Deliveroo
Former investment banker William Shu set up Deliveroo with Greg Orlowski in 2012 to act as a delivery service between restaurants and customers. Its drivers, who deliver takeaway by bike and moped, now operate in 84 cities throughout Europe and the company is valued at $1 billion. In 2016 Deliveroo launched its first Rooboxes – kitchens with no restaurants attached – to help it fulfil orders and stick to its ‘hyperlocal’ model of delivery. American Shu was inspired to set up Deliveroo after working 100-hour weeks in banking and spending his daily food allowance on takeaway.
Owner, Riverford Organic Farmers
Guy Watson was one of the first of a new generation of organic farmers when he started growing organic vegetables on his family farm in Devon in the late ’80s. He was also a pioneer of the weekly veg box, which he first delivered to friends from the back of his Citroen. Riverford now sells around 47,000 veg boxes a week, as well as recipe boxes, organic meat, dairy, fruit and salad obtained from a co-operative of 12 farms, of which Riverford owns four. The company has won numerous awards for its work and has twice been named Observer Food Monthly’s Ethical Retailer of the Year.
The Body Coach
Nutritionist and fitness expert Joe Wicks was the UK’s bestselling author of 2016, publishing three books in his Lean in 15 quick recipe series. Wicks first established a following via social media with his humorous workout videos and easy recipes, and gained his own six-episode series on Channel 4 in 2016. His Shift, Shape and Sustain plan claims to transform users’ bodies in three months through tailored nutrition and fitness plans, and includes a ‘coach hero’ providing support via email. Wicks has a sports science degree and worked as a personal trainer for five years.
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