Chefs A - Z

Adriana Cavita

Cavita

Mexcian-born Adriana grew up between Mexico City in Azcapotzalco town and Tlaxcala State. She was inspired to enter the world of food by her Grandma who owned a street food business selling Antojitos Mexicanos - quesadillas, huaraches, tacos and tamales. She went on to work in restaurants around the city, with her first full-time job at Pujol - currently ranked at #12 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants - aged just 19, going on to work with the likes of Ferran Adria at El Bulli and Eduardo Garcia at Lalo!. It was learning about Mexico’s food history that set her on the path she follows today, cooking over charcoal and using the ingredients of Mexico in their rawest form. In her own words: “Fire and charcoal give a unique flavour, it takes practice to speak with the fire and understand the skill behind these ancient techniques.” Adriana now works as head chef at Peyotito in London and Ibiza, and recently completed a standalone residency on the rooftop of The Dorchester.

Aisling Chaudhuri

Rye by The Water

Aisling is a young chef based in London. She is passionate about local, seasonal produce. She is currently head chef in Rye by the Water in Brentford, part of Robin Gills food group. Previously Aisling was sous chef at The Zebra Riding Club (Birch Community) and also worked in Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, where she took a keen interest in the seasonal produce. She trained in Leiths Cookery School, London.

Akwasi Brenya-Mensa

Tatale

Ghanaian-British restaurateur and curator Akwasi Brenya-Mensa, a humble polymath with many strings to his bow, is due to open his debut London restaurant and bar, Tatale, at The Africa Centre, in Summer 2022. Tatale is a contemporary Pan-African concept, telling stories through food, art and culture, born in Ghana and developed in London.

Aly Rojas

Arros

Aly Rojas is an accomplished Head Chef with 17 years of innovative and inventive fine dining expertise in some of London's most respected restaurants, rosettes. This includes re-creating and establishing sections, devising and executing new structures, forming menus, building kitchen teams, and re-creating and establishing sections. Years of experience ranging from culinary school in Barcelona, Spain to Head Chef in prestigious restaurants has provided Aly with a comprehensive understanding of kitchen management, as well as the awareness required to build and retain effective teams; leading by example and running a successful kitchen with both the guest and the staff in mind. Aly’s expertise has also inspired his detailed style as a chef, which focuses on intricate and creative elements in menu creation and dish design.

Ana da Costa & Emily Yeoh

Two Hot Asians

wo Hot Asians is a hot sauce brand born out of conversations between two friends reminiscing about the food they would eat growing up and the wonderful homemade sauces that their respective parents would make. Ana and Emily are passionate about all things spicy, and share a love of good food and good energy.

Andrew Tuck

St Kew Inn

"Andrew Tuck a rising star on the Cornish food scene & know for his infectious food pyrotechnics & definitely one to watch out for this year with his feature on rick steins cornwall series 2 back in January which has put his food on national level He heads up the kitchen at the award winning St Kew Inn which has stormed in to Estrella dame top 50 gastro pub at number 36 this year, where he is well known for his love of cooking on an open fire and for creating amazing flavour combinations. With their newly built SmokeHouse & chefs feasting table that enabling Him and his team to showcase their skill and passion for food and flavours cooked over fire in their own very individual ways. "

Chaya Pugh

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

Chaya Pugh is a Mauritian born and raised chef based in London with 10 years of professional kitchen experience under her belt. She is currently a recipe developer at the Ottolenghi test kitchen for Ottolenghi’s online publications and ongoing cookbooks. Chaya’s island upbringing means she loves all things coconut, chilli, pineapple and lime and will always opt to cook seafood. Expect spicy Mauritian vibes and London “sunshine”.

Chris Roberts

Flamebaster

Chris @flamebaster Roberts From Caernarfon in North Wales. I love bringing people together around big fires and celebrating beautiful Welsh produce

David Bravo

NOPI

"Ottolenghi, through & through, David Bravo (Bravo) started with the group as a junior chef in 2011 and has since grown through to become head chef at the restaurants in Islington, Spitalfields and most recently NOPI. Bravo may be the calmest chef you will have the pleasure of meeting, however, his food has a celebrational and fearless approach . He sees beyond techniques with a laser focus on textures, perfect spicing and the emotion a dish can imbue. Having started his Ottolenghi career at NOPI, his understanding of fusion cooking is reflex-like. Hailing from Ecuador, He often finds a way to bring his latin flavours & traditional cooking with Ottolenghi's Middle Eastern & Asian flavour sensibilities- all while maintaining the authenticity of each ingredient & what it communicates in a dish."

Dom Fernando

Paradise

Born in London to Sri Lankan parents, Dom Fernando, chef/owner of Paradise, spent his school holidays exploring Sri Lanka and visiting his family. Opened late 2019 in Soho, Paradise is a love letter to Sri Lanka and a homage to Dom's homeland. While family recipes are firmly at the heart of every dish, Dom delivers a truly modern take on this diverse, delicious and captivating cuisine.

Emily & Amy Chung

Rangoon Sisters

By day, Emily and Amy Chung are NHS doctors in London. But they are also the duo behind acclaimed East London Burmese supperclub, The Rangoon Sisters. Launched in 2013, news of this cosy supperclub spread with critic Grace Dent claiming their famous Mohinga fish noodle soup was "probably the nicest thing I put in my mouth in 2017". In January 2018, the sisters came in at number one in the Observer Food Monthly’s ‘Best 50 Things in Food 2018’. In 2020, the sisters released their first cookbook, The Rangoon Sisters – a celebration of Burmese cuisine, named in several Best Books lists of 2020 and shortlisted for the Fortnum and Mason Debut CookBook Prize 2021.

Hamish McNeill

Eleanore

Hamish McNeill is the Head Chef of new restaurant and wine bar Eleanore in Edinburgh. He cooks the majority of his small plates over open fire, taking classic dishes and techniques, then putting his own spin on them.

Jack May

Bare Bones

Jack trained at Westminster College, which opened many chef opportunities for him. He continued his cooking journey, by joining The Cricketers in Clavering part time. Here, he formed close relationships with the owners (Trevor and Sally Oliver) and was able gain valuable experience by working closely with both the executive chef and head chef in and out of the kitchen. Jack was able to learn key skills, such as whole animal butchery and learning his way around stone wood ovens, which soon led to his love of live fire cooking. From here, Jack began to work closely with Jamie Oliver at his famous restaurant Barbecoa. Jack learnt his way around low and slow cooking, pit cooking, smoking and grilling, which fuelled his love for open fire cooking. From here, Jack formed strong relationships with colleagues and began to make his mark at the festival scene by helping friends Big Grill Festival in Dublin. Jack’s cooking experience was soon broadened, as he began to work with Turkish influences in a restaurant called Yosma. Jack was a Jr Sous Chef at the age of 23, which allowed him to gain more valuable experience in menu development and team management. Jack began to use traditional Turkish methods to inspire his cooking and soon became interested in the unique flavours they had to offer. Since Yosma, Jack has dived into his love for open fire cooking and began to develop his own business. He has been able to work festival circuits such as Big Feastival, Bestival and Wilderness. Jack has been able to work alongside well-known chefs within the fire industry, such as DJ BBQ, Hunter Gather Cook, Andy - Low and Slow and Tom Griffiths. Since working with experienced over-fire chefs, Jack has been able to learn new trades such as foraging and festival management. Jack is now returning to Meatopia for the second year, as Bare Bone Smoke and Live Fire. His company ethos focusses on the importance of using natural charcoal and locally sourced, free-range products. Bare Bone strips back cooking to the essentials, allowing Jack’s incredible cooking to speak for itself. Jack hopes in the coming years he will become a successful street food vendor in locations such as Brick Lane.

James Whetlor

Cabrito

Cabrito’s mission is to put all billy goats born into the dairy industry into the meat industry, saving them from wasteful slaughter. Ex-chef James Whetlor knew he could do something about the plight of the male billy goats, who are historically euthanised at birth in the dairy industry. Calling on his 10 years of experience and contacts in London, James began working with goat dairies to supply restaurants. James is International Director of Goatober, working with partners in America, Europe and Australia and is consultant for the European ‘Food Heroes’ project, which aims to end food waste in farming across the EU. James’ first book GOAT: Cooking and Eating (Quadrille Books) has been widely acclaimed as genre- defining and won a James Beard Foundation Award 2019 for best single subject book.

Joshua Moroney

Cue Point

Josh has been smoking BBQ for over a decade. Gaining knowledge and experience in multitude of specialist pitmaster roles. He developed his skill set from the popular globalised smoked BBQ to fine dining BBQ and grilling. Josh finally started his own concept centred around delicious, comfort BBQ dishes influenced by his wealth of diverse experience across the country. His mixed heritage and experience of working as a chef across UK kitchens and events has given him a slightly different perspective in the industry which made it easy for him and his co-founder to work together on a mutual concept. Josh and Mursal wanted to create a mouth-watering BBQ catering company but as they grew in the industry, they felt the need to cater to diverse palates hence peoples. Opening smoked meats up to a larger portion of the population through meeting simple dietary requirements, which are often ignored in the industry was a creative but exciting challenge for Josh, through careful recipe development and research.

Lap Fai Lee

Fire + Rice

Lap-fai Lee is an experienced BBQ teacher and live-fire cook. Going by the Instagram moniker @oishinboy, Lap-fai is a food and recipe developer, teacher, menu consultant, private cook, stylist and photographer with global influences. The Fire + Rice project promises to bring wildly delicious and inventive smoky, grilled Asian flavours... a first at #Meatopia2021.

Lewis Spencer

Hotbox

A native of London, Lewis worked his first job in the kitchen as a Grill Chef whilst studying advertising and graphic design. Upon graduation, Lewis moved to Lyon and then on to the mountains of Mont Genevre to learn the trade and the skills of french cuisine. During this time, Lewis worked for brasseries, fine dining restaurants and 5 star hotels. Two years later when Lewis returned, he embarked upon his own project, an independent pub in Battersea. In this role, Lewis was free to explore the type of menus he enjoyed cooking and eating, as well as creating a drinks menu and ambiance to his own taste. Inspired by street food and single concept restaurants in London, the aim with his pub was to provide one dish per night, that showcased the best of that type of food. At the pub, Lewis began to focus on hot and cold smoked meats as an integral part of his menus. In 2012, Lewis was on the board helping to develop Chuck Burgers & HotBox from concept to opening. Lewis’ return to the restaurant brand heralds a change in the menus that will reflect greater attention paid to sourcing of produce, as well as an increased attention to sides and vegetables, alongside the stellar meat offering.

Luke French

Joro

Originally from Cambridgeshire, Luke French began his culinary career at the young age of 14, making his first steps in the industry, like many chefs, as a Kitchen Porter. After climbing the ranks and working at some of the best restaurants in Cambridge including Michelin-starred restaurant Alimentum (now closed), he set off to travel and work around Asia. It was here that he absorbed new cuisines and techniques which are reflected in his cooking today. On his return to the UK, Luke moved to Sheffield and soon after met his wife and business director, Stacey Sherwood. Together they launched flagship Restaurant JÖRO, Sheffield’s first-ever Michelin bib restaurant, in December 2016 to rave reviews. In 2019 they opened Konjö, a street food concept, just around the corner from JÖRO as well as raw omakase counter restaurant NAMA. Expanding their empire further, the couple launched House of JÖRO in June 2021, a boutique hotel a stone’s throw from their restaurant JÖRO. During the pandemic, Luke partnered with friend and musician Professor Green to create a limited- edition DIY at-home roast meal kit, founded on their mutual love for roast dinners. In March 2022, Luke appeared on BBC’s Great British Menu, and went on to win his region of Northeast & Yorkshire, reaching the final of the legendary cooking competition. The couple have a strong focus on sustainability and Luke combines the highest quality ingredients with cooking techniques from around the world.

Luke Payne

The Pack Horse

Chef/owner at top 50 gastropub The Pack Horse Hayfield, self-taught Luke prides himself on seasonal, no frills flavour-forward cookery

Maria K-Georgiou & Rhiannon Butler

Mam Sham

Good grub and even better lols: that is the Mam Sham way. It was created by duo Maria and Rhiannon, who have spent the past four years curating and holding funny feasts in London. With collabs from legends such as Black Axe Mangal and Supa Ya Ramen, the pair have produced menus and dining experiences that aim to entertain and fill their audiences to the brim with joy.

Mark Rosati

Shake Shack

Mark Rosati joined the Shake Shack team at the original Madison Square Park location as a manager in the summer of 2007. Since then, Mark has gone on to help develop permanent menu items and local seasonal specials for Shake Shack locations throughout the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Shake Shack, Mark cooked at NYC’s Gramercy Tavern from 2005 – 2007. He grew up in Stonington, Connecticut, where at an early age he enjoyed many of the state’s legendary roadside seafood and burger shacks. Mark was named Culinary Director of Shake Shack in 2013.

Matt Gillian

Heritage

Matt is the chef owner of Random Precision. Under this umbrella he has launched his flagship restaurant – Heritage - in Sussex as well as Parlour, an event catering company and Electro Pirate, his casual dining brand.

Max Grimes & Sam Pearce

Fireyard

Fireyard is a British barbecue concept taking influences from travels all over the world with regions from Asia being prominent across our menus. Cooking over sustainable wood and charcoal using English produce within its seasonality. No gimmicks just wood, smoke and fire.

Melissa Thompson & Maureen

Melissa Thompson, who goes by the moniker Fowl Mouths Food, is a barbecue cook, food writer and recipe developer. An ambassador for Weber barbecues, through her social media videos she has encouraged nervous first-time BBQers to become avid fire fans. For her Meatopia debut she is teaming up with independent chef Maureen Tyne, whose food is found by the nose: the smoky smell of her jerk drums bringing hungry people walking by near her home - that doubles as her business - between Herne Hill and Brixton. A chef for 20 years, she was taught by her grandmother back in Jamaica and has built up a loyal following thanks to her jerk dishes, as well as oxtail, curry chicken and fried chicken.

Mikel Lz. de Viñaspre

Sagardi

A Meatopia veteran, Mikel is a self-described lover of cooking. Mikel Viñaspre learned his trade from scriptures written by his Basque ancestors, where the best steakhouses were born and the great “txuletones” of old cow are considered a religion. 25 years ago, he and his brother Iñaki opened IRATI in Barcelona, which is considered a benchmark in Basque food. It became the platform for SAGARDI Basque Country Chefs, an ambitious project to spread the Basque food culture beyond its geographical borders. It is a solid, high-quality, authentic venture with a presence in nine cities. Their mission here in London, just like it is everywhere, is to explain the values of traditional Basque cuisine and to revive the flavours of their childhood. In short, they want to show affection via food with this fascinating culture and amazing products.

Mursal Saiq

Cue Point

"Mursal Saiq - Escaped the Taliban during the 1990s civil war and welcomed into the UK during the open borders policy. Mursal has worked in the hospitality industry for over a decade and is keen to be part of the food revolution which continues to decolonize the sector. Running an inclusive company has not been easy over the last 5 years but it has been necessary and continues to change segregated events and restaurants into integrated spaces through welcoming more diverse peoples with attention to dietary requirements BBQ is a global ​phenomenon and needs more diverse representation so as to appreciate this art form interjectionally. Diversity and inclusivity are the core values behind Cue Point Limited and Cue Point Kitchen - their social enterprise; which aims to raise the generational wealth of refugees and immigrants int he hospitality industry."

Richard Corrigan

Daffodil Mulligan

Irish-born Richard Corrigan is a highly decorated chef, having been awarded two Michelin stars, four-time winner of the Great British menu, as well as caterer to the Queen and Concorde. His passion for seasonal food is matched only by his enthusiasm for ingredients sourced in Britain and Ireland. Richard’s approach is defined by his belief in good hospitality coupled with excellent food: that is sourced as locally as possible and from individuals rather than large companies. Richard’s culinary career spans several years in the Netherlands, head chef of Mulligan’s in Mayfair in London and his first Michelin star, awarded to him when he was head chef of Fulham Road in 1994, also in London. In 2005, he purchased and refurbished Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, bringing it back to its former glory, before going on to open Corrigan’s Mayfair in 2008. His next venture was very close to his heart, the Irish country estate Virginia Park Lodge, the very venue where he married his wife Maria. His latest site, Daffodil Mulligan in Shoreditch, centres around an open hearth with a whisky bar hidden downstairs — and it's that spirit that he is bringing to #Meatopia2021.

Roberta Hall-McCarron

Eleanore

Since opening her first restaurant in 2018, Roberta has received glowing reviews from esteemed critics and was named Best Chef at The YBFs in 2018. The Scottish chef has worked in a range of high-powered kitchens, from turning out 200 covers daily at The Burj Al Arab in Dubai as the only female chef in a 17-strong brigade, to working with Tom Kitchin’s eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant. She’s now focused on her solo venture, The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh, which is due to relocate to a bigger space later in 2021, followed by a new restaurant and wine bar, Eleanore. The Little Chartroom is Roberta's culinary playground, taking ingredients from the wilds and waters of the Scottish landscape, guided by what is available from farmers and fishermen. Here, Roberta creates dishes showcasing her French-British cooking techniques and passion for the best of Scottish produce. She is returning to #Meatopia2021 after making her debut in 2019.

Ronnie Aronica

Bench

Ronnie Aronica is the chef-owner of Bench. Along with friend and business partner Jack Wakelin, the pair began a pop-up called Bench, with a heavy focus on open-fire cooking, natural wine and communal dining. These values remained key once they opened their bricks and mortar site in Nether Edge, Sheffield 18 months ago.

Ruben Daw

Ruben's Reubens

Ruben's Reubens is a Brixton smokehouse, with a focus on smoking, curing and pickling high quality ingredients.

Simon Merrick

Daffodil Mulligan

Liverpool born and bred Sam Grainger is chef patron at the critically acclaimed Belzan in Liverpool, a small neighbourhood restaurant serving an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by places he’s been and people he’s met. With a focus being on British produce interwoven with Japanese/European ingredients and techniques, Belzan also holds a yearly collaboration series with the country’s best chefs. From this Madre was born, a Mexican taqueria in partnership with London based Breddos tacos. Madre resides in the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool and Escape to freight island in Manchester. You’ll find Sam cooking between both restaurants where big flavours resonate through the menus.

Suzie Bakos

The Little Sauce

Running a Middle Eastern supper club in south east London and selling a signature small batch hot sauce online, The Little Sauce is headed by Suzie Bakos — an Iraqi-born foodie who brings her cultural heritage into every culinary event she hosts. She is appearing for the first time with Mam Sham at #Meatopia2021.

Talia Prince

FYR

since her Meatopia debut last year, Talia has scooped up the Soho Chance award by Soho House, and has been running her restaurant FYR as a pop-up around some of the UK Soho Houses since January. She is currently looking for the perfect bricks-and-mortar site for FYR, to continue offering her unique take on sustainable fire cooking with a subtle South African accent!

Will Murray & Jack Croft

Fallow

In 2020, Chefs Jack Croft (29 years) and Will Murray (28 years) launched their debut restaurant, Fallow, at 10 Heddon Street in London alongside business partner James Robson. Although just open for one week before the pandemic hit and they were forced to close their doors, they received critical acclaim upon reopening along with a multitude of awards such as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, a Gold Award by Squaremeal, and crowned ‘Best New Restaurant’ by Hot Dinners. The chefs started their careers at opposite ends of the country. Jack grew up near Stroud, in rural Gloucestershire, and learnt to cook from his father Michael, also a chef, from an early age. Whilst at school he was a part-time apprentice at Calcot Manor, where Michael was Executive Chef Director at the time. He completed his NVQ Level 2 and 3 at Gloucestershire College before joining the hotel full-time and working his way through the ranks over the four years he worked there. Whilst Jack was cooking in the west country, Will, who hails from Bolton in the north, was studying Classical Literature at the University of Birmingham. Rather than taking the apprentice route, he learnt entirely on the job and started off as a kitchen porter in a local Italian restaurant. After graduating he joined Peak Edge Hotel, nestled on the border of Derbyshire's Peak District National Park, as a trainee pastry chef. Wanting to broaden their horizons, the chefs both made their way to London in 2015 and found themselves working together at the two Michelin-starred Dinner by Heston in Knightsbridge. They bonded over a mutual love of creating delicious food from kitchen by-products, like fish heads, leek tops and lemon peel, turning these waste ingredients into staff meals and snacks. In October 2019 they met hospitality entrepreneur James Robson and it was their shared passion for creative and sustainable cooking that led to the birth of Fallow. Following their departure from Dinner, Jack and Will competed in the Brixton Cooking Competition and held subsequent pop-ups around London. There was a sell-out two-week residency at Carousel in Marylebone, a collaboration with Adam Handling at his then-new restaurant in Chelsea, and a two month pop-up at Spitalfield’s Crispin. Their debut restaurant opened at 10 Heddon Street in March 2020 featuring a weekly changing menu of ‘root to stem’ and ‘nose to tail’ dishes such as Cod’s Head with Sriracha Butter Sauce and Lemon Peel Pudding with Milk Ice Cream.

Yavaj Rach

Pina

"Being raised in Kenya by British-Indian parents, Yav’s passion for food came at an early age. Being surrounded by a mixture of cultures, explorations in taste were second nature and most of his time spent understanding the process of food was self-taught. From spending a lot of time in a kitchen as a child, Yav started his professional culinary journey in 2013 and has worked his way up the hospitality scene in Sheffield. Making his Meatopia debut with Piña, Sheffield, Yav brings a refined approach to Mexican-inspired cuisine, with an authentic and bold menu based on traditional the Mexican barbecue. "