Ana is a home cook and self-proclaimed hot sauce queen with a passion for Macanese, Portuguese, and Chinese cuisine. Growing up in Macau, Ana was exposed to a rich tapestry of flavours, textures, and spices, which have influenced her culinary style and inspired her to experiment with new combinations and techniques. Her innovative and flavourful dishes combine traditional ingredients and techniques with modern twists, resulting in an exciting culinary experience that has collected rave reviews and loyal fans. She is also a passionate advocate for food sustainability, ethical sourcing, and empowering women in culinary entrepreneurship.
Danish / American chef Anna Sogaard worked her way up in the Nordic food scene after completing her training in Copenhagen. After moving to Manchester to open acclaimed restaurant Erst as sous chef, she moved to London to take on her first head chef role at the soon to open Bistro Freddie. Bistro Freddie will open later this summer in Shoreditch by the people behind Crispin and Bar Crispin.
Born in the Philippines, raised in Australia, Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya moved to London in 2012 where he decided to swap his suit and tie for chef whites and aprons and has never looked back. Over the last 5 years, Budgie has been championing Filipino cuisine in London and the UK, setting up his acclaimed pop up restaurant Sarap and recently opening Apoy Filipino BBQ in Market Halls on Oxford Street, a street food concept specialising in Filipino bbq skewers. Budgie recently appeared on season 18 of BBC’s Great British Menu, representing London and the Southeast region where he wowed veteran Michelin starred chef Tommy Banks and host Andi Oliver with his unique cooking style showcasing his Filipino heritage.
Christos Karetsos began his culinary journey in London in 2018 at NOPI, where he started as a Chef de Partie and rapidly advanced to the position of Senior Sous Chef. In 2020, he joined Ottolenghi Spitalfields as the Head Chef. Chef Karetsos's creations reflect his deep passion for food, drawing inspiration from the rich culinary traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean. Christos is an invaluable addition to the Ottolenghi cohort utilising his leadership and charisma.
Harneet Baweja founded his first restaurant Gunpowder, a restaurant cooking Regional Indian food in Spitalfields in November 2015. Born and raised in Kolkata, Harneet grew up in a big family surrounded by the flavours of his family’s cooking and the city’s street food, with school days rounded off queuing for pani puri. With his knack for business, Harneet went on to study at the University of Kolkata before attending the exclusive Asian Institute of Management. Following his graduation in 2008 he returned to Kolkata to take over the family business, specialising in real estate and hospitality. In 2014, Harneet and his wife Devina moved to London, and were captivated by the city, and it’s vibrant and diverse restaurant scene. Drawing on his previous experience with two solo business ventures under his belt, Harneet wanted to bring the food of his childhood to London. He and his wife set about collecting generation-old family recipes and along with the skill of Executive Chef, Nirmal Save, the team brought those dishes to Spitalfields earning a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016. Following Gunpowder’s success, in 2018 Harneet and Devina released the cookbook Gunpowder: Explosive Flavours from Modern India, he then went on to open a second Gunpowder at the prestigious One Tower Bridge Development and then a third Gunpowder at Soho.
Chef Jake Finn opened his first restaurant, Cinder, in Belsize Village in April 2021 – the very first day that lockdown was lifted and we were allowed to eat outside. After a fantastic year or so he opened his second site in St Johns Wood high street. The food is all prepared and/or cooked over fire in a charcoal oven and is Mediterranean in style. Prior to launching his own place, Jake had worked in some fabulous restaurants including La Petite Maison, Coya and The Ritz.
I’ve been in the industry for 30 years. Trained at the Savoy London under Anton Edelmann for 4 years. Opened some of the best hotels and restaurants in the world and I own my own business. I had the opportunity to travel and work around the world. My favourite ingredient is salt and I’m passionate about the next generation of chefs and sustainability of food. Currently I’m the executive chef at the Cavendish Hotel in Mayfair and have an amazing young team with an exciting future ahead of us.
Keshia Sakarah is a chef, food writer and upcoming author. She founded her restaurant Caribe’ and Baruru supper club - which explores Caribbean food history and culture, has written for Resy, Guardian: Feast, BBC Food and others and will be releasing her debut cookbook, Caribe’: A cookbook with history in 2024 with Hardie Grant publishing.
Liam's signature style of cooking involves cooking Caribbean food, with techniques that involve an infusion of smoke and fire. You can find him taking over kitchens with his pop up concept here in London, Stockholm and New York. He also teaches the 'food education you never got at school' over on his YouTube channel.
Having worked from fine dining to brasserie to gastro pub, Matthew’s experience is broad and has worked to influence his cooking in a number of ways. He leans towards a more simple cooking style, striving to stick to just 3 to 4 elements per dish and focusing on high quality produce. Matthew’s unique style of cooking is perfectly suited to the Fish Game concept; deep-rooted in British cuisine, and heavily influenced by Italian produce and technique, with a hint of French training. In 2023, Matthew joined, Roberto Costa, the founder of Italian steakhouse group, Macellaio RC, to launch his latest concept, Fish Game, in Canary Wharf. Whilst Fish Game is something of a departure from all Italian Macellaio, Roberto Costa’s ethos when it comes to cooking, of balance, simplicity and authenticity will be core to Fish Game. Matthew will be the Head Chef handing a carefully sourced British larder with the utmost respect, restraint, and masterful skill. In his new role, Matt will utilise the knowledge gained from his wealth of experience on British produce, to bring Roberto’s passion and vision to life.
New Zealand born and bred, Matt head's up the food and beverage at Blacklock. With a passion for providence, whole animal butchery and cooking over fire, he's excited to showcase some new dishes using lesser-known cuts.
Matt founded Random Precision 7 years ago, to create dining experiences that are conceived outside of the box with creativity and ingenuity, delivered precisely and professionally. 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. Matt has worked in some of the best restaurants in the UK but has found his own style based around seasonal ingredients, using complementary cooking techniques and inspired flavour pairings to take guests on a gastronomical journey. His unique take on fine dining has earnt Matt a Michelin Star in the past and has solidified Heritage as one of the UK’s finest destination venues. Alongside Heritage and Parlour, Matt has also made appearances on Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen and James Martin’s Saturday Morning
Maureen Tyne runs a hugely popular food shop in South London cooking incredible Jamaican food. Taught how to cook by her grandmother in Jamaica, Maureen started cooking for friends before the popularity of her food created a demand for her to start selling it. Today, she is a popular presence on the South London food scene. She was recognised as one of the Top 50 people in food in the Observer Food Monthly magazine and has been featured in Resy, BBC Good Food and others.
Melissa Thompson is a barbecue cook, award-winning food writer and recipe developer. She is an ambassador for Weber barbecues, and writes regularly for BBC Good Food, Guardian Feast, Observer Food Monthly, Waitrose magazine and others. A former pop-up chef, she is a regular on the festival fire cooking scene.
Initially hailing from Melbourne, Michael has been cheffing since the age of 16. A career which has taken him across the globe working in Italy’s Abruzzo, and on to his now permanent home in London where he’s cooked at Brunswick House whilst finding time to do sell out residencies with long term collaborator Whyte Rushen.
Born in Romania, Mihai worked in construction before starting his kitchen career in a pizzeria in Târgoviște. Moving to England in 2017, and then joining Bleecker in 2019, Mihai can be seen on the grill in our busiest site in Victoria.
Mike is the Head chef at the Scottish outpost of Hawksmoor in Edinburgh Starting in Kitchens at young age he has spent the last 20 years traveling across the UK, Europe, Australia and Canada, experiencing their cultures, and cuisines. Over this time he has taken those experiences to refine his favoured style of cooking, big sharing style dishes, especially over the coals which he is looking forward to bringing to this years Meatopia festival
Meatopia veteran, Mikel, is a self-described lover of cooking. Between his "amona" (Basque for grandmother) and scriptures written by his ancestors, he learned the unique culture of the Basque region, and how the culture is reflected in its cuisine; from cooking methods, traditions, and time-tested recipes that use local products to recreate its heritage. The Basque Country is home to some of the best steakhouses in the world, where eating old cows is considered a religion. Mikel and his brother Inaki founded SAGARDI more than 25 years ago and continue to expand across the globe. London is their 30th Sagardi restaurant to launch and is situated right in the centre of one of London's most bustling food and drink hubs, Shoreditch. The star of the show is their old cow 'txuleton' beef steak - high-quality, ethically-raised beef from mature animals with a depth of flavour, not found in the young.
Since opening the doors of the Black Bull in July 2018 Nina Matsunaga has made a big impression picking up a number of plaudits along the way including a listing in the UK's Top 50 gastropubs and a second AA rosette for culinary excellence. Nina successfully fuses modern British cooking with Japanese and German influences to deliver sensational dishes. Her cooking style is focussed on using the very best seasonal produce available to her, taking what is at its best and cooking it in the most sympathetic way to showcase the potential of every element of the produce she uses - a true nose to tail ethos. Taste, texture and balance are the fundamental ingredients in her cooking… Her quest is to tantalise and intrigue her diners with the dishes she creates, combining modern British cookery with elements from her rich heritage.
Francisco Diaz, affectionately known as Paco, embarked on his adventure with Ottolenghi eight years ago when he arrived in London from Venezuela. He began his career as a Kitchen Porter at Ottolenghi Belgravia and later demonstrated his unwavering commitment and dedication at NOPI as a Chef de Partie. Paco, graduated from Ottolenghi and Westminster Kingsway chef apprenticeship program and now works as a Senior Sous Chef at Ottolenghi Spitalfields.
Food has been a part of my whole life, but cooking is a different story. Having been on a path that had me sat behind a desk working 9-5 in a dead end job, cooking on the weekend was my therapy. However, like many, the lockdown opened a door for me that I walked through & haven’t looked back. Spending the past 3 years grafting, learning to hone my skills & absorbing knowledge in restaurants, pubs & pizzerias, I’m now in a position where opportunities have allowed me to start the Homie’s Kitchen. A brand that stands for family style cooking, made for everyone to gather around a table or fire to share. Heavily influenced by Indian & Mexican food culture, the dishes I create are big on bold spices & cooking techniques that require care, time & patience. Experimenting with fusion to bring to life dishes such as masala lamb barbacoa or wood smoked tandoori chicken for tacos. A synergy between two cultures that will forever be unmatched in my eyes. Oh, and sandwiches. Anything that can be sandwiched, I’m here for all day. Having now fed family, friends, strangers at private events, corporate events, supper clubs & pop ups. Matched with a forever evolving understanding of how food connects everything around the world, I feel blessed that I get to play a small part affecting someone’s mood through food for a living. Eat good, live good. That’s the mantra.
Ruben Dawney rose from the lockdown ashes by setting out to smoke meats and home-cured fish from the garden of his parents' Brixton abode. Paying homage to his Polish-Jewish heritage, Ruben’s Reubens was born. Since then, Ruben has been recognised by CODE Hospitality as one of their 30 under 30 rising stars to watch, dominated several pop-ups across the city, mastered the meal kits trend and slung tacos at Meatopia 2022 and for Delli.Market.
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 third time at #Meatopia2023
Born and raised in Baja California, Mexico. After attending cookery school in Chicago Illinois she traveled to Mexico city to continue her professional training at Pujol restaurant. Mostly focusing on northen mexican regional cuisine, the use of locally sourced produce and seafood, her projects have become a staple in Ensenada's food scene since she moved there in 2011. Like Sarmiento by the sea, Casa Marcelo and Criollo Taqueria which was featured in Rick Stein's Road to Mexico. Her latest proyect Tanto Santo has a mexitalian aproach, which she calls "Bajapolitano", cooking neapolitan style sourdough pizzas incorporating yeast from local wineries in the fermentation process along with some house made charcuterie.
Terri Mercieca is an ice cream maker, chocolatier, dessert chef and the founder of Happy Endings LDN, a dessert business made famous by their signature ice-cream sandwich. As a chef, desserts have always been Terri’s thing. She loves the process, observing how things transform, building something precise and beautiful. Leaving school at seventeen to apprentice at a sandwich shop, she has worked in all corners of the food world – gastropubs, fine dining at Sydney Opera House, making ice cream sundaes at McDonalds as a teen. The common denominator? Making ice-cream sandwiches. In 2014, she put down roots in London and founded Happy Endings LDN – since then, she has won the YBF Baking Award and been nominated for CODE Hospitality’s Most Influential Women in Food 2023. She also regularly contributes dessert recipes to food magazines and appears on TV, most recently MasterChef Youth. She still owes her love of comfort food to her grandmothers on both sides – one Italian-Maltese, one old-school white Australian – one savoury, one sweet, in that order.
Tom’s culinary career began at the age of 15, working at Le Talbooth, Dedham. Tom has since worked under a number of leading chefs including Alyn Williams, Andy McFadden and Ollie Dabbous. His experience culminated in a position as head chef at Alyn Williams at The Westbury where he designed innovative menus and subsequently earnt himself a coveted Acorn Award. Tom joined The Dorchester as head chef of The Grill in 2019, where alongside numerous awards for restaurant, Tom has won a number of awards voted for by industry professionals. Tom regularly takes part in chef residencies around the country including taking The Grill at The Dorchester to Royal Ascot in 2022 and 2023. This year saw the start of Tom’s next chapter at The Dorchester with The Grill being renamed, The Grill by Tom Booton. To mark the relaunch, Tom has crafted a dynamic new menu featuring only the best ingredients, sourced locally and cooked with flair by him and his outstanding team, unified in their passion for making diners feel at home. The fresh and innovative culinary and service style transcends the legendary setting, with an upbeat and informal atmosphere curated by Tom himself. Tom’s cheeky personality shines through the menu, with modern twists on British home cooking classics.
Dubbed “The Professor”, Tuffy’s legendary precision and obsession with the science of smoke make him one of the most influential people in barbecue. Tuffy has earned Grand Champion titles in nearly every major barbecue competition including back-to-back wins at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the Kingsford Invitational, and a history making run at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational, becoming the only team to ever win the contest three times. In addition to his place atop the competition barbecue circuit, Tuffy served as a judge for Destination America’s Barbecue Pitmasters for 5 seasons. Tuffy is the author of CoolSmoke: The Art of Great Barbecue and is a Barbecue Hall of Fame inductee.
JESSIE COLLINS TRIO | BABEL BRASS | CLAY BOTTOM JUG BUSTERS| NEW YORK BRASS BAND | DEBBRALEE | MADAME ELECTRIFIE | JAMES GEORGE | VIBEROULETTE | MARSHALL JEFFERSON