Chefs 2016 2017-01-24T13:35:07+00:00

The full line up for the 2016 St Ives Food and Drink Festival

Alongside some of our talented Cornish chefs we enlisted the help of Laura Field & Kim Somauroo to invite a selection of celebrity chefs who appeared on Porthminster Beach to demonstrate their cooking skills. Read their biographies.

The Chefs

Jack was born in Cornwall and is the middle son of Rick and Jill Stein‘s three boys. His passion for food was instilled in him at an early age, influenced by family holidays exploring different cuisines of the world: Australia, India, Thailand and Singapore to name a few.  Starting as a kitchen porter during the school holidays in The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow before moving to front of house, the hospitality industry remained a huge part of Jack’s life. He continued to work at the restaurant alongside completing a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Ancient History at Cardiff University.

After studying he returned to The Seafood Restaurant as commis chef before taking the position of sous chef at Rick Stein’s Café two years later.

Jack Stein

Following this, Jack began to explore his love of travel and world food. He went to Paris to stage at La Régalade, travelled to Australia for an extended stay at Tetsuya’s in Sydney, and then staged at Michel Bras the 3 Michelin starred restaurant in Aubrac before going on to explore the Far East and Japan.

Upon his return to Padstow, he re-entered The Seafood Restaurant as sous chef before moving onto a tournant role across the whole company. As head of development for the company, Jack led the installation and introduction of a development kitchen for the business, where new recipes and ingredients are tested.

2010 saw the first of Jack’s appearances on TV in Rick Stein’s BBC Christmas special, quickly followed by more including Saturday Kitchen with Theo Randell and Spring Kitchen with Tom Kerridge in 2014. Most recently, Jack has filmed a BBC show with Rick Stein in Byzantium.

Jack has been invited to various events to showcase his cooking skills including the BBC Good Food Show, local and national food and drink festivals, as well as appearing as a guest judge for The Roux Scholarship.

In 2013 Jack was promoted to the role of executive chef, overseeing the company’s nine restaurants, pub, cookery school and its brigade of over 100 chefs. Alongside this, Jack has contributed to various publications including, Flavour Magazine, Food Lover and Cornwall Living.

When in the kitchen, Jack likes to bring the world cuisine he has sampled on his travels to his family‘s restaurants using the knowledge he has gained to adapt local ingredients into dishes that reflect the culture of the places he has been. He believes that the gap between the keen home cook and the professional chef is narrowing all the time and delights in showcasing the best British produce with a world food flavour.

Tom Herbert, Operations Director

I am a fifth generation baker with hot bread in my genes and a proven ability to share the good bread message,winning people over to the light side.

Fresh out of baking college, I won Young Baker of the Year with an ambition to ‘do for bread, what Rick Stein has done for fish’. With a wealth of artisanal nous and a lively baking and business heritage, Hobbs House Bakery and I have gone on to collect numerous awards, been featured in the aforementioned Rick Stein’s Food Heroes, as a Super Food Hero, and also featured in the Independent’s top 50 food shops.

As a baker, I am passionate about eating, sharing and making bread and I regularly give talks, demonstrations and bread making courses.

I am the eldest of six and daddy to four lush children. With assistance from my uber-capable wife, I have all my fingers in tasty pies, ensuring there is always something to report in my regular columns and blogs.

With an insatiable appetite for family, for food, for perfectionism, and with a zeal for imaginative design, I am the bodacious baker, exerting a willful spontaneity that is sticking a polished brogue up the sloppy backside of British baking.

Tom teaches baking at our Cookery School.

The Fabulous Baker Brothers

Henry Herbert, Retail director

As a graduate from Westminster Catering College, a 5th generation baker and an enthusiastic butcher, I am passionate about carefully sourced good quality seasonal ingredients. I feel very strongly about English heritage and preserving all this country has to offer.

During my time as Head Chef of Clerkenwell’s award winning pub, The Coach & Horses, I carefully selected small suppliers with whom I could develop a personal relationship, and used their produce to maximum effect by using every part, with little waste. This style of cooking helped to develop a unique menu, where the whole of edible nature was celebrated to the full.

Then running Hobbs House Butchery for two years I wanted to bring a youthful energy to an amazing craft that has fallen from favour in recent years. It was here that I honed my love of retail and selling to customers a product we were proud of. It was a natural progression to teaching classes at our new cookery school above the butchery and bakery. I love the feeling of teaching someone something new and seeing them leave enthused and happy.

It is now that I take on my biggest challenge as Retail Director; with my huge energy and enthusiasm for people and good food I can really help Hobbs House Bakery to grow within the retail market and create shops that offer excellent customer service and a tasty buying experience. I may be the youngest but watch this space.

Having trained at the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 2003 Gizzi graduated the top of her year and won a placement at BBC Good Food magazine. Here she started to establish herself as an award winning food writer.

Gizzi was one of the first to back the trend of the pop-up restaurant scene having opened many acclaimed pop-ups over the past 14 years. She was one of the first to introduce Korean Street Food to the UK and produced an extraordinary pop-up called Gizzi’s K Town at Concrete in Shoreditch. Erskine is famous for producing the most experiential and sometimes outrageous events London has seen, with memorable nights at Street Feast, The Glam Clam pop-up in partnership with Sink the Pink,  a cafe at the Tramshed in Shoreditch and even a pop-up in an East London gourmet pie shop. Her food events are legendary for those people in the know with her one day food events with various top chefs running stalls, live music and DJs, burlesque and Go Go dancers, including Gizzi doing a spot of DJing herself. She is big on the music festival circuit, too, having curated, cooked and ran kitchens at Latitude, Bestival, Wilderness, Feastival and OnBlackheath. She is also a founder member of London Union, the people behind street food phenomenon ‘Street Feast’.

Gizzi Erskine

As a celebrated author, she has enjoyed great success writing cook books – Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic, Cook Yourself Thin, award-winning healthy eating book Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts. Her latest chart-topper (launching at number 1 on its day of release in the Amazon chart) Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite by Octopus, features recipes which are a healthy antidote to the confusing ‘clean eating’ trends we’re seeing at the moment. As a food writer, Gizzi contributes to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers such as The Sunday Times, Where she was columnist for 2 years), The Guardian, InStyle, Marie Claire, Elle, Olive, Waitrose Kitchen, Delicious, GQ, The Telegraph, The Times and The Evening Standard. She is currently a judge for the GQ Food and Drink Awards and the internationally prestigious Restaurant magazine 50 Best restaurants in the world).

Her career in TV started with C4 ‘s ratings winner, Cook Yourself Thin, a cookery show which showed viewers how to cook want they wanted and still lose weight. It went on to a second with Gizzi as the sole presenter.  Other TV credits of not include Iron Chef, Cookery School, Drop Down (all for Channel 4), Cooks To Market and Ones to Watch: from Samsung’s Launching People (both for SKY). She can also be seen regularly on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, proving to be one of the most popular faces on the food network and now recently fronting her own You Tube channel; Wild Dish, which brings a new attitude to healthy eating.

Her edgy attitude and passion for what’s new and emerging has made Gizzi a real authority in the UK food scene, and her influence transcends the food industry into popular culture and beyond.


Hailing from a lineage of avid foodies and professional cooks, Sophie Michell’s first encounters with cooking were with her grandmother aged four. Showing incredible potential so early on, by the age of just 15 she was running services in a Somerset gastro pub and a career in the food industry was already decided upon. 

Sophie went on to train at the respected Butler’s Wharf Chef School in London, while working at reputable and glamorous restaurants La Gavroche, Michelin-starred Greenhouse, The Lanesborough and the Embassy. At the age of 19, Sophie had been nominated ‘Young Chef of the Year’ by the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs.

Sophie’s gastronomic interests have always centred on eclectic cuisine, quality ingredients and nutritional virtue. Her taste for adventure and appreciation of both classic and avant garde fare led her to become the private chef for international supermodel Claudia Schiffer for two years, and work for other starry clients such as Leonardo DiCaprio. She has also continued to cater for high profile events; for example last year she was appointed as executive chef for The Royal Polo, cooking for Prince William and Prince Harry at Lord Lloyd Webber’s estate, for the second year running.

Sophie Michell

Perhaps her biggest challenge to date was becoming the UK’s youngest female Executive Chef at London’s chic Belgraves Hotel; a title she is immensely proud of. She completely overhauled the food offering after Mark Hix’s departure from the luxury boutique hotel, which has had a superb response, numerous good reviews and a growing fan base since its restaurant, Pont St, was re-launched in 2013.  

As part of Heathrow Airport’s growth of Terminal 2 as a destination for food, fashion and lifestyle, Michell is part of the team behind The Gorgeous Kitchen, an exciting new contemporary restaurant providing passengers with a delicious menu worthy of any of the capital’s top restaurants.

Sophie also has a successful career out of the kitchen as a TV presenter and food writer. She was part of Channel 4’s smash hit cooking show ‘Cook Yourself Thin’, and co-wrote the book of the same name, which went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Other TV highlights include Sky Taste, Market Kitchen, Comic Relief, Sunday Brunch, Iron Chef USA and Masterchef.

She has also worked with many big British and global brands as an ambassador and consultant, including Ocado, Total Yoghurt, Herbal Essences, Haagen Daz, Danone, Tefal and Lindemann. She is currently the face of Merchant Gourmet’s new Eat Well Live Well campaign for 2016. In addition to this, Sophie has had columns in, and contributed to, magazines and newspapers including Grazia, Healthy Magazine, Eat Me, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Mirror, The Sun, The Times, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Stella, YOU magazine, The Daily Mail and Observer Food Monthly. 

As a published author, Sophie has released three further books: ‘Irresistible’, ‘Fabulous Food’, and ‘Love Good Food’. In 2014 she released two new books, ‘The Gorgeous Kitchen’ and a book in collaboration with Total Greek Yoghurt. 2016 will see the launch of her latest book, Chef On A Diet, due for release in May.


Chetna Makan

‘I love to cook and have been greatly inspired by my mum’s cooking who has taught me everything I know about flavours. I trained as a fashion designer in Mumbai and moved to Kent 11 years ago. I have always loved cooking but after having my 2 children I found my interest in baking grow. I am a creative yet meticulous baker, and find baking a perfect outlet for my creativity. Trying out new techniques and challenging myself is what keeps me going. Being on The Great British Bake Off 2014 has been an amazing journey and has given me the confidence to try new combinations of flavours. I will always cherish this experience and the time I spent in the tent with my fellow bakers. 

My recipe book ‘The Cardamom Trail’ is full of unique recipes, which introduce colourful spices, aromatic herbs and other Indian ingredients into traditional western baked favourites’. 

Twitter @chetnamakan

Romy Gill is one of the few female Indian chef/owners in the UK, having opened Romy’s Kitchen Restaurant in September 2013 in Thornbury. She has since been nominated as a BBC Bristol Food Hero, shortlisted for an Asian Women of Achievement Award, was one of five women listed in the inaugural Bristol and Bath Business Awards in the ‘Woman of the Year’ category, was nominated in three categories in the Bristol Good Food Awards, and as ‘Best Newcomer’ in The British Curry Awards 2014. Tom Parker Bowles listed Romy among his top ‘fabulous female chefs in the UK’ in the Daily Mail and this year she has become an ambassador for Bristol 2015 European Green Capital.

Romy developed her passion for cooking after emigrating to the UK and pining for proper home cooking. Born in Burnpur, West Bengal, Romy’s menu reflects her childhood; her father worked in a steel plant and many different people visited their home, bringing their food and culture with them. Romy was inspired by the varied cooking styles she encountered, and loves to experiment with local ingredients.

Romy Gill

Starting with dinner parties, then hosting cookery classes, Romy eventually started her own range of chutneys, sauces, pickles and spice mixes, which she still sells in her restaurant. She is passionate about health and natural, local ingredients, using rapeseed oil in the place of ghee where possible, and avoiding the use of unnatural food colourings. Her dishes combine the spices and flavours that she grew up with in India with ingredients that she was only introduced to when she moved to the UK: a blend of Indian flavours and ingredients produced locally to her Thornbury restaurant. Local press including Bristol Bites have said ‘Romy’s Kitchen is somewhere you go to enjoy an authentic Indian meal.’ Romy’s Kitchen Restaurant has been named as one of the top five places to eat in Bristol and the South-West in Trade–Its’ ‘The Ultimate Guide to Bristol’.

Romy demonstrates her cooking at festivals both in the UK and abroad, including the Foodies, Abergavenny and Dartmouth Food Festivals, Grand Designs exhibitions and at food and cultural festivals in Abu Dhabi, the Varli Food Festival New York and elsewhere. She cooked at a charity event hosted by Atul Kochhar in 2013, and in May 2014 was heavily involved with the Bristol Food Connections Festival. Along with other top chefs such as Martin Blunos, Tom Kerridge and Ken Hom, Romy took to the BBC Stars’ Kitchen to give live demos of some of her popular recipes. During the Bristol Food Connections Festival, Romy was also a guest on Saturday Live alongside Jay Rayner and others.

In January 2016 Romy was guest chef at Carousel London.


Twitter: @romyskitchen

Instagram: @romygill

Ping Coombes won MasterChef 2014, stunning the judges with food inspired by her Malaysian heritage.

Born and raised in the town of Ipoh in Malaysia, which is famous for its pomelo fruit, chicken noodles, rice and Ipoh white coffee, Ping grew up with amazing food around her and was inspired by her mother’s cookery. She began to inherit traditional skills, starting with the basics – how to hold the ‘wok chan’ (the ladle). Perhaps most inspiring to Ping was her mother’s way of showing love and passion through cooking, something which is hugely important in Ping’s food ethos.

Ping Coombes

This passion was apparent during MasterChef, and since being crowned winner, Ping has become a Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador promoting Malaysian food around the UK and abroad. She has given talks about Malaysian food at the World Economic Forum in Davos, appeared at Malaysia Nights in Trafalgar Square, and other festivals including Taste of London. She is involved in MasterChef pop ups in Asia. Ping works with premium ski operator Scott Dunn in designing their winter and summer menus, and trains their chefs. She recently launched Chairman Ping, a street food and catering company specialising in steamed baos.

Ping appears in The Good Food Channel’s John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure to be broadcast this year, and recently made videos for Videojug’s food channel Scoff. Ping’s first book MALAYSIA will be published on the 5th of May by Orion Books.



Twitter: @WanPingCoombes

Instagram: @pingcoombes



Martine Carter, Sauce Management Ltd, London W12 8LE


Tel: 0208 600 3600 / 07825 720018