Simon is Chef Proprietor of The Elephant. He has been cooking professionally since his school days and is one of the UK’s most decorated chefs. By his early teens, he already had several World Junior titles to his name and until 2011, he was the only British Chef to win gold in the World Skills Awards. In 2003, Simon was awarded the Roux scholarship for young chefs and he went on to win the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year award in 2008.
Simon has twice represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most challenging and prestigious culinary contest. He was 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) took over Burridge’s tea rooms on the Torquay harbourside in 2015.
Simon’s talents make him a role model for many aspiring chefs. He takes his responsibility to nurturing young talent seriously, training chefs to Michelin standards and mentoring them to compete in national and international competitions. Simon also works closely with catering colleges, regularly taking on chefs for work experience throughout the year.
Outside of his restaurant duties, Simon has worked as an ambassador for some of the world’s best known brands, including British Airways, Electrolux, Kikkoman, Santa Maria and Steelite. His highlights include working with Heston Blumenthal to create a menu for British Airways passengers during the Olympics and Paralympics and preparing a Team GB fundraising banquet which was attended by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.
He is married to Katy, with three young daughters, Tansy, Cicely and Betony Melisse. He shares a love of his adopted Devon and its produce and has helped develop The Elephant’s dedicated farm, in Brixham.
Simon is a keen traveller and has dined at many of the world’s best restaurants.
Chef Proprietor, The Elephant restaurant Torquay
Cotswold House, Chipping Camden
The Mirabelle Restaurant, Eastbourne
The Swallow Royal Hotel
The Regent Hotel, Auckland
Taste of the English Riviera Fine Dining Award 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013
Captain of the English Culinary Team 2014, 2013, 2012
British Airways Great Britons Taste Ambassador 2011
Bocuse d’Or Best Meat Platter, Bocuse d’Or Europe 2010
Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year 2008
One Michelin star 2005 – present
Roux Scholarship 2003
WACS Global Chef Silver 1997
WACS World Junior Chef 1996