As International Women’s Day comes around again, we want to celebrate some talented female chefs at the top of their game in a world that is still heavily dominated by men.
Lisa Goodwin Allen is Executive Chef at Northcote. She started in the kitchen there aged 20 and quickly shot through the ranks of chef de partie, junior sous chef and finally became Head Chef at just 23. Since then she has helped to maintain the restaurant’s 20-year strong Michelin Star. Lisa relishes passing on her experience to the next generation of chefs and is heavily involved in Northcote’s cookery school as well as making TV appearances such as on The Great British Menu where she cooked for Prince Charles.
Rachel Stockley is Head Chef at Baratxuri and one of only three women to scoop Chef of the Year at the Manchester Food and Drink Awards. Along with its older sibling Levanter, where Rachel previously tapped the pass, this pair of Ramsbottom restaurants have won multiple awards for their authentic and exciting Spanish inspired food.
Stosie Madi is Chef Patron and co-owner of the award-winning Parker’s Arms in Newton-In-Bowland where she cooks and runs the pass almost singlehandedly. Senegal-born Stosie has opened three successful restaurants in Africa, the first when she was 23 years old, and two in the UK. The Parker’s Arms is bathed in well-deserved praise from critics and fellow hospitality stars alike.
Parul Chauhani is a co-owner of long-standing vegetarian restaurant Lily’s (named after her mother) in Ashton-Under-Lyne. The restaurant has gone from strength to strength in the past ten years, increasing in size and racking up a wealth of awards and accolades from The Good Food Guide to the MFDF.
Masterchef finalist Liz Cottam hadn’t stepped foot in a professional kitchen in 2016. Now a chef-restaurateur, Liz co-owns a highly acclaimed restaurant (HOME), a gastro-pub (The Owl) and has ambitious plans underway for even more foodie venues in Leeds which will please her legions of fans.
Mary-Ellen McTague went from cooking for bands in The Roadhouse in Manchester to working with Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck. A stint running her own restaurant, the much applauded – and some say cruelly denied a star – Aumbry led her via a circuitous path to her current role as head honcho of her more casual but still highly acclaimed The Creameries.
Although her Marple restaurant is now sadly closed, Chaat Cart’s Aarti Ormsby is back where it all began in the hustle and bustle of the street food scene. Chaat Cart was named Street Food Vendor of the Year in the Manchester Food and Drink Awards 2017. The Good Food Guide 2020 listed it as a local gem and fans can still find them at The Produce Hall in Stockport, The Mad Giant in Didsbury and Kommune in Sheffield.
Jocelyn Neve founded The Seafood Pub Company in 2010 with a focus on sourcing the best quality ingredients and serving them in a relaxed dining environment. The Neve family has been in the fishing industry since the 1840s and this heritage is celebrated in the group’s 11 award-winning pubs. Jocelyn has been awarded many accolades including being declared one of the NRB’s Top 50 most influential people in hospitality since 2014.