Chef of the Year 2022 shortlist

April 26, 2022

The shortlist for this year’s Chef of the Year award features chefs from across the country that have had a past 12 months to remember.

Simon Rogan, Umbel Restaurant Group


Simon Rogan’s flagship Cumbrian restaurant L’Enclume turned 20 in style this year by finally gaining three-star recognition from the Michelin guide. It’s been a long time coming for a chef and restaurant whose influence on the UK’s restaurant scene has been significant and far-reaching. Rogan’s naturalistic cooking and plating, multi-course menus and service style have helped raise the profile of British restaurants on a global scale with the chef having been a trailblazer in sustainable practices.

Jeremy Chan, Ikoyi

At his ambitious London restaurant Ikoyi Jeremy Chan has gained recognition for his West African cuisine based around British micro-seasonality and heritage and native breed ingredients. His striking, thoughtful dishes have successfully moved West African food into the fine dining arena in this country, with the restaurant recently winning its second Michelin star.

Chet Sharma, Bibi

A former development chef at fine dining establishments including Moor Hall, L’Enclume as well as Mugaritz in Spain, Chet Sharma’s debut restaurant, in partnership with JKS Restaurants, opened to critical acclaim last year. Sharma has won plaudits for his progressive subcontinental cooking that has a strong focus on seasonality and sourcing from small-scale producers that has made Bibi one of the standout openings of the past year.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Northcote, The Stafford

Having successfully run the kitchen at Northcote as executive chef since 2015, Lisa Goodwin-Allen recently decided to split her time between Lancashire and London, where she now also oversees The Stafford London’s The Game Bird restaurant. The move marks the first time she has worked in the capital for any significant period of time and has brought her classic style of cooking to a wider audience.

Gareth Ward, Ynyshir

Gareth Ward’s singular approach to restaurants that saw him turn a traditional country house hotel in Wales’ Snowdonia National Park into an ultra-modern restaurant serving multiple courses of Asian-inspired dishes has caught people’s attention – for all the right reasons. Now a two-star venue, Ynyshir is arguably now the most exciting restaurant in the UK thanks to Ward’s uncompromising stance and laser focus attention to detail.

Florence Knight, Sessions Arts Club

Few new London restaurants have had such praise bestowed upon them as Sessions Arts Club, which is notable not just for its stunning dining room in a Grade II listed building in Clerkenwell but also for the cooking of Florence Knight. Knight’s cooking, recently described by the FT as “viscerally thrilling”, has helped make Sessions Arts Club London’s must-visit new restaurant that it yet to disappoint any major restaurant critic.

Santiago Lastra, Kol

Former Noma Mexico chef Santiago Lastra took a leap of faith when he opened high-end Mexican restaurant Kol in Marylebone with a menu that focuses on using only British ingredients. It’s a move that has paid off. His casual and contemporary approach to fine dining has achieved where others in the UK have failed in showing that Mexican food is far more than tacos and tequila and has no doubt paved the way for others to follow his lead.

Stosie Madi, Parkers Arms

Stosie Madi’s celebrated Clitheroe gastropub Parkers Arms been climbing steadily the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and this year it sits just one place off the top spot thanks to the chef’s unwavering passion for serving barnstorming food. The business has also successful launched Parkers at Home where customers can order its dishes, including its peerless pies, to be delivered to their doors.

The winner of this year’s Chef of the Year award will be announced at the National Restaurant Awards ceremony, which is being held at London’s prestigious Hurlingham Club on 13 June.