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Chef to Watch

 April Lily Partridge

Chef to Watch

For those in the know, The Ledbury sous chef April Lily Partridge has long been regarded as a true chef talent, one that has continued to shine and impress since being named Best Young Chef at the Observer Food Monthly Awards back in 2014 while working at The Ivy.

In the intervening years Partridge undertook stages at restaurants including Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers in Marlow and at Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 and entered the Young National Chef of the Year competition, where she was crowned runner up on her third and final try.

Partridge later took up a full-time position at The Clove Club and it was here she met US chef Dan Barber and later went on to work at his trailblazing Blue Hills Stone Barns restaurant in New York for a year. She then returned to the UK to work at Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, where she is today having been part of the team before it closed because of Covid and later involved with its rebirth.

Her latest achievement, winning The Roux Scholarship 2023, is perhaps her most significant, however. In April she became only the second woman ever to win the high-profile cooking competition (the last female chef to win the yearly competition was Mercy Fenton in 1994 - the year the 29-year-old was born).

Partridge says she intends to use her newfound Roux Scholar status to help further improve her knowledge of cooking and food with the aim of one day opening her own restaurant. When that time comes, it will without doubt be a restaurant to keep an eye on.