2019 winner: Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Northcote
Sponsored by Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division
Lisa Goodwin-Allen has spent more than 18 years in the kitchen at Northcote in Langho, Lancashire, including 10 as head chef, five as executive chef and three years holding the Michelin star she retained after Nigel Haworth moved into an ambassadorial role in 2017.
However, 2019 has been the year she has firmly put herself on the map, cooking for 1,300 industry leaders as guest chef at the Cateys in July, being shortlisted for the prestigious Chef of the Year award on the same night, and now winning this Hotel Catey.
She blew the judges away with her passion for the industry, inspirational development of young people, and charity work, having long been renowned for impressing Northcote's diners with her excellent and inventive food.
Goodwin-Allen leads a team of 29 chefs and five support staff, overseeing Northcote's 80-cover restaurant for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, as well as the 60-cover private dining rooms and 14-cover chef's table.
Northcote has long been a top culinary destination in the north of England, but its progression continues apace under the leadership of its focused and hardworking executive chef.
Goodwin-Allen is particularly devoted to the nutritional benefits of her cuisine, creating a plant-based menu and à la carte dishes that seamlessly accommodate dietary and allergen requirements into a first-class dining experience, and developing a nutrition programme for her team to promote healthier lifestyles.
She consistently increases turnover while driving down costs, most recently by using ingredients grown by the Northcote garden team. The £600 monthly microherb bill has been cut to virtually zero by using produce raised by head gardener Phil Dewhurst.
It is in the support she gives her team, charities and the wider industry that Goodwin-Allen really shines. She redesigned the kitchen roster to give her team a better work-life balance.
Staff training extends beyond her department as she builds understanding of how dishes or ingredients are sourced, created or grown. Her long list of charity commitments include being an ambassador for the School Game Changer Project, and supporting the Clink Charity, Blackburn Youth Zone, the Lakeside Project, Action Against Hunger and many more.
Throughout her tireless work delivering the Obsession food festival, supporting local events like the Manchester International Festival and an increasingly high media profile, Goodwin-Allen plays an important role in raising the profile of the industry.
In the words of our judges: "Lisa is the full-package chef – a great leader producing amazing food – but it's her charity work outside of the kitchen that makes her stand out."
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
"A long-time industry leader who has continued the progression and development of Northcote, Lisa's work outside the kitchen is to be admired."
Adam Smith, executive chef, Coworth Park
"Lisa is an inspiration to all young chefs."
André Garrett, executive chef, Corinthia London
"Everything she throws herself into, Lisa does with passion and determination."
Simon Young, executive chef, Rosewood London
George Blogg Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex Tony Fleming L'oscar, London Lisa Goodwin-Allen Northcote, Langho, Lancashire Niall Keating Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Malmesbury, Wiltshire Aaron Patterson Hambleton Hall, Oakham, Rutland
2018 Adam Smith, Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire 2017 André Garrett, Cliveden House, Taplow, Berkshire 2016 Phil Carmichael, Berners Tavern, the London Edition 2015 Matthew Tomkinson, the Montagu Arms hotel, Beaulieu, Hampshire 2014 Steve Smith, Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey 2013 Sam Moody, Bath Priory 2012 Richard Allen, Grand Jersey hotel and spa, St Helier, Jersey 2011 Adam Simmonds, Danesfield House, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
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