Simon Thornewill

Since I was a kid, I’ve loved food and ingredients. Growing up in the countryside, surrounded by farms and having my allotment to grow my food sparked my fascination with flavors. While studying architecture at university, I always looked forward to returning to the dorm to cook a meal for everyone. I eventually decided to give Cheffing a shot. My first job was in a pub, where I spent most of my time cleaning pots and peeling vegetables. But I was determined to do more. When a new restaurant with a Michelin-star chef opened in town, I applied and got some great experience, starting as an apprentice and working my way up to the head chef.

After that, I worked at a local wedding venue, where I learned a whole new aspect of cooking. Handling food for over 100 guests at once was a different experience than the hustle of a busy restaurant kitchen. Then, I moved to a microbrewery on a farm, where we focused on using beer on the menu as much as possible.

Following that, I worked at a café closer to home with a simple menu and daily specials, allowing me to create new dishes every day. While there, I got into foraging after getting a dog and exploring what nature had to offer regarding ingredients. I started learning more about mushrooms and wild plants and how to incorporate them into my cooking. It was a fantastic job, but I missed the excitement of restaurant service.

Over the years as a chef, I’ve seen a rise in arrogance in the kitchen. Many chefs seem more focused on creating food for Instagram likes rather than cooking with passion. The industry faces challenges, including declining business and rising ingredient costs, making it challenging for hospitality workers. This may be why many chefs are turning to freelance work.

I’ve been cooking for over 20 years in various kitchens, including delis, pubs, restaurants, and Michelin-starred establishments. I’m freelancing while I wait to open my new venture at the end of this summer: a fancy restaurant, a small plates kitchen, and tapas in the garden. We’ll focus on healthy meals, specifically gluten-free, and we won’t use vegetable oils.

What is your favorite street food?

Thai/ Asian

Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)


What is your guilty pleasure?


What ingredient do you find overrated?


What ingredient do you think is underrated?


What is your favorite kitchen tool?


What is your worst kitchen nightmare?


Photo by @innyphotography