Contributors > Chef, Food Writer

Sophie Michell

Hailing from a lineage of avid foodies and professional cooks, Sophie Michell’s first encounters with cooking were with her grandmother aged 4. Aged 11 her Mother took the family on a 6 month trip around Bali and Australia and this inspirational trip set on her career path. Showing incredible potential so early on, by the age of just 15 she was running services in a Somerset gastropub and a career in the food industry was decided upon, with now 22 years in the industry, she has never looked back.

Sophie went on to train at the respected Butler's Wharf Chef School in London, gaining work experience at reputable and glamorous restaurants La Gavroche, Le Caprice and the Lanesborough. Sophie then went on to work at the Michelin-starred Greenhouse and The Embassy, with Gary Hollihead.  At the age of 19, Sophie had been nominated ‘Young Chef of the Year’ by the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs and had won numerous cooking competitions. Now going back to her roots she is one of the Judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs Young Chef of the Year annual competition.

Sophie’s gastronomic interests have always centered on eclectic cuisine, quality ingredients and nutritional virtue. Her taste for adventure and appreciation of both classic and avant-garde fare led her to become the private chef for international supermodel Claudia Schiffer for two years, and work for other starry clients such as Leonardo DiCaprio and David Cameron.  She has also continued to cater for high profile events; for example, in 2014/2015 she was appointed as executive chef for The Royal Polo, cooking for the guests and Prince William and Prince Harry at Lord Lloyd Webber’s estate.

One of her biggest achievements in 2013 was becoming UK’s youngest female Executive Chef at London’s chic Belgraves Hotel; a title she is immensely proud of. She completely overhauled the all the food offerings in the luxury boutique hotel, which had a superb response and numerous good reviews, Sophie left for new projects in 2016.

Since leaving Belgraves Sophie has had time and freedom to cook all over the country with special collaboration dinners with the likes of Mitch Tonks and Gizzi Erksine and cooking lessons at Angela Harnett’s Limewood Hotel kitchen. Plus, she continually will cooking and doing demos at the UK’s top cooking festivals. This year alone she will be spotted at BBC Ideal Home Exhibition, St. Ives Food Festival, Dorset Seafood Festival, Ludlow Food Festival, Padstow Christmas Festival, Dartmouth Food Festival and Jamie Oliver’s Feastival.

As part of Heathrow Airport's growth of Terminal 2 as a destination for food, fashion and lifestyle, Michell is part of the team behind The Gorgeous Kitchen, an exciting new contemporary restaurant providing passengers with a delicious menu worthy of any of the capital's top restaurants. In 2015 it won ’Best Airport Restaurant’ and is now in its forth year.

Sophie also has a successful career out of the kitchen as a TV presenter and food writer. She was part of Channel 4's smash hit cooking show 'Cook Yourself Thin', and co-wrote the book of the same name, which went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Other TV highlights include, Market Kitchen, Comic Relief, This Morning, GMTV, Sunday Brunch, Iron Chef USA, Good Morning Canada, BBC America, Celebrity Weakest Link, Loose Women, Richard and Judy, Ready Steady Cook and MasterChef.

She has also worked with many big British and global brands as an ambassador and consultant. Brands include Wedgewood, Ocado, Total Yoghurt, Herbal Essences, Haagen-Dazs, Danone, Tefal, Mazda, Tesco,  Bottlegreen, and Lindemann. She is currently the face of Merchant Gourmet's new Eat Well Live Well campaign for 2016 and 2017.

In addition to this, Sophie has had columns in, and contributed to, magazines and newspapers including Grazia, Healthy Magazine, Eat Me, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Mirror, The Times, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Stella, YOU magazine, The Daily Mail and Observer Food Monthly.

As a published author, Sophie has released six further books (seven in total) ‘Irresistible’, 'Fabulous Food', and 'Love Good Food'. In 2014 she released two new books, ‘The Gorgeous Kitchen’ and a book in collaboration with Total Greek Yoghurt and, most recently, Chef On a Diet, which was released in May this year. Sophie is currently working on book number eight.

Sophie is also successfully running her own catering company Sophie Michell Catering, with over 15 years’ experience of high-end catering, Sophie and her team offer a tailored service: from bespoke menu design through to Sophie’s personal event participation as host and guest speaker. Finally Sophie also works as a restaurant consultant, all over the world, from high end London based venues, to Beirut to Thailand.

Photography by David Loftus