Top female pub chef to feature on Great British Menu

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

'Good luck chef': Charlotte Vincent to debut on Great British Menu
'Good luck chef': Charlotte Vincent to debut on Great British Menu

Related tags Devon Great british menu TV Chef Women

Charlotte Vincent, the Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Devon’s head chef, is set to make her television debut on BBC 2’s Great British Menu next week, just two months after the pub was crowned one of the UK’s top gastropubs.

The programme returned to screens last month for the 17th​ consecutive year. The regional format sees top British chefs compete for the chance to cook for a four-course banquet. Vincent will appear on the show next Tuesday (15 March) at 8pm.

Vincent said: “What an absolute privilege to share a national stage with my peers, cook from the heart and battle it out to represent my home region; the south west. We filmed throughout last summer so it’s been a nail-biting wait to see myself on the big screen.

“If you think cooking for a full house on a Saturday night might be stressful then this is next level!”

Presented by Andi Oliver, the show's judging trio includes Tom Kerridge, owner of the Hand & Flowers, the Coach and the Butcher’s Tap in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, restauranteur Nisha Katona, and food podcaster Ed Gamble.

The magic of Devon

This year’s theme celebrates the last 100 years of British broadcasting, and the finale will be held at Alexandra Palace, Haringey, London.

Vincent said her dishes told a story that linked in with the special theme of 100 years of British broadcasting, and that she couldn’t wait to share Devon’s “magic” with the rest of the country.

Vincent’s pub, the Five Bells, is a Grade II listed, 16th​ century thatched pub that was taken over by James and Charlie Garnham in December 2017. In 2021, the team won Gold from Taste of the West, Gold from Food and Drink Devon, and were double finalists in the Great British Pub Awards.

The pub’s owner, James Garnham, said he was “so proud” of Vincent, who has “unbelievable” energy, with her “fantastic attitude” being a credit to her profession.

He continued: “As one of the few female head chefs in Devon, she is setting a very strong example to others who are interested in joining the industry and also pushing forward with some remarkable and exciting culinary development of her own. Good luck chef!”

Career history

Vincent grew up in Devon, worked up the ranks of the British Army to the position of corporal alongside training to be a chef.

Then, she decided to completely ditch the army-wear for chef whites, working as a pastry chef at Gidleigh Park, Dartmoor, before breaking from her career to achieve a Psychology and Human Biology degree, and retrain as a scientist.

Vincent returned to professional kitchens when she saw her favourite childhood pub was recruiting for a head chef in 2019. Since joining the team, she has aimed to create a fully inclusive, calm kitchen, which boasts a range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options across the menus.

In 2021, Vincent shared an insight into her menus​ with The Morning Advertiser: "I buy good-quality food and ingredients, and I cook it well," she said. "Nothing is microwaved here but on a cheaper level, it is. You are paying for an experience and, at a pub level I love that, but out prices don't reflect that whatsoever."

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