Chef & Restaurateur
Sophie’s cooking is honest, approachable & produce driven. Above all she is always inspired by the environment around her, be it the Caribbean, Cornish Coast of England or London. Sophie focuses on seasonal & sustainable cooking practices & draws on classic recipes & her travels.
Sophie Michell’s first encounters with cooking were with her Grandmother when she was just four years old. Hailing from a lineage of avid foodies and professional cooks, she grew up learning, and showed incredible potential early on.
By the age of 15, Sophie was running services in a Somerset gastropub and had decided she wanted to make her career in the food industry.
Over the next four years, she trained at the respected Butler’s Wharf Chef School whilst doing work experience at London’s infamous La Gavroche, the Michelin-starred Greenhouse, the Lanesborough and the Embassy, and by the age of 19 had been nominated ‘Young Chef of the Year’ by the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs.
While continuing to cater for high profile events and A List clientele – she cooked for two years running for HRH The Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry at The Royal Polo at Lord Lloyd Webber’s estate – Sophie has continued to blaze a trail in restaurants.
As part of Heathrow Airport's growth of Terminal 2 as a destination for food, fashion and lifestyle, Michell was part of the team behind The Gorgeous Kitchen, it was an exciting contemporary restaurant providing passengers with a delicious menu worthy of the capital's top restaurants, it was a 10 year project and closed during the pandemic.
Simultaneously Sophie became the UK’s youngest female Executive Chef at London’s Belgraves Hotel, where she completely overhauled the menu after the departure of Mark Hix and helped relaunch its restaurant Pont St in 2013, leaving in 2016 to do run her own catering & events company.
Sophie then took the reins as Executive Chef in one of Londons oldest & most prestigious members clubs Home House leaving in 2018 to have her son Oscar.
After the birth of Oscar, she went on to become Food & Drink Director at much love Byron Burgers. Here she was part of a creative task force & boardroom executive line up, brought in to bring the brand back to life and take it back to it's food led roots.
When the pandemic hit Sophie & her family were in Barbados, helping friends Ian & Julie McNeel with a sustainable restaurant project they were developing. Yearning for a more sustainable and nature led life, more in line with their core values, they saw this opportunity to follow their dream and moved to Barbados full time.
Local & Co is the first true farm to table restaurant of its kind in Barbados. It was years in the making, working with farmers & producers alike to build up the supply chain. The property is an early 1800's coral stone building, that has been lovingly renovated and transformed into a sustainable, eco- conscious concept with a market place, restaurant, beach front dining and luxury accommodation.
Ninety percent of the produce and ingredients they use is from Barbados and neighbouring Islands and the food is creative, honest & approachable.
During the pandemic Sophie, Ian, Julie & Eoin could see the problems unfolding over the world with food security. Especially affecting school children, who with school closed would miss their main meal of the day. With this in mind they set up the Slow Soup Drive with Slow Food Barbados and fed healthy, hearty chef made soups to over 30,000 people during the lockdowns. The Soup Drive has continued to operate across all Northern Parishes in Barbados & has be greatly received.
Sophie has also carved out a successful career away from the kitchen as a TV presenter and food writer. She was part of Channel 4's smash hit show Cook Yourself Thin, and co-wrote the book of the same name that went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Other TV highlights include work on Sky Taste, Market Kitchen, Comic Relief, Iron Chef USA and Masterchef.
She has worked as an ambassador and consultant to heavyweight global brands including Ocado, Herbal Essences, HaagenDazs, DANONE, Tefal and Lindemann, and has been on the judging panel for the renowned Smith Hotel Awards and the Young National Chef of the Year Awards. She will be appearing at Taste of London this year, and also gives regular talks - recently for Corbin and King and the Boutique Hotelier Show.
Sophie is well-regarded by the press and has appeared in and contributed to countless titles from Grazia, YOU, Stella and Healthy Magazine to The Telegraph, The Times, Financial Times, Spears Wealth Magazine, Guardian Weekend and Observer Food Monthly.
Sophie has a appeared as a guest on many TV shows, in addition to her work as a presenter. Some highlights include:
Regular Guest Presenter 2013-now
Singing with Garath Malone
Sophie has provided articles and content for an array of notable publications. Some of this Include:
Plus the weekend magazine and YOU magazine
Plus Stella magazine
Sophie enjoys a great relationship with some of the world's best received brands. Some of these include:
More than just a bit on the side campaign
Cookbook and demonstrations
EU Olive campaign with Jose Pizzaro
Healthy eating plan