1 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Hulstone, chef patron, The Elephant

The Staff Canteen

Simon Hulstone is the chef patron of the one Michelin starred, The Elephant in Torquay.

Simon showed his exciting potential from his early teen years, winning several World Junior titles, and is now a multiple award-winning chef who uses the seasons and his vast experience to delight food lovers at his Michelin Star Torquay restaurant The Elephant.

The Elephant

the elephant
The Elephant

The Elephant Restaurant, Beacon Hill, Torquay TQ1 2BH


Tel: 01803 200044
Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: 
Monday to Saturday 11am to 10pm; Closed Sunday

Head chef: Simon Hulstone
Manager: Katy Hulstone
Restaurant Manager: Natalia Bilkiewicz

Facebook: The Elephant Restaurant and Brasserie

Twitter: @elephantrest

Instagram: @hulstone


Simon was born in 1974 and studied at Paignton Community College and Westminster College. Inspired by his father who was a chef, he started his career in 1991 as an apprentice chef at Selsdon Park Hotel, a luxury hotel in a country house in Croydon.

From 1992 to 1994 Simon worked as a commis chef at two further hotels: The Hanbury Manor Hotel, Hertford and then at Ston Easton Park Hotel in Bath.

Simon Hulstone
Simon Hulstone

From 1994-96 Simon worked as a chef de partie at The Swallow Royal Hotel Bristol, during which time he attained international recognition and acclaim by winning the gold medal in Lyon at the World Skill Olympics, becoming the first British chef to win the prize.

In 1996 he ventured down under, taking up a role as chef de partie at the Regent Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. The following year he won the New Zealand Young Chef of the Year award as well as the World Association of Cooks Societies World Junior Chef title.

1997 saw him return to the UK and be appointed as head chef at The Mirabelle Restaurant Eastbourne, which is located on the sea front in the five star Grand Hotel where he stayed for two years. Continuing in the trend of his career, Simon worked for two more hotels, Hotel on the Park Cheltenham from 1999 to 2001, and then Cotswold House 2001-04.

In 2003, Simon won the coveted Roux Scholarship which awards the recipient with a three month internship at any three starred Michelin restaurant of their choice. Simon opted for Spain, the first Roux Scholar to do so, working at Martin Berasategui in the north of the country.

The Elephant Restaurant

A year later, the chef’s love for the ‘English Riviera’ encouraged him to take on the position of chef and proprietor of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay.

A two-in-one establishment, The Elephant offers The Brasserie downstairs and The Room upstairs, with the latter providing beautiful views over the bay to accompany the more relaxed setting and refined tasting menu in the Michelin Star and 3 AA Rosette restaurant. In 2016 Simon announced he would close The Room upstairs to create a single storey establishment.

Awards and accolades

The reputation of the already successful restaurant continued to grow with more critical acclaim. The Elephant was awarded three rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide in 2005, a year after his arrival, and a Michelin star shortly after in 2006, maintaining both every year since.

Simon also won the Santa Maria’s Tellicherry Black Pepper Recipe competition in 2015.

Other interests and activities

Simon represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, regarded as the world’s most exacting culinary competition, on two occasions.

He captained both the British team in the Culinary Olympics, and the English Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010 and 2012. He was also chosen to develop the British Airways First Class menu in 2012, and in the same year competed in BBC 2’s Great British Menu.

Videos with Simon Hulstone:

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd November 2017

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Simon Hulstone, chef patron, The Elephant