Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Amy Elles, Scotland heat

The  Staff Canteen

chef owner of The Harbour Café and founder of Stocks Events Amy ElLes is one of four chefs Competing for Scotland on Great British Menu 2021.

Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March on BBC Two at 8pm. The Scotland heat is airing on Wednesday 31st March, Thursday 1st April and Friday 2nd April. 

For the Scotland heat, host Andi Oliver is joined by veteran chef and judge Tom Brown.

Amy competed against chef and owner of Edinburgh's the Little Chartroom, Roberta Hall-McCarron; chef owner of Aizle and NotoStuart Ralston, and Scott Smith, the chef and owner of Edinburgh's Fhior. As per the programme's new format, was eliminated after the fish course after scoring fewer points than her three adversaries.

Biography

The London-born chef started cooking professionally at Harrods and honed her skills at The Fat Duck, as well as at the London Exmouth Market Moorish restaurant Moro, where Carousel co-founder Ollie Templeton also trained.

Amy and her family eventually moved to Fife on Scotland’s East Coast, where she and her husband set up a private event catering company, Stocks Events, and their own restaurant, The Harbour Café.

As one might expect of a highly-trained chef living in Scotland, Amy uses the best of what the country has to offer in terms of ingredients, letting them shine without too much fuss or complication.

Amy appeared on The Great British Menu in 2020, where she cooked dishes inspired by Harry Potter, Abi Elphinstone's 'The Dreamsnatcher' and Peter Pan.

Even though she didn't make it through to represent her region in the finals, her 'Desperate Dan' comic magazine-inspired 'Cow Pie' dish was called banquet-worthy by the judges, and prompted calls for her to give the competition another shot in 2021. 

 Full name

Amy Rebecca Elles

 Nickname 

Ames

 Age/DOB

05/10/79

 Place of birth / residence

I’m from Finchley, North London, and now live in Elie, Fife.

Relationship status / children

I am married with three children two dogs and one cat.

Height

5ft3

Type of chef (restaurant, hotel, development chef, etc.)

Restaurant 

Favourite type of cuisine

Not really, perhaps more Spanish

 Path to becoming a chef

Old school day release from Harrods and going to Westminster College

Past and present place of work

Harrods, The Grove, The Fat Duck, Moro, Casa Marcelo (1* Santiago de Compostella), private chef in ski seasons and Scottish lodges, Corfu and London caterers the A.C and Mustards. Started our own business, The Laughing Stock (event street food) in 2008, Stocks Events (private caterers) a couple of years later and then The Harbour Café a couple of years ago.

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

I take advice from a close circle of family and friends.

Guilty pleasure dish

Pork gyoza with tons of ginger vinegar.

Best / worst thing about being a chef

Unsociable hours are the worst, everything else is the best.

FeeEings  stepping onto the GBM set

Pretty cool and very funny.

Thoughts about the 'British Innovation' theme this year

Challenging at first, but something to get your teeth into!

Plans for the future

Always plans for the future... Watch this space

Dishes

Starter

Amy's starter, 'The Birds and the Bees,' was inspired by Mary Stopes, who fought for women's right to contraception in the early 20th century and co-founded London's first birth control clinic. 

It consisted of Ras-El-Hanout quail crowns, sweetcorn custard, dates and a honey tuile, and Tom Brown gave it a score of 6/10.

Fish course

For her fish course, 'Nature;s Fingerprints,' an ode to forensic research pioneer Henry Faulds, Amy served John Dory with chilli sauce, beetroot carpaccio, squid and garlic potatoes, scoring a 7/10.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st April 2021

Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Amy Elles, Scotland heat