Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Elly Wentworth, South West heat

The Staff Canteen

head chef at The Angel Dartmouth Elly Wentworth is one of four chefs representing the South West region on Great British Menu 2021.

Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March and will air on BBC Two at 8pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for eight weeks. The South West heat will be on Wednesday 12th May, Thursday 13th May and Friday 14th May. All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Elly competed against Jude Kereama, chef and owner of Kota, Kota Kai, and Kuki; Head chef at Kerridge's Bar and Grill, Nick Beardshaw; and chef and private catering company owner, Nat Tallents. Caught in a tie-break with Nat after the starter and fish course, Elly narrowly secured a spot in the second day of the South West heat. On the second day, Jude beat Elly by one point, meaning he and Nick would go through to the judge's chamber.


A native of the South West, Elly Wentworth started cooking when she was 13. She studied professional cookery at City College in Plymouth, and has since worked in many of the region's best restaurants, including TannersThe Elephant, The Bybrook at the Manor House and Restaurant Hywell Jones at Lucknam Park.

Elly was named South West Chef of the Year in 2014, and made it to the semi-finals on MasterChef: The Professionals 2016.



Elly's starter, named 'Can you picture it' in reference to William Henry Fox Talbot, the first British photographer. Served in a replica of one of Talbot's 'mousetrap' cameras, the dish consisted of a Jerusalem Artichoke gratin with Parmesan Mornay, a feuille de brick cylinder filled with chervil leaf crémeux, apple pickle, Jerusalem artichoke pickle and cloudy apple jelly. 

Veteran judge Angela Hartnett picked up several issues with the dish, giving it a score of 6/10.

Fish Course

For her fish course, 'Mary sells seashells on the sea shore,' Elly created a dish dedicated to celebrated 19th century English paleontologist, Mary Anning, famous for discovering the existence of the ichthyosaurus.

For this she prepared a red-mullet sous-vide, which she then blowtorched and served to ressemble a fossil with baby violet artichokes, quinoa, salted grapes and a cucumber beurre blanc, topped with salty fingers and parsley. 

Angela gave it a score of 7/10.

Main course

For her main course, Elly had a new veteran judge to impress in Richard Corrigan. 'Full Steam Ahead' was inspired by Cornish iventor Thomas Newcomen, who pioneered the steam train. 

For this, she prepared crispy duck breast served with a lavender jus, smoked duck slices, squid ink tempura tenderstem broccoli, alongside a burnt leek and smoked black garlic risotto.

Noting issues with flavours and execution, Richard gave the dish a score of 6/10.


Elly's dessert, 'The Penny Black,' almost kept her in the competition: a tribute to the inventor of the postage stamp, social reformer Sir Rowland Hill, it comprised a sesame cake layered with chocolate marquis and banana bavarois, served with a black sesame seed tuile, banana and sesame ice cream sandwich. It blew Richard and show host Andi Oliver away and scored 10/10 points.

Full name

Elly Wentworth




29, born 23/12/1991

Place of birth / residence

Im originally from Poole in Dorset and I currently live in Dartmouth, Devon. 

Relationship status / children

I’m not married, no children and I have a boyfriend - lucky him, ha


I am a short ass – 5ft 3 – 

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

I worked in a relaxed fine dining restaurant

Favourite type of cuisine

I generally like all cuisines but really enjoy good simple cooking.

Path to becoming a chef

I became a chef at a young age, in a pub doing the dishes and than starting to
Really enjoy watching the chefs cook for service. One day I joined in, and I started full time in the kitchen then. Then decided to do an apprenticeship in cookery. 

Past and present place of work

I’ve been very lucky to have worked in some amazing places through out my career; some really amazing restaurants : Chris and James Tanner – tanners restaurant; Simon Hulstone – the elephant ; Richard Davies – the Manor House; Hywel Jones – lucknam park hotel and spa.

I currently work at the angel taste of Devon in Dartmouth 

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

My mentors are such an important part of my career and I really do appreciate everything they did for me while working for them. I worked for the most  5 amazing chefs and they all brought something completely different and unique to my career. They taught me  discipline, consistency, their knowledge  and how to manager a team. And that is the  most important thing  I took away with me is  to maintain a good happy team. They're legends, all of them: Chris and James Tanner, Hywel Jones, Richard Davies, Simon Hulstone

Guilty pleasure dish

If anyone knows me they know this answer straight away!! And they will kill Me for evening Saying it. – but it is salad cream on crumpets...Best thing ever.

Best / worst thing about being a chef

The best thing is waking up every day and walking into my kitchen with my team and cooking.

There incredible chefs Worst thing we all know this answer don’t we? Breaking in a new pair of Birkenstock’s oh my god!! 

Feelngs  stepping onto the GBM set

Absolutely the most nerve racking moment of my career. It didn’t seem real untill all 3 chefs walked in. An experience I will never forget. Loved it 

Thoughts about the 'British Innovation' theme this year

I will be honest, I was quite nervous at the start. As it’s not just about your food, you need to hit a brief and think of props.
I picked my inventor first and tried to connect it to my career or life time events so I really had a good connection and my idea of plates came after. I really enjoyed taking part, amazing competition.

Plans for the future

Right now, I’m really looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and seeing my team, and concentrating on the restaurant. I think after the last 5 months be good to see all my chef friends open up and we can enjoy what’s ahead of us plus I can’t wait to eat out in loads of restaurants. 

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 14th May 2021

Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Elly Wentworth, South West heat