Great British Menu 2014 - South West Heat

The Staff Canteen

Meet the Great British Menu 2014 contestants from the South West heat; Dominic Chapman, Josh Eggleton and Emily Watkins.

Dominic Chapman, Great British Menu 2014

Dominic Chapman

Great British Menu 2014


Dominic comes from a lineage of hospitality, as his family has owned and run The Castle Hotel, Taunton, for over 60 years. He began cooking in Australia in 1996, but feels his professional career started the following year when he moved to London, and began a tour of some impressive kitchens such as Kensington Palace. He then started at The Fat Duck in Bray and helped to open The Hinds Head where he would soon be Head Chef.

In 2007 he became Head Chef of the 17th century pub - The Royal Oak of Berkshire, which in 2009 gained a Bib Gourmand award, then in 2010 a Michelin star. Dominic is also a director of NEDs pubs, which owns the Belgian Arms in Holyport, of which Dominic is executive chef. In 2009 Dominic was named both Good Food Guide’s Best Pub Chef and Tatler’s Best Young Chef. He describes his food as ‘Intelligently simple’.  


The local chippy was where the 15 year old Josh began his culinary career. He soon realised that the kitchen was for him and so at 17 found a job at the local pub.

Josh Eggleton Great British Menu 2014

Josh Eggleton

Great British Menu 2014

It was in 2003 when he won the Gordon Ramsey College Scholar competition that his future success truly became apparent, and he then found himself at The Olive Shed in Bristol. After two years as head chef there, Josh set off for kitchens unknown (and well known), including il Mulinazzo in Sicily, New York’s Chanterelle, and the three Michelin Star restaurant French Laundry, California.

>>> Everything you need to know about Great British Menu here 

After a three month tasting-tour of France, Italy and the US, Josh returned home determined to open his own restaurant. In 2006, at 22 years old, he became one of the country's youngest proprietors when he took over The Pony and Trap, Chew Magna. With Josh running the kitchen and his sister Holly at front of house, the pub has gone from strength to strength, gaining a Michelin star in 2011, and ranking 12th in the Publican Morning Advertiser’s Top 50 UK pubs in 2013. Josh has very high standards for what makes it onto his menu and will not have soup just for the sake of having soup.  


Emily Watkins Great British Menu 2014

Emily Watkins

Great British Menu 2014

Emily comes from a house of women who love to cook. As a child, if she wasn't fighting for her turn in the kitchen, she was picking spinach for pocket money at the hotel in Dorset that her mother managed. As it wasn't seen as a female career path at the time, Emily felt discouraged at school from being a chef, and so studied business at university before enduring six months in an office job she hated. When enough was enough she embarked for Italy with no specific prospects aside from her own determination. That determination paid off when she worked her way from waitress into the kitchen of Ristorante Beccofino, Florence, Italy.

The passion and energy the Italians put into food truly inspired her, so when she returned to England and combined that passion with the avant-garde flair The Fat Duck then taught her, she not only knew the rules but how to break them as well. In 2007 she opened The Kingham Plough as Head Chef, and is now Chef Proprietor. The pub has featured on The Hairy Bikers, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food, and many others. Last year on The Great British Menu, Emily was awarded 10/10 for her main course – ‘Shoot Lunch’. Her food combines classic foods with the most innovative methods.

>>> Read more about Great British Menu 2014 here

 By Harriet Knight

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th April 2014

Great British Menu 2014 - South West Heat