Great British Menu 2020 chefs: Ivan Tisdall-Downes, London and south east heat

Shelly Cameron

Shelly Cameron

Social Media Manager 25th March 2020

Ivan Tisdall-Downes is the co-founder and head chef of Native in London

Unlike a lot of chefs - who either start off as a kitchen porter, or those who go through catering college, Ivan is entirely self-taught.

Although he grew up in London, it was as a student at the University of Brighton (where he met his partner and Native co-founder, Imogen Davis) that he discovered hedgerows and cooking with foraged ingredients.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wild Halibut, Confit Duck Gizzards, Crispy Neck & GEG Nasturtiums #eatnative

A post shared by Ivan Tisdall-Downes (@ivanjd) on

 

While Ivan's passion for cooking with wild ingredients grew, he found inspiration in TV, cookbooks and YouTube videos, cooking at home as much as he could. From then on, the couple began exploring how to find and cook unique ingredients, selling preserves in the world of street food during their studies.

Before opening Native in 2016, he secured a stage at River Cottage, where he sharpened his knowledge of seasonal cookery and learnt to treat produce as the first priority in his food.

Cooking style

As well as showcasing the UK's wild meats and foraged ingredients, Ivan and Imogen source sustainably farmed ingredients with a low-waste approach to how they manage the kitchen.

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.

Shelly Cameron

Shelly Cameron

Social Media Manager 25th March 2020

Great British Menu 2020 chefs: Ivan Tisdall-Downes, London and south east heat