Great British Menu 2023 chefs: Ferdinand Montoya, London and South East Heat

Alex South

Alex South


Ferdinand Montoya, founder OF sarap restaurant, is one of four chefs competing for London and South East region on Great British Menu 2023.

Series 18 of the competition starts on January 31 2023 on BBC Two at 8pm and will air for eight weeks.

Ferdinand is going head to head with chefs Brian Danclair, Avinash ‘Avi’ Shashidhara, Robbie Lorraine in a bid to represent London and the South East in the regional finals, and ultimately cook a dish at the final banquet.

This is Ferdinand's first time competing in Great British Menu.


Full name

Ferdinand Montoya


Budgie, real name is Ferdinand Montoya


40 - 11/09/1982

Place of birth / residence

Davao City, Philippines / London

Relationship status / children

Married / no children


1.78 m or 5 ft 9

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


Favourite type of cuisine

Filipino/indonesian/chinese/Italian don't make me chose.

Path to becoming a chef

Started cooking professionally when I moved to London from Sydney in 2012. Prior to that I was in I.T/Telco Sales.

Past and present place of work

Previous Dean St Townhouse 2012 Restaurant Story 2013 Soho House Group (multiple sites) 2014 -2016 Flat 3 2016 Foleys 2018

Current Sarap (started in 2017 as a supperclub and then pursued it full time from late 2018. Just finished 14 month pop up at 10 Heddon St, London)

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

Professonal Mentors Joe Hill Role Models Jordy Navarra - Toyo Eatery Nicole Ponseca Jeremy Chan - ikoyi

Guilty pleasure dish

Chicken joy and Filipinos spaghetti from Jollibee and a very close second would be Double sausage and egg mcmuffin and 2 x hash browns from maccers (unless it's Aussie Maccers in which casenit would be number 1 cos they use beef sausage patties)

Best / worst thing about being a chef

The comradery, the opportunity to bring a positive experience to our guests everyday, the creativity and for me personally the way it has helped me come to terms with my identity.

The toxic energy that glorifies being overworked and underplayed, thankfully this is becoming a thing of the past.

Feelings stepping onto the GBM set

A sense of pride and great achievement and simultaneously bricking it and immediate feelings of imposter sydnrome

Plans for the future

Opening a permanent site for Sarap this year

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 2nd March 2023

Great British Menu 2023 chefs: Ferdinand Montoya, London and South East Heat