Great British Menu 2023 chefs: Simmie Vedi, Wales Heat

Alex South

Alex South


Simmie Vedi, Sous Chef at Kin + Ilk, is one of four chefs competing for the Wales 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.

Simmie is going head to head with chefs Georgia Sommerin, Tom Westerland and Mark Threadgill in a bid to represent the Wales in the regional finals, and ultimately cook a dish at the final banquet.

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


Simmie is Sous Chef at Kin + Ilk, Cardiff.

Full name

Simren Vedi


Anything to do with being short because I'm tiny.


30 years old, born in April.

Place of birth / residence

I was born in Chiswick in West London and now I live in Cardiff, I moved here when I was eight.

Relationship status / children




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

Currently food development and production. I will be starting private dining in a few months and moving away from the standard restaurant setup.

Favourite type of cuisine

Any and all Asian food. Everything. I really can't decide.

Obviously, I love Thai food (having just been there) but at the moment, a lot of Korean and Japanese. I'm obsessed with it. Indian food is of course a staple at home, too.

The flavour profiles, the way everything gets put together, it takes a lot of skill, and it's all very fresh, and it's everything I like eating.

Path to becoming a chef

I was very academically focused because that's what was expected of me. I studied a course called law, criminology and politics. I was a straight distinction student in Law but I couldn't see myself in the future doing anything in any of those subject areas.

Every time I'm sat in a classroom I feel sleepy. I have horrible problems with attention, and can't cope with the idea of being sat in an office, so I started cooking and started to realise I liked it more and more. Instant gratification is the great motivator of Millennials.

Personal and professional mentors / role models 

Kareem Roberts; he really helped me out at the start. I knew him before I was cooking, just online, but he really, really supported me. He gave me so much advice.

Sabrina Gidda; she supported me through the entirety of the GBM, not through the filming, but everything before that; when I was deciding whether I wanted to do it, she was the one that pushed me into it.

Obviously my dad, mum and wider family, have been a massive support.

Dad's always helped me get equipment, he bought knives for me, bought me a KitchenAid - all these little things that spur you on to do what you want to do. He's facilitated my passion very, very well.

Guilty pleasure dish

McDonald's, easy. Specifically a Big Mac, a dirty, filthy Big Mac with extra cheese and extra pickles.

Best / worst thing about being a chef

The best thing is when people like your food, and enjoy your food.

I think the reason it's so important to me is when I eat something that I love, and I eat something that's amazing, it stays in my head forever.

I can remember things from being four or five years old that I ate that have stayed with me because I enjoyed them so much. The thought of being able to give somebody else that, it's like a huge thing.

The worst thing is I would say just how reluctant some people are to change. I would want more change, I want chefs to have more humility and less of a martyr culture.

Feelings stepping onto the GBM set

I'll be very honest about this, I was sweaty.

I'm not very good with anxiety, I won't feel any anxiety or very little anxiety until I actually get there, and then I realise the seriousness of the situation.

I was anxious, warm, and under pressure.

Plans for the future

So plans for the future are private dining, do my Master's Degree in Food Science, and have a nice work life balance where I can do all the things that I want to do.

I want to travel, I want to do private dining wherever I go, and I want to continue working where I'm at now.

What I'm learning at the moment are the skills that are going to take me into other aspects of hospitality, where I don't have a limit on my salary.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 9th February 2023

Great British Menu 2023 chefs: Simmie Vedi, Wales Heat