Five minutes with… Kim Woodward

The executive head chef at 100 Wardour St on Gordon Ramsay, the best seafood in London and the simple ingredient she couldn’t live without

Food and Drink 5 Jul 2019

Chef Kim Woodward

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your career?

The best piece of advice ever given to me was: ‘work hard and it will all come’. Working in kitchens is always hard – learning new techniques, watching chefs do their thing, developing cooking skills, and focusing on your own growth – but it’s important to take inspiration from those around you. I’ve been keen to learn and develop myself from an early age, working in lots of different kitchens, really pushing myself. You have to be confident that if you strive for it and work hard, success will come, and the satisfaction of the job makes it all worth it.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced your work?

I would have to say Gordon Ramsay. I worked with him for nearly 10 years, and in that relatively short time he took me on and helped me hone my skills enough to become head chef at the Savoy Grill, and the first ever female head chef the Savoy has ever had. This was an incredible achievement for both him and me. He helped to push me beyond my limits, and to grow and develop myself as a chef. He is so passionate about food and cooking, and creates inspired dishes based around seasonal changing menus, which is key in my own dishes at 100 Wardour St. I learnt so much from my time with Gordon. He is a highly driven man, and I see a lot of him in myself – he’s full of energy and spark and always ready for a challenge. This is what I have taken from him.

What ingredient could you not live without and why?

Salt, of course. Without salt, everything tastes bland. It’s the one thing I have to cook with.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

My phone, I live on it.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

Well, I do love my fish. Scott’s in Mayfair has the best quality seafood in great surroundings.

What do you like the most about your favourite London restaurant?

The elegance of the place, combined with great food and great wine.

What do you like to do on a day off?

Eat and drink out. As a chef, I love to try other menus and see what other people are doing.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

Wine has become a big passion over the last three or four years, especially the big reds.

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why

The Beatles. If you have great food, wine and music, nothing is better.