Lancaster mum makes shortlist for coveted AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year award

A Lancaster mum has made it to the shortlist for the ultimate British chef accolade.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen, who has led the kitchen brigade at the Michelin-starred Northcote restaurant since the age of 23, has been shortlisted for the AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year award.

Previous winners of the award, which recognises the best chefs in the UK as chosen by their peers, include Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Tom Kerridge and Raymond Blanc.

Lisa, who is daughter of the late Morecambe scrapyard boss Ken Allen, began her culinary career at Lancaster & Morecambe College.

Lisa Goodwin-Allen.

After graduating, she worked in several prestigious restaurants including the two Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Gloucester, before arriving at Northcote in Blackburn.

The 41-year-old – who is married with a son – is a regular face on Britain’s TV screens including as a regular guest on James Martin’s Saturday Morning, and on Masterchef: The Professionals and Celebrity Masterchef.

Lisa has also won several awards including 2008 Northern Hospitality Awards Chef of the Year and the 2011 Craft Guild of Chefs Awards Restaurant Chef of the Year.

The winner of the Chefs’ Chef Award will be crowned at the AA Hospitality Awards on Monday September 26 at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London, hosted by broadcaster and presenter Gabby Logan.

Gabby said: “Back after a two-year hiatus, the AA Hospitality Awards are a key event for an industry that is all about physical places and people, and I am delighted that they are back with an in-person ceremony after the pandemic.

"I am really looking forward to celebrating the very best of the UK’s hospitality establishments and dedicated people in the industry, in a night to remember.”

The full shortlist for the AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year award is:

Angela Hartnett – Murano, London

Clare Smyth – Core by Clare Smyth, London

Gareth Ward – Ynyshir, Eglwys Fach

Galton Blackiston – Morston Hall, Holt

Michael Wignall – The Angel at Hetton

Hélène Darroze – Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London

Michael Deane – Deames EIPIC, Belfast

Stephen McLaughlin – Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Auchterarder

Lisa Goodwin-Allen – Northcote, Langho

Paul Ainsworth – Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow

Mark Birchall – Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, Aughton

Hrishi Desai – Gilpin Hotel, Windermere