May 2014

April Bloomfield is Best Chef in New York

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Top New York chef April Bloomfield has won the award for Best Chef in New York at the James Beard Awards. 

April, a UCB alumni, has taken the Big Apple by storm with her Michelin-starred restaurants The Spotted Pig and The Breslin. Her star-studded clientele include Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Norman “Fat Boy Slim” Cook and REM’s Michael Stipe. 

Her success has been built on the consistent delivery of full-flavoured comfort food. April describes her cooking philosophy as “simple, rustic, clean and vibrant, with a foot in English and Italian roots”. 

“My food is Italian in philosophy,” she said. “By keeping it simple, using great ingredients, and allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves. But there are English twists and some refreshing up-to-date stuff that you would find in England.” 

April’s sisters, Frances and Tracey, also attended UCB back when it was the Birmingham Food College. April, who was 16 at the time, recalls seeing them come home in their chef whites and deciding that she was going to enrol too. 

Her first day at UCB was the day she fell in love with the job. “I remember walking into this kitchen and smelled all the spices and I felt the heat and it felt very exciting.” 

“I knew then that I would want to give this 110 per cent. I did my second year without thinking about it and enjoyed it so much,” she said. 

After UCB, April headed for London with a job at Kensington Place. She then went on to work at the Bibendum and The River Café. Ten years ago she found herself becoming head chef at The Spotted Pig in New York after a personal recommendation from Jamie Oliver and her career has been on the rise ever since. 

April was one of many women chefs to win at the James Beard Awards. Each year, more and more women are emerging at the helm of fine restaurants all over the world. In the UK, the number of female chefs is considerably less than male, but this figure is on the increase.

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