One of England’s young generation of up-and-coming, ultra-talented chefs with Michelin pedigree, Shay Cooper started cooking as a commis chef in 1997, before he was even out of school.
Since then he’s worked at Juniper in Altrincham, Stockcross’s The Vineyard, and was named head chef at the Endsleigh Hotel, gaining three AA rosettes for his efforts there.
More recently, he impressed at The Bingham in Richmond, chalking up another three AA rosettes and his first Michelin star, before moving on to take the role of Executive Chef at London’s Goring Hotel.
Instead of making the whiz-bang, show-off food that one might expect from a young chef bursting with ideas, Cooper has earned praise for his light touch, which allows the ingredients themselves to do the heavy lifting. In their discussion of his ‘subtly sophisticated flavours and textures,’ Quintessentially Insider pointed out, ‘Cooper is a sufficiently intelligent chef not to try and over-egg the pudding… by overcomplicating the dishes.’
When Time and Leisure asked him whether he had a signature dish, he politely demurred, but pointed out that ‘We… always like to feature a risotto on the menu and elevate it with a few more textures and elements.’ It seems that in Cooper’s case, good judgment can be as reliable a kitchen appliance as a well-worn spoon.