Who is Angela Hartnett? Celebrity Best Home Cook judge and Michelin starred chef

25 Jan 2021



Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Angela Hartnett is undoubtedly one of the most talented chefs working in Britain today.

She is a veteran of the fine dining scene and she has won numerous accolades throughout her high-profile career, as well as appearing on many successful TV shows. You’d do well to find a more widely respected figure in the industry.

But, besides appearing on programmes such as Kitchen Criminals and, more recently, Best Home Cook, who exactly is Angela Hartnett?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Michelin-starred 52-year-old.

who is Angela Hartnett Angela Hartnett is a judge on Celebrity Best Home Cook (Credit: PA)

Who is Angela Hartnett?

Hartnett was born in Kent to an Irish father and Welsh mother. In addition to her strong British roots however, Hartnett also has a family history that ties her to Italy.

Her mother’s family had emigrated from the Italian town of Bardi – a place Hartnett still visits regularly to this day.

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It is this connection that helped foster her love of Italian food and sparked the stellar cooking career she has enjoyed to date.

Hartnett was actually a relatively late starter as a chef, only taking a job in a Cambridge hotel after graduating from university with a degree in History.

However, once she had settled on cooking, it quickly became clear that she would thrive.

Angela Hartnett started her career with Gordon Ramsay (Credit: BBC) Gordon Ramsay trained Angela Hartnett (Credit: BBC)

Who trained Angela Hartnett?

First at the Cambridge hotel, and then later at the Sandy Lane Hotel restaurant in Barbados, Hartnett initially learned on the job.

However, her first big break came in 1994 under the tutelage of her mentor Gordon Ramsay.

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Hartnett entered the kitchen at Ramsay’s first restaurant Aubergine on a one-day trial basis. In retrospective interviews, she has described how harrowing the experience was. As she told The Guardian back in 2007: “He called me a bitch a few times. And the first time I was like Jesus Christ! And then afterwards, you become blanketed against it, you get a thick skin. He used to call me Dizzy Lizzy.

“The thing is that if he’s peed off with you, you hear about it. And he never forgets anything. I think that’s the worst thing. If you screw up at the beginning of service, then he’ll go on and on about it all night.”

However, through a combination of diligence and talent, she quickly established herself as a key figure in the kitchen.

She was subsequently rewarded with the position of head chef at Ramsay’s restaurant at The Connaught. She hasn’t looked back since.

Angela hartnett Angela Hartnett is one of the judges on Best Home Cook (Credit: BBC)

Does Angela Hartnett have a Michelin star?

It was during her time at The Connaught that Hartnett won her first Michelin star.

In addition to the headline accolade, she also received a ‘Best Newcomer Award’ in 2003, as well as an MBE for Services to the Hospitality industry in 2007.

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In 2008, she launched her own flagship restaurant in Mayfair – a fine-dining Italian destination named Murano. Subsequently, the restaurant has also received a Michelin star, as well as four AA rosettes.

Hartnett’s empire has continued to expand with the launch of Cafe Murano, another site in Covent Garden and the Pastificio pasta factory.

Who are the other judges on Best Home Cook?

In 2020, Hartnett joined the cast of popular BBC cooking show Best Home Cook as a judge, replacing chef Dan Doherty.

Alongside Hartnett, the show also features beloved home cooking queen Mary Berry and produce expert Chris Bavin.

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Hartnett has actually worked with Bavin before, appearing in the 2016 BBC series Tomorrow’s Food.

This year, Hartnett will also be judging a new celebrity version of the show, featuring the likes of Ed Byrne and Rachel Johnson. Given her history in some of the country’s top kitchens, they can expect no quarter.


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