Who is Sophie Michell? Beat The Chef professional and the UK’s youngest female Executive Chef

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Sophie Michell is one of the extremely talented professionals fronting Channel 4's new series of Beat The Chef.

As part of the 2021 roster of celebrity cooks, Michell is one of several chefs putting their reputations on the line – but if her career to date is anything to go by, she has nothing to fear from the rest of the competition.

For any fans wanting to learn ore about Sophie Michell, here's everything you need to know...

who is Sophie Michell Sophie Michell is starring in Channel 4's Beat The Chef (Credit: Alamy/Matt Crossick)

Who is Sophie Michell?

Sophie Michell is one of the most respected chefs in the London food scene and has enjoyed an extremely varied career.

According to her website, the Somerset-born chef got her start working in a local gastropub at the age of 15. From there, she went on to train at the highly respected Butler’s Wharf Chef School.

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In addition to her formal food education, Michell also spent time at several top London kitchens. These included Le Gavroche, The Greenhouse, The Lanesborough and The Embassy.

Michell made such an impact in the industry that, at the age of 19, she was nominated for the coveted Young Chef of the Year award by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Since then, Michell's career has gone from strength to strength.

In addition to other strings to her bow, Sophie Michell is currently one of four executive chefs at Heathrow airport's exclusive Gorgeous Kitchen.

Heathrow Terminal 2 The Gorgeous Kitchen was part of Heathrow Terminal 2's extensive redevelopment (Credit: Alamy/Shakeyjon)

What is an Executive Chef?

Despite sounding extremely intimidating, many people are unsure exactly what being an executive chef involves. Thankfully, Michell's Gorgeous Kitchen project provides a perfect case study.

Essentially, an executive chef sits at the very top of the kitchen pyramid. They are often responsible for the management of multiple outlets simultaneously. As a result, they don't tend to spend much time in the kitchen.

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However, the role is hugely significant and is directly responsible for the success, or failure, of a particular business.

Gorgeous Kitchen is a collaboration between Michell and three other talented, London-based chefs – Gee Charman, Jo Pratt, and Caroline Mili Artiss.

The fact that four executive chefs are involved gives you an idea of the level of investment.

Sophie Michell Sophie Michell has held positions across the industry (Credit: Channel 4)

What TV shows has Sophie Michell been on?

If Sophie Michelle looks familiar, it's probably because before her current stint on Beat The Chef, she made her name as one of the stars of Cook Yourself Thin.

The 2007 series was a real hit with fans and saw Michell cook alongside big names like Harry Eastwood and Gizzi Erskine.

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She also helped pen the popular follow-up recipe book, featuring dishes from the show.

Beyond Cook Yourself Thin, Michell has also made appearances on shows such as The Weakest Link and Ready Steady Cook. Clearly, she is no stranger to the bright lights of TV.

Cook Yourself Thin Sophie Michell co-authored the Cook Yourself Thin book (Credit: Amazon)

Does Sophie Michell have a Michelin star?

Although Michell does not have a Michelin star herself, she has experience in some of the top kitchens in the country.

Her experience at the likes of Le Gavroche and The Greenhouse, for instance, proves that she certainly knows her way around the fine-dining sector.

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Away from the kitchen, however, what really makes Michell's career stand out is her experience as executive chef.

Many experts cite her as one of the youngest female executive chefs in the country.

Sophie Michell Beat The Chef Sophie Michell is one of four chefs taking part in Channel 4's Beat The Chef series (Credit: Channel 4)

Does Sophie Michell have a restaurant?

In addition to Gorgeous Kitchen at Heathrow, Michell also operates another restaurant in central London.

Pont St at the Belgraves hotel specialises in modern Mediterranean cooking. The menu, for instance, features dishes like sea urchin, chilli and garlic spaghetti and baked spiced Cornish crab with jalapeno hollandaise.

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Beyond restaurants, however, Michell also regularly collaborates with major brands in the food industry. According to her website, for instance, her CV includes projects with HaagenDazs, DANONE, Tefal and Lindemann.

It's fair to say she has certainly enjoyed a more varied career than many chefs so far.

Sophie Michell Sophie Michell owns two restaurants (Credit: Alamy/Matt Crossick)

Is Sophie Michell married?

Sophie Michell married her husband Eoin back in 2017.

The couple enjoyed an exclusive two-week honeymoon in Thailand, which Michell documented for Hello magazine.

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In the piece, Michell explained how the trip was a full-on foodie adventuring, featuring some of the most adventurous street eats the country has to offer.