Simon Mckenzie at Home

Photography by Julia Claxtion

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Simon, a single parent, lives in Henley with his 14 year old daughter Evie.

Brought up in the North East of England, Simon moved to London at the age of 17 to work alongside some of the countries leading chefs to include Paul Gayler, Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre White to name but a few.

Eventually moving away from the capital, Simon took a position as Sous chef later to become actIng head chef at the 3 rosetted Seaham Hall Hotel, close to his hometown of Sunderland. Following this move he then went on to hold head chef positions in Yorkshire and on the Isle of Wight at the Hambrough Hotel. However, feeling he was never realising his true potential Simon took the decision to drop back down to sous chef later to be senior sous chef to work alongside 2 Michelin star chef John Campbell at the eponymous Relais and Chateaux Vineyard at Stockcross, a posiIon that Simon held for over 2 years whilst the restaurant remained 7th in the UK.

Feeling it was time to make a name in his own right, Simon moved to the New Forest to open Michelin Starred chef Alex Aiken’s Limewood Hotel as Alex’s head chef.

However due to personal circumstances Simon was forced to leave the role and concentrate on caring for his partner who had become terminally ill.

In 2011 Simon moved to the west coast of Scotland to take the helm at the prestigious, 5 red star, Relais and Chateaux Isle of Eriska hotel where Simon quickly achieved 3 rosettess in his own right.

Moving to Guernsey in 2013 to be close to his family, Simon originally opened Urban Kitchen. However was soon noIced on the island and snapped up to take control of the designing and development of the kitchens in the mulI million pound refurbishment of the iconic Rockmount on the West Coast which opened its doors in August 2014 and then later La Reunion in December 2014 which quickly gained huge recognition to become the islands only desInaIon restaurant with a 2 week waiting list! Again Simons skills being recognised he moved again to take up the role as ExecuIsive Head Chef of the islands only 5 star hotel, the Old Government House Hotel and Spa and following this, again was head hunted to oversee the kitchens in the islands only red starred hotel, Bella Luce. Whilst being on the island Simon has won the prestigious title of Channel Islands Chef of the Year Twice!

Relocating back to the mainland in Summer 2018, Simon has taken the role as head chef at Luscombes on the outskirts of Henley where Simon continues to carve a reputation for tasty accomplished, unfussy cooking.

Simon is passionate about sourcing the very best ingredients available to him and loves speaking suppliers and peers alike who share his passion for food. He loves taking these ingredients, and with care and skill, extracts the very best of flavours marrying up gentle combinations that leave the diner excited and tantalised, ever looking forward to their next experience.

Website: www.chefsimonmckenzie.com

Social Media Links

Instagram: chefsimonmckenzie

Facebook: @chefsimonmckenzie

Twitter: @chefsimonmcken1

All Photographs by Julia Claxtion