Lisa Goodwin-Allen wins the Chef Award, sponsored by Brakes
Lisa Goodwin-Allen took full charge of Northcote's kitchen in 2017, seamlessly stepping up to manage and mentor her brigade while simultaneously developing the business and her own profile. These accomplishments have been achieved with the humility that has made Goodwin-Allen such a success on television too.
Her skills as a leader are unquestionable, her management of the kitchen and the people are clear, and she is driven to produce results alongside her creative flair. This is recognised by chefs across the country and has led to her appointment as chair of the judges for Young National Chef of the Year and as a judge on the San Pellegrino Young Chef Academy awards.
At Northcote in Langho, Lancashire, Goodwin-Allen has developed the cuisine, maintaining the standards that have meant it has retained a Michelin star since 1996, while also delivering exceptional results to the Stafford Collection board. In fact, she is credited with being partly responsible for such a smooth transfer when the new owners took on the property in 2019.
Her business brain and compassion was proved once again during lockdown when Goodwin-Allen entered "crisis management" without fear, closing Northcote down safely, supporting staff, and working with the local hospital to deliver food. She set up a team to create Northcote's gourmet boxes, helping to keep it afloat during the pandemic.
Goodwin-Allen then led the team out of lockdown, her planning and decision-making critical to ensuring the guest experience was as before, while also ensuring staff welfare, training and mental health were considered. Northcote opened at 100% occupancy and has yet to falter on these unprecedented numbers, in no small part down to Goodwin-Allen's tenacity and ability to support and deliver.
Since then she has taken on further responsibility in the business and is now overseeing the kitchens at the Game Bird and the American Bar at the Stafford hotel in London. Working alongside the head chef and new brigade Goodwin-Allen has developed new menus and trained team members – and her efforts are already delivering results.
Meanwhile, Goodwin-Allen works with charities that care for young people, including Blackburn Youth Zone, Lakeside Project, Children of the Mountain and CSSG (Creative Services Support Group). She also visits local schools, showing children the basics of cooking, is an ambassador for the School's Game Changer Project and works with Springboard's Future Chef.
Truly an inspirational chef and a worthy Chef Award winner.
What the judges said
"An outstanding chef whose contribution to the industry goes far wider than just cooking. Over the last couple of years has grabbed Northcote Manor with both hands and has moulded it into her own." – Tom Kerridge
"Lisa is a great role model and has gone from strength to strength. She is a great leader and gives a tremendous amount back from training to charity and much more." – Clare Smyth
- Matt Abé, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
- Mark Birchall, Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, Lancashire
- Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Northcote, Lancashire
- Lorna McNee, Cail Bruich, Glasgow
- Amanda Afiya, co-founder, Amanda Afiya (Hospitality)
- Angela Hartnett, chef, Murano
- Tom Kerridge, chef, Hand & Flowers
- Tom Kitchin, chef-founder, Kitchin Group
- Clare Smyth, chef, Core by Clare Smyth