If you consider yourself to be a foodie, you may have heard of some of the big names on the scene such as Gordon Ramsay or Heston Blumenthal, but have you heard of Margot Henderson?
Although many may associate her as being the other half of a culinary duo with her husband, Fergus Henderson, Margot is an impressive chef in her own right.
Margot Henderson, OBE lives in the United Kingdom and has risen to fame as a chef, caterer and cookery writer. Margot is considered to be a pioneer in modern British cuisine.
Born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1964 the chef describes her early childhood as carefree and independent, swimming in rivers and riding horses bareback.
Henderson’s mother was a journalist and food writer. Throughout her childhood, Henderson reports that her mother was a ‘health nut’ and all ingredients such as white flour and sugar weren’t allowed in the house.
Often, she’d knock on neighbors’ doors to ask for baking ingredients so she could make delicious birthday cakes.
When left alone to babysit at age ten, she experimented with the few ingredients they had in the house to create a sugary treat. Failing to make ginger biscuits for a lack of sugar, cream and butter she did the best she could.
Apparently, these are now her favorite biscuits, and you’ll be pleased to know she’s nailed the recipe.
From washing dishes at age twelve to learning on the job in some of Wellington’s most well-established restaurants when she left school, it’s clear a culinary career was always on the cards.
At the age of twenty, she moved to the United Kingdom in pursuit of a culinary career working at various establishments across London.
Henderson’s list of accomplishments and career moves is enough to fill a whole book. Most notably, she received an OBE alongside her husband in 2021 for her service to the culinary arts.
During her early career, she opened The French House Dining Room in Soho with her husband Fergus in the early 90s.
Margot describes her ultimate inspiration for cooking as her husband Fergus, as he taught her to cook slowly and gently, to cook on the bone and to use the whole animal when cooking.
His book ‘Nose to Tail Eating’ is her inspiration for this way of preparing food.
Rochelle Canteen – Shoreditch
Nestled in gentrified Shoreditch, London is Rochelle Canteen. In the converted bike sheds of a Victorian school, Rochelle Canteen is often described as an oasis.
With a daily-changing, seasonal menu that takes inspiration from both traditional and modern European food, there is something for everyone.
Run by Henderson and her friend Melanie Arnold, using only the best products available is at the forefront of their journey.
Arnold & Henderson Caterers
Rochelle Canteen also serves as a base for Henderson’s catering company that she also runs with Arnold, who has been her partner for twenty-five years.
Arnold manages the business side of the events whilst Henderson is happy creating divine dishes in the kitchen.
Co-run with her partner, the catering company produces all kinds of high-profile parties and events. They provide a complete service including venue sourcing, music, flowers and staff.
Their impressive client base includes the likes of Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs and Sadie Coles.
As if running a restaurant and catering company wasn’t enough, Margot is planning to expand her empire into the British countryside.
At the end of 2022, a classic English pub named The Three Horseshoes, with rooms will embrace Margot’s robust British cooking whilst curating an atmosphere where locals and visitors can feel comfortable and relaxed.
In 2012, Margot published a book titled “You’re All Invited: Margot’s Recipes for Entertaining” which encompasses dishes for every type of occasion.
Taking inspiration from the food she ate as a child in New Zealand and other foods she really likes, there is something for everyone.
Her rustic and natural approach to cooking makes you change the way you think about cooking and family entertaining. The book was highly successful and has received glowing reviews online.
Alongside being awarded an OBE, Margot along with her husband Fergus have had many honours bestowed on them as a culinary duo. They were the most recent recipients of the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2022: Editor’s Special Award.
Rochelle Canteen has won the Test of Time award at the Tatler Restaurant Awards 2018 with glowing praise from Tatler, stating that if you’ve never been ‘make 2018 the year to go’.
Margot married Fergus Henderson in 1992 and they have three children together – Hector, Owen and Frances. They met one Sunday whilst Margot was working in The Eagle, a gastropub in Clerkenwell.
Hector is following in his parent’s footsteps working as a sous-chef at Rochelle Canteen.
The pair now live happily in Stockwell after leaving their flat in Covent Garden a few years ago due to a lack of space.
During a number of interviews, Margot explains that her favorite flavors and ingredients include fennel, sea urchin and tomatoes.
But as she prefers seasonal cooking, she will use the freshest ingredients of the time she can get her hands on.
When Margot has any spare time she enjoys sitting in her garden, gardening, visiting art galleries and collecting contemporary modern art.
There’s everything you need to know about Margot Henderson. Celebrity chefs are often elusive and too busy in their kitchens to know much about them, Margot Henderson is the opposite.
We hope you found this profile informative and interesting to read. Maybe we’ve even inspired you to test out a new dish in the kitchen!
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