Star Chefs

Check out the exciting line-up of chefs who delighted Riyadh’s food-lovers at Taste of the World, Riyadh 2019.



Chef Denny began to learn his craft aged 14, cooking traditional Italian dishes in his father’s kitchens in Mantoue. He perfected his skills in the first Italian restaurant to receive two Michelin stars, then crossed the border to work for Mauro Colagreco in Menton. From there he headed to Paris to Ze Kitchen Galerie, where he learnt from chef William Ledeuil before joining the team at Jules Verne, Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred restaurant on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

In 2015, he opened his first restaurant, IDA where he shares his double-heritage Italian and French cuisine in a contemporary bistro setting.


Zelman Meats

Chef Olly, from the UK, is one of the longest standing members of the Goodman Group team, having been with the company for just shy of a decade. His career started at Goodman Mayfair. He played a pivotal role in opening the second Goodman site in The City, and was offered the position of head chef. Most recently, you can find Olly as executive chef in Zelman Meats.

Olly’s approach to cooking is intensely experimental and he has a passion for finding under-used and under-appreciated cuts of meat and showcasing them at their best. Olly has also been key in developing the charcoal used at Zelman Meats, which is their own house blend and contributes to the expert flavour of the meat.



Chef Pascal hails from South West France, where he trained with French master chefs Gerard Vie, Alain Dutournier and Guy Savoy.

Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur, he has been cooking in a number of award-winning restaurants in London since 1998; all with a different culinary theme but celebrating the food of France and of his beloved homeland of Gascony.

His flagship restaurant, Club Gascon, was awarded a Michelin Star in 2002. In 2008, he wrote his first recipe book, “Cuisinier Gascon”. In 2015 Pascal introduced a new fast-casual concept “Duck’N Roll” to Street Feast’s Hawker House pop-up site to great acclaim and has since added a permanent site in London.



Chef Paul studied catering and hospitality in his home town on the south coast of England, before working in local restaurants and hotels. In 1998, he secured a job at Gary Rhodes’ Michelin-starred Rhodes in London. After two years, Paul moved on to work with Gordon Ramsay, becoming part of the team that successfully achieved three Michelin stars.

After six years with the Gordon Ramsay Group, Paul was invited to head up the kitchen of No. 6 in Padstow. Three years later, Paul and his wife Emma took over the restaurant and relaunched it as Paul Ainsworth at No. 6.

Paul’s fun and inventive cooking has held a Michelin star since 2013.



A ‘chef’s chef’ and highly respected culinary figure, chef Philip from South Africa started his career at Roux Restaurants in 1988. From here he moved on to train under Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s and Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum. Phil then became head chef and co-owner of The Square in London, which was awarded two Michelin-stars under his tenure.

Paul is now the chef/co-owner of Elystan Street which opened in London in 2016 to huge critical acclaim. His distinctive modern French food is forged through the delivery of pleasure through harmony of flavour rather than technical wizardry.



Chef Shane’s career and appeal stretches the globe. Born and bred in Perth; he became the first Australian head chef to lead a restaurant to attaining Michelin star status, all just 29 years old. Michelin recognized his exceptional talent with not one, but two Michelin-stars during his tenure as head chef at Pied à Terre, London.

After leaving London in late 2011, Shane travelled the globe, and relocated with his family to Hong Kong to join Alan Yau’s restaurant St Betty.

In November 2014, he opened his first solo venture in the city with Arcane – a modern European refined dining restaurant focused on top quality cuisine and service.



Chef Simon is recognised as one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement. His first two restaurants, L’Enclume and Rogan & Company in The Lake District, have two and one Michelin-stars respectively. In 2016, Simon launched Aulis at L’Enclume, his first chef’s table and development kitchen. Aulis also arrived in London in 2017 as a stand-alone dining destination.

Following this, Simon created Roganic – originally a pop-up but now a permanent restaurant in London. Roganic received its first Michelin star within one year of opening, making Simon one of the only restaurant groups in the UK to hold four stars. Most recently, Simon has expanded to Hong Kong, opening Aulis and Roganic in 2019.



Sylvestre Wahid grew up with a passion for culture of beautiful products. At the age of 9, he moved with his family from Pakistan and discovered the beauty of France. In 2005, he became the executive chef at the Oustau de Baumanière where he earned two Michelin stars.

Today, while taking up the kitchens of Hotel Thoumieux, Sylvestre Wahid affixes his name and signature to the restaurant. Backed by flawless products and an open and direct technique, its inspired cuisine is very tasty without being heavy, and rich without being greasy.



Chef Tom is one of the UK’s most acclaimed chefs. His remarkable career has taken him to David Cavalier’s in London, Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, Joel Robuchon in Paris, Gerard Boyere’s in Riems and Pied-à-Terre to name a few. It was at the latter that Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, aged just 26. Tom remained at Pied-à-Terre for five years, then going on to open his successful eponymous restaurant, Tom Aikens which won a Michelin star.

Tom currently has Tom’s Kitchen in London, Pots, Pans & Boards in Dubai, and in Abu Dhabi Tom successfully launched three new restaurants in the New Edition Hotel – Market, The Oak Room and Alba Terrace.



Chef James, alongside his wife Sandia Chang, opened Bubbledogs in London. Knappett is head chef, serving signature hot dogs. Hidden from sight behind a curtain at the back of Bubbledogs is Kitchen Table: a 20-seat ‘chef’s table’ which sees James and his team host intimate dinners with a daily-changing 12-course menu, made with meticulously sourced and foraged British ingredients.

James takes inspiration from his time in the kitchens of world-renowned restaurants including; Noma, The Ledbury and Thomas Keller’s Per Se, where he first met Sandia whilst the pair were working at the New York institution. In 2014, Kitchen Table was awarded its first Michelin star, followed by a second in 2018.



Born and raised in Calabria, Francesco started working in his uncle’s gelateria, mastering the art of Italian cakes and gelatos at the age of nine.

At the age of 34, he opened L’Anima restaurant in London where dishes from Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia took centre stage.

After a 7-year adventure, he joined D&D’s restaurant Sartoria in Mayfair with plans to create a ‘temple of Italian cuisine’.

He has appeared on BBC shows including Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef and on the Italian edition of Hell’s Kitchen with chef extraordinaire Carlo Cracco.



Chef Greg has worked in some of the world’s most exciting kitchens, including Alinea, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Per Se and Lysverket in Norway, before opening his first restaurant Olmsted in New York in 2016. The 50-seat restaurant showcases a seasonal and creative vegetable-forward menu that highlights produce from the lush backyard garden as well as local farmers and purveyors. The restaurant has been awarded The New York Times “10 Best Restaurants in 2016”; among other accolades.

In May 2019, Greg opened his second New York restaurant Maison Yaki, which combines his two favorite cuisines – classical French and yakitori.



Chef Ross expertise in Japanese cuisine did not come through an obvious route: raised on a cattle farm in Australia, he learnt to appreciate where food came from, and it was clear from an early age that food was going to be his passion.

After six years experience in local kitchens, Ross moved to London working in Asia de Cuba and The Dorchester Hotel. In 2005, he was appointed as head chef at Nobu, Dallas, where he was overseen and trained by Nobu Matsuhisa himself. He returned to London in 2007 for the role of head chef at Zuma.

Ross opened Bone Daddies in London in 2012, and now has six Bone Daddies restaurants across London. In 2013, he opened Flesh & Buns in Covent Garden before launching his flagship izakaya, Flesh & Buns in Oxford Circus in 2018.



Dubbed ‘the jeweler of gastronomy,’ Maroun Chedid brings his mouth-watering Lebanese Mediterranean gastronomy to Taste of the World, Riyadh through his signature restaurant – Ritage by Maroun Chedid.

Maroun’s cuisine celebrates the authenticity of Lebanese food and its traditions, enriching it with surprising combinations that appeal to a modern palate.

As well as his work in the kitchen, Maroun is also a charismatic TV personality through his role as a judge on Top Chef Middle East.