London’s prestigious Savoy Grill has had many head chefs in its illustrious 126-year history, and today it announced that the kitchen’s newest chief will be former MasterChef contestant Kim Woodward, who will be the first female head chef in the restaurant’s history.
According to The Independent, the Savoy Grill opened in 1889 under head chef Auguste Escoffier. Since then, it has served an array of famous guests, including presidents, prime ministers, and celebrities. Woodward worked in the Savoy Grill’s kitchen previously as a sous chef from 2010 to 2012. In 2011, she was a semifinalist on UK cooking show MasterChef.
“It is an absolute honor for me to be the head chef here in one of London’s most iconic restaurants,” she said of her new appointment. “Obviously there is so much history here, and the people who come through the door come here for the classic dishes that the Grill is famous for.”
Before being named head chef of the Savoy Grill, Woodward was the head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s York & Albany gastropub, where The Independent reports that she managed a team of 35 chefs.
Woodward says that as the head chef at the Savoy Grill, she intends to maintain many of the traditions established under Escoffier, including a daily roast trolley and specialties like beef Wellington and Dover sole.
“To be the first here in 126 years makes me feel like I'm writing history,” Woodward said.