Meet Nom Nom Nom 2012 Judges

>> Monday, 4 June 2012

As the theme for Nom Nom Nom 2012 is the Olympics, we're delighted to announce our very special international judging panel. Some of the finest culinary experts from New Zealand, Italy, Peru, South Africa and the UK are on board to taste the menus on July 8th. Find out more about them here:

Anna Hansen - The Modern Pantry Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Anna studied business management before venturing out into the world of food. Anna first trained as a chef under Fergus Henderson (St John) in 1992 at his first restaurant venture, The French House Dining Room. She then worked with Peter Gordon (The Providores) in 1994 at Green Street and again in 1998 at The Sugar Club, Soho. In 2001, Anna, Peter Gordon and partners opened their award-winning Marylebone restaurant, The Providores.

In 2005 Anna left The Providores to focus on developing The Modern Pantry which opened its doors in Clerkenwell to critical acclaim in August 2008. Since opening The Modern Pantry has gained two AA rosettes and been listed as a "Bib Gourmand" in the Michelin Guide 2009 and 2010.  In 2011 Anna’s first book ‘The Modern Pantry Cookbook’ was published to critical acclaim.

Francesco Mazzei - L'Anima Francesco started working in his uncle’s Gelateria in Calabria at the age of nine, learning to make ice cream and cakes.

After catering college and opening his first restaurant before going into military service, Francesco moved to Rome in 1992, where he worked a short stint at the Jolie Hotel before joining The Grand Hotel in Rome. He moved to London in 1996  and worked at several restaurants before starting to work at his dream hotel The Dorchester. A move back to Rome offered a position at the Michelin starred restaurant Eden Terrazza on the top floor of the Eden Hotel.

After working in gourmet restaurants in Edinburgh and Milan, Francesco returned to London & worked with Alan Yau as Head Chef at Yau’s Italian restaurant in Marylebone. He also worked with the pastry sections of both Hakkasan and Yauatcha. In September 2005 Francesco opened Franco’s on Jermyn Street to acclaimed reviews. Francesco then moved on to open the kitchen of St Alban in September 2006.

In June 2008 Francesco Mazzei opened L’Anima. Francesco’s recipes have been published across the world and he demonstrates regularly on TV shows in the UK (in fact is on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen the day before judging Nom Nom Nom). His consultancy work has seen him and his team work with Alan Yau in the launch of Princi, consult on Italian concept for Istanbuldoors and open his own gelateria and deli shop called Cocorino in Marylebone with Linda Yau.

Martin Morales - Ceviche  Martin  is the founder and creator of Ceviche, one of London's best restaurants. Born out of the frustration of not having a great Peruvian restaurant in London, Martin founded Ceviche in 2010.

Martin was born in Peru, lives in London with his wife and children and has also lived in Mexico City and Barcelona. A self-taught chef since the age of 11 and passionate about Peruvian culture. He has also been an event promoter for concerts by James Blunt and others as well running his own Global Kitchen where he DJ-ed and cooked at the same time. Martin quit his job as Executive Director at Disney to start Ceviche.

At that time, as @martinceviche his first tweet was: "Does anyone care about Peruvian food?". Support from food bloggers, chefs and writers followed and then he opened supper clubs at his home, then pop ups and now Ceviche is a restaurant.

Bill Knott - Bill Knott started his career as a chef before co-founding the food and drink magazine Eat Soup in 1995. He has since written for a host of magazines and newspapers worldwide, including stints as restaurant critic of the Daily Telegraph, British Airways' High Life magazine and - in his present incarnation - The Gannet in The Financial Times. He has also featured frequently on television and radio.

Bill still cooks from time to time at Black's Club in Soho, and compiles the wine list for The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell. When not travelling in pursuit of stories for his Gannet column, he lives in west London, surrounded by cookbooks. He never skips lunch.

Bill Knott is one of the founding members of Too Many Critics, and a long term Action Against Hunger supporter.

Tom Hunt - Tom Hunt is a self acclaimed eco-chef and co-founder of Forgotten Feast, working on projects throughout the UK to revive our cooking heritage and help reduce food waste. Tom was an official chef of Feed the 5000, a biannual event in Trafalgar Square, which aims to highlight food waste by feeding more than 5000 people with delicious food that would otherwise have been wasted. His mission is to prove the value of this unwanted food by using it to cook elaborate and lavish banquets.

Tom is the founder of Poco festival cafes, which recently established itself as a permanent restaurant in Bristol with partners Jen Best, Ben Pryor and Pip Ritchie. The menu features thrifty cuts of meat, MSC certified fish and seasonal vegetables. One of the principal aims of the restaurant is to achieve zero waste.

Tom’s food is inspired by Europe’s peasant dishes, utilising offal, foraged foods and gleaning vegetables from the land.

Tom has been cooking passionately for the past 13 years. He began his career with Ben and Jake Hodges (formerly of The River Cafe and co-founder of Moro). He then spent many years travelling in Europe, Latin America, and Asia and loves cooking world cuisine, while holding onto his principles by using seasonal British ingredients.

On return to the UK, he was involved with the formative years of River Cottage, working as a course leader, and demonstrator. He worked behind the scenes as a food stylist with photographer Simon Wheeler on the River Cottage cookbooks and Keo films. For Tom’s blog and news go to

Ros Rathouse founder of Cookery SchoolRos Rathouse Cookery School’s principal, Rosalind Rathouse, came over to London from South Africa in 1966 with romantic dreams of cream teas and instead found margarine and chips deep fried in lard.

She has worked as a professional cook, run her own cookery business and taught cookery to both adults and children for many years.

She feels very strongly that proper teaching can enthuse even the most unconfident cook by demystifying cookery techniques and jargon. People forget that cooking is easy and can be fun even when producing the simplest of meals.

Most important of all is flavour : by starting with best possible carefully sourced ingredients that are cooked simply, delicious food emerges. All too often flavour is sacrificed to technique and presentation. Flavour is paramount and her mantra is, “Taste, taste and taste again.”.


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