Allegra McEvedy

Writer/Presenter

Add to shortlist

Books

Agent: Rosemary Scoular
Assistant: Natalia Lucas

Presenting

Agent: Rosemary Scoular
Assistant: Natalia Lucas

Books

Allegra McEvedy is a chef, broadcaster and writer with a mission to get the best food to the most people. Described by The Independent as "a caterer with a conscience", Allegra has been a chef for seventeen years, working her way through college, a clutch of London's best restaurants and an eighteen month spell in the States. During these times, she developed the philosophy that she continues to live and work by: that there are more ways for a chef to make a difference than by winning Michelin stars, and good food should be available to everybody. In 2003, Allegra co-founded LEON, the award-winning, healthy, fast-food restaurant group, which opened its first outlet in Carnaby Street in 2004. Six months after opening, LEON was named the Best New Restaurant in Great Britain at the Observer Food Monthly Awards (by a judging panel that included Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay, Nigel Slater, Ruth Rogers and Jay Rayner). LEON currently has eight restaurants in London, and in May 2009 opened its first restaurant outside London, at Bluewater. Leon's ethical credentials were recognised in the RSPCA's 2007 Good Business Awards, in which it took top spot in the Restaurant Chain category. In 2008 Leon also won the Palme d'Or for the Best Restaurant Concept in Europe. Other accolades include The Soil Association's Best Practice Award in 2007 and a Good Egg Award in 2008. Allegra gave up her role at LEON in early 2009 to focus on writing and broadcasting, though she remains a shareholder in the business. Since 2007, Allegra has been Chef in Residence at The Guardian, for which she writes a weekly column, as well as hosting the "cookalong", the internet's first and only live, interactive, illustrated cooking class. She is the author of three books: The Good Cook (2000); Allegra McEvedy's Colour Cookbook (2006, winner in the Chefs and Restaurants category of the International Association of Culinary Professionals prestigious Cookbook Awards,) and LEON: Ingredients & Recipes (2008), which has recently been re-printed for the third time in its first year. Of LEON: Ingredients & Recipes, Giles Coren of The Times said, "Without doubt, the coolest food book I have ever seen". In August 2009 Allegra co-presented, with fellow chef Paul Merrett, a six-part BBC2 series. Economy Gastronomy is about planning ahead, shopping well, spending less and using ingredients ingeniously to create flavour-packed food every day. An official tie-in book by Allegra and Paul accompanies the series, published by Michael Joseph. Born and educated in West London, where she still lives, Allegra's interests include Hollywood musicals and Elvis. In 2008, Allegra was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry, specifically for the promotion of healthy eating and ethical sourcing in the UK.

@AllegraMcEvedy

Presenting

Described by The Independent as “a caterer with a conscience”, Allegra McEvedy has been cooking professionally for 20 years, working her way through a clutch of London’s best restaurants as well as an eighteen month spell in the States. During these times, she developed the philosophy that she continues to live and work by: that there are more ways for a chef to make a difference than by winning Michelin stars, and good food should be available to everybody.

In 1991, Allegra completed her classical French training at the Cordon Bleu in London. She also obtained the Higher Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

She then went on to work at Green’s, The Belvedere in Holland Park, Alfred’s, The Groucho Club and The River Café. She got her first Head Chef position at Tom Conran’s The Cow, in Notting Hill, at the age of 24.

During a spell in the USA, facilitated by being awarded a special visa as ‘an alien with extraordinary ability in the culinary arts’, Allegra worked at Rubicon andJardinière in San Francisco, and ran the kitchen at Robert De Niro’s New York restaurant Tribeca Grill, regularly doing 500 covers a night. Whilst in New York, she catered for an exclusive Democratic Party fundraiser, which involved personally cooking for President Clinton and Leonardo DiCaprio.

In 2003, Allegra co-founded LEON, the award-winning, healthy, fast-food restaurant group, which opened its first outlet in Carnaby Street in 2004. Six months after opening, LEON was named the “Best New Restaurant in Great Britain” at the Observer Food Monthly Awards (by a judging panel that included Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay, Nigel Slater, Ruth Rogers and Jay Rayner). In 2008 LEON won the Palme d’Or for the Best Restaurant Concept in Europe.

LEON currently has 12 restaurants serving over 100, 000 people a week.

Allegra gave up her role at LEON in early 2009 to focus on writing and broadcasting, though she remains a shareholder in the business.

Allegra was Chef in Residence at The Guardian for 3 years until 2009, as well as hosting a quarterly “cookalong”, the internet’s first live, interactive and illustrated cooking class. Previously she has had columns in ES (Evening Standard magazine) and Elle as well as contributing frequently to food and travel magazines.

Over the summer of 2009, Allegra co-presented Economy Gastronomy, a six-part BBC prime-time series about planning ahead, shopping well, spending less and using ingredients wisely.

She is a regular on the radio, including as guest presenter for R4’s Loose Ends, as well as the Today program and does a seasonal food slot on Robert Elms show for BBC London.

She is the author of four books:

The Good Cook(Hodder & Stoughton 2000);

Allegra McEvedy’s Colour Cookbook(Kyle Cathie 2006, winner in the Chefs and Restaurants category of the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cookbook Awards);

LEON: Ingredients & Recipes(Conran Octopus 2008, currently in its fourth print run);

Economy Gastronomy(Michael Joseph 2009, the bestselling tie-in book to the BBC TV series, which has sold 100, 000 copies).

‘Bought, Borrowed & Stolen’ (Conran Octopus, 2011) 

Allegra is a Fellow of the RSA (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), a Member of Guild of Food Writers, Spokesperson for The Fairtrade Foundation, and on the Advisory Board for Good Catch Sustainable Fish Forum. She is a patron of The Food Chain (a charity that delivers hot meals to people with HIV and AIDS), as well as the Notting Hill Farmers’ Market and the London Gay Symphony Orchestra.

In  2008, Allegra was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry, with the citation of promoting healthier eating and ethical sourcing in the UK.

@AllegraMcEvedy