Executive Head Chef, Northcote
Lisa Goodwin-Allen is Executive Head Chef at Northcote and was promoted to the position in 2015 after almost a decade as Northcote’s only female Head Chef. Lisa works alongside Chef Patron Nigel Haworth to maintain the Michelin Star that Northcote has held for the last 20 years and, like Nigel, is passionate about using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients to incorporate her Lancashire roots into her creative dishes.
Lisa lives and breathes food; it is this passion that means she is always looking for interesting ingredients and techniques, and experimenting to create dishes where the ingredients and their flavour shine through. She works across the whole kitchen; managing the team, developing new dishes, handling the ins and outs of the commercial side of the kitchen, and creating a passionate and positive place for the brigade to work.
Born in Lancashire, Lisa began her culinary career at Lancaster & Morecambe College. After graduating, she worked in several prestigious restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Gloucester, before arriving at Northcote in 2001.
Each year, Lisa is also part of the annual gastronomic event, Obsession, that Nigel launched in 2001 as a celebration of food and wine. As well as leading the kitchen brigade to cook alongside some of the world’s best chefs, this year Lisa and fellow female chefs: Claire Clark, Chantelle Nicholson (Tredwells) and Anna Hansen (The Modern Pantry) created their own unique Obsession menu for Girls’ Night.
Lisa’s impressive culinary skills have also landed her a number of TV opportunities such as serving her dish of rabbit & leek turnover to Prince Charles at a banquet celebrating the National Trust as part of BBC Two’s Great British Menu. She returned to the show as a guest judge in 2016 and was also a chef mentor on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015.
Giving back to the industry and training staff is hugely important to Lisa and something that she takes great enjoyment in. Lisa invests time daily in training the Northcote brigade as it is satisfying for both them and her to teach new skills, get them excited about ingredients, and continually move the brigade forward. In 2017, Lisa was involved in Springboard’s FutureChef, an industry-backed resource aimed at inspiring young people aged 12 – 16 to cook through classroom activities, demonstrations, competitions and awards. Lisa said, “I love to encourage people to come into this fantastic industry where you can learn so much and meet so many interesting people.”
Outside of work, Lisa loves to spend time with her husband and young son, often cooking with them. Having a family has really helped Lisa understand the importance of a work-life balance and made her even more determined to do well within the industry for her family.
Lisa’s Awards and Achievements:
- Winning dish on Great British Menu 2010
- Best Chef of the Year 2008 – Northern Hospitality Awards
- Restaurant of the Year – Craft Guild of Chefs
- Finalist in The Roux Scholarship
- Finalist in Young Chef Young Waiter