Simon Hopkinson was born in 1954 and grew up in Bury, Lancashire, where his love of good eating was established at the kitchen table. He left school at seventeen to work in the kitchen of Yves Champeau, the acclaimed chef-patron of the Normandie in Birtle where the flavours of regional French cooking made a lasting impression on him. He set up on his own at the Shed in Dinas near Fishguard at the age of 21 and in 1978 became the youngest chef to win an Egon Ronay star. In 1983 he launched himself on the London restaurant scene as chef at the newly opened Hilaire on the Old Brompton Road and swiftly found himself one of the most acclaimed young chefs in the business. His friendship with one particularly good customer, Terence Conran, finally led to the opening of Bibendum in 1987 where he worked as chef until 1995 when he retired to concentrate more on his writing. Simon is one of our most highly regarded food writers, with his regular and much-loved column in the Independent winning him the Glenfiddich Award for Cookery Writing no less than three times. His books include Roast Chicken and Other Stories, which won both the Andre Simon and Glenfiddich Awards for 1995 and was voted the most useful cookery book of all time in a survey of food writers, chefs and restaurateurs, Gammon and Spinach and Roast Chicken and Other Stories: Second Helpings.
Simon’s television series, The Good Cook, was aired in summer 2011 on BBC1. The accompanying book, also called The Good Cook, was a Sunday Times bestseller.