Sophie Tavener

Sophie Taverner – Head Chef, Lost In The Lanes

Name Sophie Taverner

Occupation Head Chef at Lost In The Lanes.

Please can you share a whistle-stop tour of your career?

I have been a chef for nearly 10 years, starting out cooking in Spain where I worked at the Ibiza Food Studio and Finca with chef Boris Bueno. Along the way, I also worked at a few neighbourhood spots, farms, events companies and the odd food festival. After moving back to the UK, I worked at Lyles in London on the grill cooking excellent British produce over fire. I then moved to the Garden Museum Café before starting up a food and wine consultancy ‘Kin’ with Sarah Jones. I recently moved back to Brighton and landed at LOST, where I am now, in the open kitchen with a wonderful team of Brighton chefs, cooking delicious food daily.

Describe your job in three words.

Fun, Dynamic, Collaborative.

What has been your philosophy that has seen the successful development of your career?

Feeding people, whether in a restaurant or at home, should be a joyous thing and a happy occasion whatever. It is supposed to be fun. People might be celebrating a special occasion or have saved up to treat themselves to a meal out. And, happy and inspired teams make better food.

Favourite aspect of the job for Sophie Taverner?

People! When you work in hospitality you tend to work a lot of hours and normally at pretty antisocial times but you get to know your colleagues. Through my career I have met fantastic people from all over the world, cooked with them and forged friendships and lasting connections. As you progress into more senior roles and get to take on training and managing people, one of the best parts of the role is helping chefs develop their skills and creativity, that is a total pleasure.

What excites you most about your role?

Working with amazing produce and local suppliers. There are so many people farming and producing great food in and around Brighton. Getting to take all that hard work and dedication and turn it into dishes that are tasty, beautiful and stay with people, truly is the best!

What advice would you offer for women looking to embark on a similar career?

Go for it. Whilst it might sometimes seem like there are not many female chefs in senior roles, that simply is not true. There are lots of amazing, inspiring and creative female chefs doing incredible things, running restaurants and winning awards and inspiring teams of young chefs all over the world. My advice would be to seek out those people that inspire you. Outdated attitudes still exist but there are plenty of female chefs out there doing great things.

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