Hi, my name is Meg Greenacre and I became the Head Chef of Erpingham House at the age of 20, the UK’s largest vegan restaurant. I specialise in vegan food and relish the challenge of making it an attractive dining experience for vegans and non-vegans alike.
I have been a chef from the age of 14 and have always been extremely passionate about cooking since I was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, with the help of a stool. I am classically trained and have six years’ experience working in fine dining in Norfolk’s top restaurants.
I started at the bottom as a wash up and worked my way up to be a pastry and starter chef in the kitchen of Relish Restaurant, with Jeremy and Rachel Park as my mentors for 3 years.
During this time, I studied at City College Norwich doing the ‘Technical Diploma for Professional Chefs’, a 3-year course, and graduated with a distinction and ‘Student of the Year’. I made the most of my time at college and took advantage of the many opportunities they provided; competing in national competitions, catering for outside events and even judging other competitions.
Whilst at college, I organised multiple work experiences in Norfolk restaurants, to gain as much experience as possible.
I then worked in Brasted’s restaurant for 3 years. I had many experiences with them such as; judging for the Norfolk food and drink awards, cooking for royalty, solely catering for private dining parties, catering for weddings, events, corporate functions (which often involved cooking in field kitchens for thousands of guests over a few days), and creating new menus each season.
I then changed onto a vegan diet, which resulted in me changing over to a vegan chef career. I became extremely excited to learn a whole new style of cooking, and was intrigued to learn so many new methods, flavours and techniques. I realised that there is absolutely no reason why I can’t be as creative and imaginative with plant-based dishes as I originally was as a conventional chef.
Nurtured in Norfolk have been suppliers that I have always worked with since I first started as a chef. Their products never fail to amaze me. They are always of a consistent quality with extreme depths of flavour. I carefully pick out a new selection of micro cress and flowers each season to compliment the flavour on my menus. They are perfect for completing a dish, giving it the delicate finishing touch to enhance the presentation to another level, something I’m very passionate about. When creating menus, I always ensure to use local, seasonal products… which Nurtured In Norfolk always play a big part in to create.