Simon became a Roux Scholarship judge in 2016 and brings his extensive experience with competitions to the judging panel. As well as winning the Roux Scholarship in 2003, Simon has excelled in culinary competitions since his early teens: at the age of 20 he competed in the European Culinary Championships, and then in 1995, he won gold in the Youth Skill Olympics in France. Simon won the National Chef of the Year 2008, and has he has represented Great Britain in the Bocuse d’Or twice, 2009 and 2011  He was captain of the British team in the Culinary Olympics and was also captain of the English Culinary Team at the Culinary World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

His restaurant The Elephant, in the Devon seaside town of Torquay, has held a Michelin star since 2006 and how three AA rosettes , while his prior career has seen him progress through the kitchens of some of the UK’s leading restaurants and hotels. Since 2008, he has had a 100-acre farm that supplies The Elephant, which has furthered his love and knowledge of good ingredients; proving that a restaurant’s produce needs nurture in its journey from seed to plate.

Simon’s talents make him a role model for many aspiring chefs.  He takes his responsibility to develop young talent seriously, training chefs to Michelin standards and mentoring them to compete in national and international competitions. Simon also works closely with catering colleges, regularly taking on chefs for work experience throughout the year.

Outside of his restaurant duties, Simon has worked as an ambassador for some of the world’s best- known brands, including British Airways, Electrolux, SantaMaria and Steelite. His highlights include working with Heston Blumenthal to create a menu for British Airways passengers during the Olympics and Paralympics and preparing a Team GB fundraising banquet which was attended by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.