Emily Watkins is a chef and mother. She is the chef proprietor of The Kingham Plough in Oxfordshire, a family business she co-owns with her husband. She began her career as a chef following a degree in business at the University of the West of England in Bristol. She had always wanted to be a chef in a restaurant, following a love of food and cooking and wanting to learn anything and everything about it.
She got on a plane to Italy armed with the Michelin guide and little else. Walking the streets of Florence, targeting the restaurants that received high accolades in the guide, until one of her favourite restaurants, Ristorante Beccofino, took pity on her and offered a job, though unpaid. Emily worked determinedly, not only in the kitchen but also as a waitress and learning the language, until just a month later they offered her a full time job in the kitchen with a salary!
Emily then joined The Fat Duck, when it was awarded 3 Michelin stars and Best restaurant in the world. In 2005 Emily moved to London and spent time working as a Private Chef, giving her an opportunity to work several stages in restaurants across the world. In 2007, with a business partner, she moved to Oxfordshire to fulfil her dream of opening her own place. They undertook an 8 month refurbishment and then, aged 28 and full of enthusiasm, they opened their doors. Assisted by just a Commis chef, Emily was cooking from the heart, simple dishes bringing all of the flavours out of the wonderful larder of the Cotswolds and inspired by historical and local cookery books.
Six years on, now married and with 3 young children, In 2013, Emily was the runner up for the South West region on BBC’s popular show Great British Menu, with her main course getting 10 out of 10. 2014 brings plenty of exciting projects for Emily so watch this space…