Great British Menu 2021: Ruth Hansom, North East Heat

The Staff Canteen

head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch Ruth Hansom is one of four chefs representing the North East on Great British Menu 2021.


Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March and will air on BBC Two at 8pm every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for eight weeks. All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Ruth competed against chef and owner of Michelin-starred Alchemilla, Alex Bond; head chef at one Michelin star restaurant Winteringham Fields, Gareth Bartram and head chef of two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, Tom Spenceley.

It was Ruth's second time on Great British Menu, as she was a finalist in the 2020 competition

As per the programme's new format which starts each heat with four chefs (as opposed to three in previous years), Ruth was eliminated after the fish course. 

Biography, path to becoming a chef, past places of work, Age/DOB, relationship status, height

Pressure has never been an issue for Ruth; the 25 year-old chef  has tackled many a challenge head on in competitions on and off screen, alongside some of the country's most skillfull chefs. 

Ruth inherited a love for growing things from her aunt and uncle, and, in an act of teenage rebellion, dug up her mum's garden to replace it with her own vegetable patch. 

Thanks to Springboard's FutureChef competition, Ruth decided that becoming a chef would be her career path, so, aged 16, she moved out of her Darlington home to work for Freddie Forster. 

Other than working at the Ritz under John Williams MBE, winning the Craft Guild's YCOTY competition in 2017 and reaching the finals of Great British Menu 2020, one of Ruth's most formative experiences was a competition called WorldSkills, a vocational challenge which puts apprentices from all industries to the test. 

Ruth came close to starting her own business after securing funding for her private dining project on Million Pound Menu, before heading the kitchen at Pomona's until March 2020.

The chef spent lockdown with her partner in London, preparing makeaway meals as the new head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch and helping out at the Ealing Soup Kitchen.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd April 2021

Great British Menu 2021: Ruth Hansom, North East Heat