British food lovers may know chef Sabrina Gidda from appearances on two seasons of the BBC’s Great British Menu, the cheftestant-packed cooking competition. But day to day, Gidda is at the helm at the tony all-women’s networking club, the AllBright, which has outposts in London, in Fitzrovia and Mayfair, and, in the U.S., in West Hollywood. Menus are light, change with the seasons, and are based on organic, ethically sourced ingredients, many from female farmers, winemakers, and cheesemongers. This summer, for example, she featured Spanish dishes, in tapas such as salt-cod croquetas and pan con tomate and in larger plates such as roast chicken with chorizo and pea salad.
Gidda, born in Wolverhampton, in England’s West Midlands, trained in public relations with a focus on fashion. While working in a café during her university years, however, she volunteered to cover for the injured cook during service. She loved it. And while she did finish her degree, she also began her path up the line in restaurants, including The Dorchester, Draft House Gastropub, Covent Garden’s Sanctuary Spa, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Gidda’s go-for-the-gold moment was in competing for a Roux Scholarship, which includes a financial stipend and a chance to train in a three-star Michelin kitchen, anywhere in the world. Chosen to compete in both 2014 and 2015 (when she was the only woman in competition), she didn’t win but made great industry connections.
In 2015, Gidda was chosen as head chef for modern Italian restaurant Bernardi’s, in Marylebone, and she won the Tatler magazine’s Rising Star chef award in 2016. Joining the AllBright, her star continues to rise, as do those of the female producers whom she champions in her kitchen.