Firsts & Lasts with... Sally Abe, Head Chef at The Harwood Arms

First & Lasts

It is said that the two most important moments in a restaurant are the moment you walk in the door – the hello – and the moment you leave, the last bite you take, the last person you speak to – the end/goodbye. But so much of our life is shaped by first and lasts, so here we profile amazing women of the industry, talking about some of their first and last moments…

Originally hailing from Sheffield, Sally travelled to London to cook as part of her Culinary Arts degree and never looked back. Her incredible career started at the Savoy Grill, before she moved on to a two-year stint at Gordon Ramsay's Claridges restaurant. After that, she spent five years at two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury as Sous Chef. Sally is now the Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in London, where she makes the most of Britain's fantastic game meat and seasonal produce.

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First kiss: His name was Kevin. It was at school behind the design technology block.

First cocktail ordered on a night out: We used to drink those awful creamy cocktails called ‘Gong Bang’ in a local club in Mansfield. The glass was lined with chocolate syrup and there was squirty cream on top!

First food poisoning: A Chinese in Elephant and Castle two weeks after moving to London. 

First job in hospitality: Waitressing in a hotel in Sheffield city centre. 

First thing you do to unwind after work: Walk home with a ginger ale and jump straight in a hot shower. 

First thing you do in the middle of a hellish service/day at work to stay level headed: Cold glass of fizzy water, clean down and focus on the most important task. 

First thing you do when you wake up: A really big stretch. 

First thing you do when you plan a holiday: Check out the food/bar scene in the destination. 

Last thing you bought at an off license: Baked beans and milk last Sunday morning. 

Last three favourite places you ate in:

  1. Brat

  2. Le Bab

  3. Holborn Dining Room

Last song you listened to: DJ Zinc – Wile out. 

Last podcast you listened to and what did you take away from it: Ashamed to say I never have time to listen to podcasts. 

Last glass of wine you really enjoyed & where: Lovely glass of Jura at Brat with my husband. 

Last time you had a proper day off and what did you do with it: I was off on Sunday and went for lunch at Le Bab then to Lucky Voice in Soho. 

Last time you exercised (body or mind): Yoga this morning. 

Natalia Ribbe