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Gill Meller is wonderful example of chef who doesn't simply work in a restaurant day in and day out. He also uses his time to educate people about cookery, sustainability and food as a whole, both through his various books and the lessons he gives at River Cottage.
Born in Bridport in Dorset to parents who both shared a love of food, Meller spent a lot of time in the kitchen whether that was watching his mother cooking or eagerly waiting for dinner to be served. However, it wasn't initially his plan to become a chef. Aged 18 Meller left home to go to art school but had to drop out after meeting his wife Alice and having his first child Isla.
After working in the kitchen at a small coffee shop for a while, he realised that cooking was really what he wanted to be doing and began working in a number of different restaurants. Having set up a small food shop focused around the use of local ingredients, Meller ended up having a chance encounter with Fearnley-Whittingstal. In no time at all he had joined the team at River Cottage - a 100-acre farm in Dorset that is all about farm-to-fork eating.
Since joining the River Cottage team, Meller has worked on all parts of the business including working as head chef of the River Cottage restaurant, giving cookery lessons at the school, which he still does to this day, and even appearing on River Cottage's popular Channel 4 TV series. Even while keeping so busy, he has continued to educate himself on the importance of sustainability in cooking and has produced a number of cookery books featuring recipes based around simple, seasonal ingredients. Meller has also contributed recipes to publications including The Guardian, The Telegraph and Waitrose Food.