Kent to California to the Isle of Wight. Simon is now back home in Kent.

Kent to California to the Isle of Wight. Simon is now back home in Kent.

Simon Ulph has joined the Kent based I’ll be Mother group as Head Chef of The Twenty Six.

Originally from New Romney, on the West Kent coast, the 26-year old’s career has taken him to London, California and the Isle of Wight, where he was most recently Head Chef of Thompson’s, Robert Thompson’s eponymous restaurant.

Simon has been connected to the I’ll be Mother group since he starting as commis at The Swan in West Malling, which was co-owned by Pete Cornwell, founder of I’ll be Mother. Working alongside Andrew Clarke (Brunswick House, London) and Scott Goss as sous chef, Simon can trace his cooking style back to those early years.

A meeting with Masahura Morimoto at the 2012 London Olympics during a three-week pop up led Simon to Napa, California for a year at the celebrated Morimoto. Here, Simon learnt the art of Japanese precision, patience and discipline. It also brought a love of Japanese and Asian flavours, especially sake and miso, which is now strongly evident in his cooking.

Back in the UK, Simon returned to Robert Thompson, first at The Hambrough, Ventor and The George Hotel and then at Thompsons, where he was Head Chef for 18 months.

Always a Kent boy, Simon was lured back to the mainland by his long team mate and friend Scott Goss. Scott, previously Head Chef of The Twenty Six, will be developing his role as Creative Director and Executive Chef at I’ll be Mother, bringing on talent in the other restaurants in the family, The Beacon and The Swan at Chapel Down.  Doug Sanham, recently promoted to Head Chef at The Beacon, has just won a prestigious Acorn Award 2017.

Simon will stay true to the values and ethos of The Twenty Six, but will bring his own style and personality to the menu. His new menu will see modern techniques, bold flavours, Asian influences, a new tasting menu and a series of high profile guest chef nights including Michael Bremner from 64 degrees, Brighton and Gary Usher from Sticky Walnut, Chester.

Dishes being developed include Pigs Head, Smoked Eel, Garden Radishes and Pickled Apple; Steamed Plaice, Courgettes, Sumac and Yoghurt; Mackerel Ceviche, Tomato Jelly and Muscovado Panna Cotta, Pineapple, Lime Sorbet and Dark Rum Mousse and what will surely become a signature at The Twenty Six, White Chocolate and Miso Fudge petit fours.

For images, interview or more information please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room on 07730 039361 or