Chef Chris Baber: 2016 Winner, BBC Yes Chef

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With his simple, delicious and convenient home cooking style former athlete and model turned chef Chris Baber aims to educate everyone just how easy it is to make amazing food at home. With his refreshing back to basics, everything in moderation approach to a balanced diet staying away from trends and fads. Chris competed and went on to win BBC Yes Chef in 2016 alongside critically acclaimed Michilen star chef Atul kottcher. After a personal invite from Atul, Chris left Northumberland and went on to train alongside Atul in his Michelin star restaurant in London, Benares. Chris has taken everything he has learnt at the top level and managed to bring it into the home kitchen in his simple, fuss-free home cooking way making restaurant worthy food at home along with tips and tricks to give anyone the kitchen confidence they need to get passionate about and enjoy cooking.

Since leaving the restaurant Chris built a strong reputation in the industry and a significant following on Instagram due to posting his simple yet delicious recipes and quickly gained interest from multi national brands and has since become ambassador for Tilda rice and Quaker Oats. Working on product launches, innovation, recipe development and catering for events - he also works alongside a national restaurant chain aiming to improve healthy eating options and develop home cooking workshops for the staff nationwide. Chris also hosted the demo kitchen at Europes biggest fitness expo 'The Body Power' expo at the NEC in Birmingham along with cooking some of his dishes that won over the fitness audience. He has also contributed recipes to Men’s Health Magazine. Chris has a passion help educate children about how to cook from scratch and has worked with and helped raise funds with the charity magic breakfast which provide healthy breakfast to 31,000 children across the UK

What do I do best?

Working towards my goals and dreams. I am truly passionate about cooking and the work I do, and I wake up every day excited to get going and make things happen.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I think there are a few that all come together. Hard work, persistence, a positive attitude and gratitude! I am always looking to be the best version of myself and give my best shot at everything I do. I thinking helping others is super important too.

What are my aspirations?

I want to inspire and educate people just how easy it is to cook amazing food at home from scratch and give them the kitchen confidence to do so. Staying away from fad diets and trends going back to basics with a balanced diet and enjoying everything in moderation.  I really want to help kids learn to cook too! I am currently working on my cook book, and aspire to have my own t.v shows in the U.K and USA to educate and entertain. Personally I love what I do and aspire make a positive impact, add value to people and have fun doing it! I have so many goals in life, probably too many to go through but the above should sum it up.

My Biggest Success?

One of my greatest food success was on BBC Yes Chef, this was national tv competition for amateur home cooks that I went on to win. One of my food hero is a Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar. I didn’t know he was going to be the celebrity chef judge of the day, and I had planned to cook one of his dishes in the competition! When I took it to be judged and he said ‘you’ve nailed it’ that’s got to be one of the best compliments I’ve had. After winning the show he invited me to train alongside him in his London restaurant Benares. Atul saw my potential and gave me an incredible opportunity so I will always be grateful.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Deciding to leave my friends, family and life in the north of England to move to London to follow my dream. After winning BBC Yes Chef, Chef Atul invited me to London to train with him. I knew I had to do this and take the amazing opportunity. There was no hesitation, I had do it, but it was a challenge to move away from home. However it was the best decision I ever made and it certainly changed my life.

My Motto?

Stay positive, be humble, grateful and work hard.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

As mentioned in the Chef world Atul Kochhar is a big food hero and now great friend and mentor. He was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star. I also love Jamie Oliver, he is the chef that really inspired me to cook as a young guy watching his show the Naked Chef, I love his passion and work ethic. He has used his presence and influence in the most positive way helping combat health problems in the UK which is simply amazing.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

The Lake District national park in the UK, I grew up about an hour from here in Northumberland (which I love too) when I go home we often go hiking in the lakes. I also love London, I have been here almost a year and for a foodie it’s just incredible. I love California and can see myself living/working there one day. To be honest I want to travel to explore as many countries as possible. I am going to Italy and South Africa soon which I am super excited about.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

There are so many – probably everything in the kitchen but defiantly a sharp knife, chopping board and pan, I have got to say my phone is one of my favorite objects, my career all started through Instagram (which I am very grateful for) and it still blows my mind that I am connecting with people and sharing my recipes all across the globe with my phone! I know there can be negative image around social media however I think if it is used positively it can be the most amazing thing.

My Current Passions?

Cooking and food is defiantly a passion , along with keeping fit and living a healthy lifestyle. I love setting goals, pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone. I have a passion to explore the world and have fun!