Global Restaurant Investment Forum

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Speaker Profile

Gizzi Erskine

Chef, founder of F!LTH, food writer and sustainability campaigner

Many people are very surprised to hear that Gizzi Erskine was a professional body piercer in Camden before realising her life-long dream of being a chef. It wasn’t until the age of 23 that, after 7 years of working in Cold Steel in Camden, Gizzi hung up her piercing tools and trained at the prestigious Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2003. She graduated the top of her year and went on to win a placement at BBC Good Food magazine, where she started to establish herself as an award winning food writer and stylist. During her first years at catering school she cheffed her way through many kitchens and started her own catering company with friend, Abbey Dempsey.

A career in TV started with the popular C4 primetime show, COOK YOURSELF THIN, which went onto a 2nd series in 2009, this time with Gizzi as the only host. With C4 firmly backing this exciting new talent, she has since appeared in IRON CHEF, COOKERY SCHOOL and DROP DOWN MENU for the channel. Gizzi joined Sky Living as a new face of the channel and hosted new series COOKS TO MARKET alongside Gu founder James Averdick. The show saw amateur cooks be given the chance to turn their homemade food products into a life-changing business. Gizzi was part of Sky1 show ONES TO WATCH where Gizzi alongside A-list mentors, Rankin, Idris Elba and Paloma Faith helped launch the next generation of hot new talent. Her most recent programme, Seoul Food aired on Good Food and offered an insight into the amazing food and culture found in South Korea.

As a food writer, Gizzi was the Sunday Times Cook; writing the weekly food pages in the Sunday Times Magazine. She is also a Contributing Editor for InStyle and has written for a wide variety of other magazines and newspapers such as Marie Claire, Elle, Elle USA, Vogue USA, GQ, The Times and The Evening Standard. She has also hosted the Observer Food Monthly awards alongside Jay Rayner.

GIZZI'S KITCHEN MAGIC, published by Virgin Books in 2009, was her first solo book and received critical acclaim during its release. Gizzi was the co-author of the hit cookbook COOK YOURSELF THIN, author of MY KITCHEN TABLE: 100 FOOLPROOF RECIPES and has also contributed to COOKERY SCHOOL by Richard Corrigan. SKINNY WEEKS AND WEEKEND FEASTS, was a revelatory healthy eating book of two halves that gives you a delicious, easy-to-stick-to recipe plan, perfect for 1–2lb weight loss per week. Gizzi went on to write GIZZI'S HEALTHY APPETITE which was released in August 2015 and went straight to the Amazon bestsellers list. Her new book, GIZZI'S SEASON'S EATINGS was published by Octopus in September 2016 and guides you through her delicious food from Halloween to Hogmanay. Her latest book, SLOW, was published in October 2018 and sees Gizzi exploring technique, story and provenance. Nigella Lawson called SLOW 'a warming cosy treasure trove of a book'.

Gizzi is part of the Jamie Oliver's FoodTube family and has hosted her own series of videos for the Wild Dish YouTube channel.

Always at the forefront of any trend, Gizzi was one of the first to back the trend of the pop-up restaurant scene having opened 4 pop-ups in the past 3 years; one with Innocent Smoothies at the Tramshed in Shoreditch, one at Clarence House in association with START the sustainability charity, a Tiki lounge at Bestival and an East London gourmet pie shop. She has cheffed at many supper clubs for guests like Boy George, Adam Ant, Sadie Frost, Pearl Lowe, Carl Barrat and Grace Woodward. Her most recent pop-up took inspiration from the Korean hole-in-the-wall scene in New York: Gizzi’s ‘K Town’ at Concrete in Shoreditch was an underground eating, drinking and music venue with a menu that was created and cooked by Gizzi. Entertainment ranged from rockabilly, soul and ska bands, to live Korean burlesque and a Korean Elvis impersonator.

In 2018, Gizzi opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant in the Mare Street Market development. Her plant based burger F!lth concept followed in January 2019 with a residency in Shoreditch.

Her food events are now becoming legendary for those people in the know. GIZZI'S BARN YARD PARTY in Dalson was a one day food event with top chefs running stalls, live music and DJs inclufing Gizzi herself. She programmed her own tent at LATITUDE inviting chefs like Jack Stein, Ben Tish, Carl Clarke and Neil Rankin to reveal some of their best cooking techniques to festival-goers.

Gizzi also teamed up with Italian restaurant Zizzi to mentor the next big thing in food – chef Joe Gray – as part of the Prince’s Trust Tomorrow Campaign. Gizzi and Zizzi created a special three-course menu, which featured in all restaurants nationwide to raise money for The Prince’s Trust charity. Other mentors involved with the campaign include Zandra Rhodes, Kelly Hoppen, Rankin, Liz Earle and Wayne Hemingway. The promotional campaign was shot by Rankin himself.

Her edgy attitude has caught the attention of the fashion world and she regularly makes the fashion pages of the UK’s style press. She has effortless style, unmistakably 60’s with a Rockabilly twist, which has struck a chord with the public, helping her bridge the gap between food and fashion.