Geoffrey Smeddle developed a passion for food during his time as a student at Southampton University. After attaining a degree in history he spent the summer in Sauternes, France, working in the kitchen of a hotel run by his aunt and uncle. This first taste of life as a commis chef renewed his culinary ambitions, and upon returning to the UK he began training at Westminster College.
During his time at catering college he worked at the Oriel Brasserie in Sloane Square, before moving to the Lanesborough Hotel and, later, The Café Royal where he worked under Herbert Berger. Berger proved a formative mentor in classical French cooking, while the luxurious Regent Street surroundings confirmed in Geoffrey Smeddle’s mind that fine dining was the style of cooking he wanted to pursue.
After two years at The Café Royal Geoffrey Smeddle moved to Orrery in Marylebone, where he honed his classical French training and exquisite plating skills. Here he was working under Chris Galvin, a master of modern French cooking who further influenced the young chef with his contemporary approach; combining the refined with the rustic to create bold, clever dishes.
Geoffrey Smeddle spent some years working for the Four Seasons group in luxury venues across Europe, London and Chicago, where he was one of the youngest executive sous chefs. After being asked by Conran Restaurants – the group behind Orrery – to open their newest venture, Geoffrey Smeddle swapped Lake Michigan for the river Clyde and moved to Glasgow in 2003. The restaurant, Etain, was the Conran group’s first outside of London, and under Geoffrey Smeddle was recognised as the AA’s Restaurant of the Year in 2005.
Geoffrey Smeddle is renowned as a food writer and columnist, highlighting seasonal produce. He has been a contributor for the Scottish Herald since 2004, sharing experiences and recipes relating to particular ingredients.