David Kelman

David Kelman

David Kelman is a Welshman who learned his trade on home turf – a fact he’s happy to sing (in a rich baritone, no doubt) from the mountaintops.

Growing up in those lush valleys had, by all accounts, a profound effect and the able chef absorbed, by osmosis, an intrinsic understanding of how to combine the best of British produce – a feature that is keenly evident in David’s seasonal, balanced and aesthetically pleasing dishes.

David first came to prominence as executive head chef of Ellenborough Park, a grand country house hotel on the edge of elegant Cheltenham. David’s flirtation with high-end cooking began when he cooked for members of the uppermost echelons of society, namely Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales.

Beforehand, David worked at Bodysgallen Hall Hotel in North Wales, followed by periods at well-regarded establishments in Gloucestershire: firstly, as head chef at Lower Slaughter Manor, then at Wyck Hill House where he put the eighteenth century manor house on the Cotswolds food map, before settling at Ellenborough where he oversaw the handsome, oak-panelled fine dining restaurant – the Beaufort Dining Room – and where, in 2013, he gained 3 AA Rosettes.

Voted Best Chef at the Taste of Gloucestershire Awards, and Chef of the Year in the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards 2013, this area may be where David made his name, but Wales retains a stronghold on the chef – he’s represented his country in a number of international competitions and is a member of the Welsh culinary team. David Kelman competed on Great British Menu 2014, making it through to the second round.

David left Ellenborough Park in 2017 to become executive head chef at Cowley Manor, also in Cheltenham, until 2022, when he had stints as head chef at Thyme at Southrop and general manager at Burford Garden Company café.