Kerth Gumbs

Kerth Gumbs

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2004, Kerth got a job at the famous Quaglino’s brasserie, where he stayed for the next two years until head chef Julian O’Neill saw his potential and told him to get some experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant. After successfully applying to Tom Aikens’ eponymous flagship, Kerth quickly found he loved the high pressure, fast-paced world of fine dining. After Tom Aikens he worked at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier restaurant, then Texture with Agnar Sverrisson. These years working his way through the ranks and learning how to prepare food at the very highest level built upon the foundations Kerth learnt at Le Cordon Bleu and moulded them into something he could use in the kitchen day-in, day-out.

By this point Kerth had plenty of experience cooking, but lacked the managerial skills needed to progress to a head chef level. ‘After working at such a high level non-stop for so many years, I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained, so I spent a few years working alongside Julian O’Neill again to learn about the business and management side of restaurants. But the call of the kitchen came back and I wanted to see something new, so I went to Singapore to work at Jason Atherton’s restaurant Esquina, which allowed me to get to know a whole new range of ingredients and flavours.’

Today, Kerth heads up the kitchen at Ormer Mayfair, where over the past four years he’s put his own stamp on the menu by celebrating British cuisine with international influences. This is where his classical Le Cordon Bleu training, time in Michelin-starred kitchens, years spent learning business and managerial skills and influences from working around the world all come together, resulting in a menu that’s confident, classical, modern and playful all at the same time. While the hotel the restaurant is based in has the luxurious trappings of old-school opulence, Ormer Mayfair remains contemporary, exciting and at the forefront of London’s fine dining food scene. Kerth says that for now he’s focused on nurturing his team, improving the food and adapting to the struggles the hospitality industry is facing in 2020, but there’s definitely a bright future ahead of him – and we can’t wait to see what he gets up to.

Three things you should know

Kerth appeared on the 2020 series of Great British Menu, making it to the banquet with his pre-dessert.

Kerth believes the future of fine dining lies in making it a more casual, relaxed, welcoming experience, and that the days of dress codes and strict formalities are a thing of the past.

Kerth still returns to the kitchens at Le Cordon Bleu as a guest chef, to pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation of students.