Being a chef has “toughened me up and taught me dedication”: Meet Tess Ward

Tess Ward is a very chic chef. And as if being a celebrity chef, food writer and lifestyle blogger wasn’t enough, Tess Ward is also Fortnum & Mason’s food consultant and a food taster (yes!) for Itsu. The dream job or what?!

Tess learnt from the best at River Cottage and The Ritz, before launching her own cookbook The Naked Diet. Here she tells List for Life how she got to where she is today and what her advice is to aspiring chefs. You too can follow in her successful footsteps in the world of food.


Image Credit: Rex Features

1. How did you get to where you are today and how can someone emulate your journey?

I have had a varied and exciting route to the place I am now. I would say a lot of it is attributed to my training and time spent in kitchens. Six o’clock starts in the morning, and starting at the bottom, getting to grips with large-scale prep and mise en place for other chefs certainly toughened me up and taught me dedication.


Image Credit: Instagram @tessward

2. What’s been the most important moment in your career so far? 

I would say developing products with Itsu, working as a consultant for Fortnum and Mason and the release of my cookbook The Naked Diet have all been serious pinch me moments.


Image Credit: Instagram @tessward

3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Never forget you are loved.’ My family are the best support. Wherever I am, and whatever I do, I am always appreciative of the people that support me.

4. What’s your life mantra?

Whatever you do in life do it to the best of your ability, and always try to make it fun!

5. What would you say to your 15-year-old self?

Unfortunately you we will never have curves like Beyoncé, learn to love your bamboo legs and yes, a daily Twix bar does gives you spots.

6. What can we expect to see from you over the coming months?

Pop-up events, lots more delicious recipes, great travel destinations and restaurants on my website.