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“In Hindsight, Finding the Money Was the Easiest Challenge”

The entrepreneur and executive chef on her journey to the restaurant world’s top table. 

When you go to a London restaurant with a name over the door, or branded on the menu, the chances of that chef cooking there are slim to none. At Marianne in Notting Hill in west London, Marianne Lumb is in the kitchen pretty much every night and will likely make an appearance front of house, too.

“The fact that I am here and want to talk to every single one of my customers – I love it,” says Lumb, whose dozen years as a private chef for the likes of George Soros and the Bamford family, included a short sabbatical on the 2009 series of Masterchef: The Professionals, on which she finished second.

“We want to be a world-class restaurant,” Lumb says, “and we want customers to go away thinking, ‘wow, that was really beautiful.’” Since opening in September 2013, she has achieved that goal, with critics and diners alike wowed in particular by the tasting menus at lunch (five courses) and dinner (six). Marianne has only 14 covers, and it can take up to two months to get a table to sample its seasonal modern British cuisine. But it’s worth the wait.

Marianne Lumb recently hosted a dinner at her restaurant on behalf of the Investec Women’s Entrepreneurs Network. Investec has also worked with Marianne on an editorial project that recognized inspirational individuals at the height of their profession.

Watch the video above for Marianne Lumb’s remarkable success story in her own words.

Marianne Lumb is Executive Chef at Marianne.