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Sam Moody

Sam Moody


After childhood dreams of becoming a professional carp fisherman, Sam Moody became a professional chef by accident. 

Starting his career as a chef at the age of 16, Sam worked part time in local fine dining restaurants while studying full time for catering qualifications at Central Sussex Collage in Crawley.  A decade later, he rose through the ranks & held his very own Michelin star as Head Chef at The Bath Priory.

Aged 17, Sam left home in Horley and started his first full time job, working as a commis chef as part of the small and dedicated team in the kitchens of Ockenden Manor Hotel.   Giving Sam his first taste of reward, after a year’s hard work under the direction of Head Chef Steve Crane, the team won a Michelin star. Sam stayed at Ockenden Manor Hotel for further two years, enjoying the experience of working in a Michelin star kitchen and learning what the expectations were in such an environment.

Aged 20, Sam joined Michael Caines’ team in the two Michelin star kitchens of Gidleigh Park, a Relais & Châteaux property.  It was a big step up in his career and for the four years Sam was there, he worked his way around all the sections of the kitchen, learning the importance of every little detail and the basis of what makes great food.

In early 2009 a new challenge arrived for Sam when Michael Caines MBE, Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park, also took over the kitchens at sister hotel The Bath Priory and appointed Sam as his Sous Chef. In September 2009, after proving himself to be of the highest standard, Sam was promoted to Head Chef.

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In 2012, further promotion followed with Sam’s appointment as Executive Head Chef at The Bath Priory, and later the same year, Sam was awarded with a Michelin star, recognition of his hard work and talent.

Sam maintained the Michelin star at The Bath Priory for 5 years and won other awards during his time at The Bath Priory, notably an Acorn Award in 2011 and the Hotel Catey award for Chef of the Year in 2013.

In 2016, it was time for a new challenge and in the autumn of that year, Sam move to Ireland to join our team as Head Chef of Ballyfin, another Relais & Châteaux. 

In his words:

“Ballyfin is like no other hotel or restaurant I have been to. The house and grounds are breathtakingly beautiful the team are friendly and care so much about the guests; I feel truly lucky to be part of the team. The dishes we create are simple, with a focus on big flavours, balance and detail.   I work hard to create a synergy between the restaurant and garden.  The produce grown in Ballyfin’s 8 acre Kitchen Garden is incredible and is an essential part in creating exceptional dining experiences for our guests. All of these elements such as team camaraderie, passionate hospitality and fresh, local cuisine eloquently express the vision of a Relais & Châteaux property. And Ballyfin is truly an exceptional one within the prestigious global collection of hotels and restaurants.”

 More than just the daily running of the kitchen Sam loves developing young chefs and has always worked closely with Catering Colleges helping to inspire the next generation of chefs and restaurant professionals. 

Napolina Thermapen

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