Spencer Metzger is one of the chef industry’s brightest talents, best known for his role as Head Chef at The Ritz, London which he recently left. Having found a passion for cooking early in life, this Essex-born chef has gone on to have a career marked by success.
Flourishing in the competitive environments of the Roux Scholarship in 2019 and BBC2’s Great British Menu in 2022, Spencer was crowned winner of both. TV star chefs such as Michel Roux Jr. and Tom Kerridge have raved over his food, which is firmly rooted in classic French cuisine – though he has picked up some more contemporary flourishes along the way.
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Spencer Metzger’s relationship with The Ritz Hotel started young. At the early age of 15, he undertook a work experience placement at this amazing establishment – and realised he wanted to be a chef. Spencer then went on to train at Bournemouth and Poole College, before returning to The Ritz as an apprentice, later working his way up to sous chef.
In 2016, Spencer left to spend a year working at L’Enclume (2 Michelin Stars) in Cumbria as chef de partie, before returning to The Ritz as premier sous chef. When Spencer won the Roux Scholarship in 2019, this led him to an internship at Frantzén (3 Michelin Stars) in Stockholm. He then returned to The Ritz, bringing everything he had learned – and was promoted to head chef in July 2021.
After working at The Ritz for 13 years, Spencer decided it was time to move on to new pastures in August 2023. He described it as the ‘end of an era’ and paid tribute to his colleagues – particularly his mentor John Williams, as well as premier sous chefs Deepak Mallya and Ian Musgrave, and pastry chef Lewis Wilson.
In 2022, Spencer Metzger was crowned Champion of Champions of BBC2’s Great British Menu. In the course of the competition, his dishes paid tribute to Sherlock Holmes and TV mentalist Derren Brown. Spencer won two dishes in the final banquet, and the judges were blown away by his impeccable skills.
When judging Spencer’s main course in the competition, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge said: “This is one of the best dishes I have eaten, anywhere in the world – it is outstanding!”
Spencer Metzger was 2019’s winner of the Roux Scholarship: a premier cooking competition founded by the Roux family for up-and-coming chefs in the UK. Spencer impressed the judges immensely, with both Michel Roux Jr. and Angela Hartnett raving about his sauces.
In the regional finals, judge Angela Hartnett declared Spencer’s hogget sauce as ‘the best sauce I’ve ever eaten’. For the final, Spencer cooked monkfish blanquette and langoustines with saffron basmati rice, garnished with seasonal vegetables and asparagus subrics. Michel Roux Jr. said, “We were fighting over the last of it once we’d all had a tasting!”
During the course of his career, Spencer’s talent has been spotted throughout the industry – leading him to be given The Caterer’s Acorn Award (affectionately known as the Acorn 30 under 30) in 2021. He has also been named the Restaurant Awards’ Chef to Watch in 2022.
In October 2022, Spencer realised a lifetime ambition and was named a Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. Today, Spencer Metzger is recognised as one of the great British chefs in the industry working today, and is well on his way to becoming a very famous chef in his own right.