Daniel Clifford (chef)

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Daniel Clifford
Daniel Clifford.jpg
Daniel Clifford, at The Cube in 2012
Born (1973-08-06) 6 August 1973 (age 45)
Culinary career

Daniel Clifford is an English chef who is best known for his work at the two Michelin star restaurant Midsummer House. He was also named one of the winners of the 2012 and 2013 series of the BBC television show the Great British Menu. He is chef patron of a gastro pub in Little Dunmow, Essex, named The Flitch of Bacon.


Daniel Clifford (born 6 August 1973) was first employed in a restaurant in 1989 as a commis chef at the Howfield Manor Hotel in his home town of Canterbury, Kent. He moved on to become the first commis chef at The Bell Inn in 1992, and became a demi-chef de partie at Marco Pierre White's Box Tree through 1993. He gradually moved up in responsibility through a variety of restaurants including working in France until becoming a senior sous chef at Rascasse in Leeds in 1996, where he worked until being named head chef of his current restaurant, Midsummer House, in 1998.[1]

Clifford was awarded his second Michelin star at Midsummer House in the 2005 list.[2] It was the only new restaurant to earn a second Michelin star that year, and became one of eleven restaurants in the UK and Ireland to be at that level of the Michelin Guide's scheme.[3]

He opened a gastropub called "The Headley" in Great Warley, Essex, in May 2007. He acted as chef patron to the new venture, and hired Scott Wade as head chef to take charge of the day-to-day running of the pub in order to enable Clifford to continue working at Midsummer House.[4][5] It went bankrupt in 2011.

His main course of chicken and a sweetcorn egg accompanied by spinach with bacon and peas was the winning main course for the banquet in the 2012 series of the BBC television show the Great British Menu.[6] He sees his television work as a good source of publicity, but prefers to concentrate on working in the kitchen.[7] He was also one of a number of chefs scheduled to cook at a pop-up restaurant entitled "The Cube" on London's South Bank during the summer in 2012.[8]

On 5 October 2015 Daniel Clifford was awarded the prestigious award of Chefs Chef of the Year at the 2015/16 AA awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Daniel Clifford was praised for turning Midsummer House into one of the country's finest restaurants, while being an "inspiration to so many chefs at all levels" [9]


He credits Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià as influences, and experiments with molecular gastronomy, leading to his restaurant Midsummer House being nicknamed "The Fat Duckling" after Blumenthal's The Fat Duck.[10] He also forages for ingredients.[11]

He also credits his time spent in France with chef Jean Bardet as teaching him the value of quality ingredients, and seeing foie gras in a different light.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He enjoys a full English breakfast on a Sunday, which he follows by going for a walk with his children and dogs.[12] He has five children, all girls.[7]

Daniel Clifford owns two British Bulldogs and is a keen carp fisherman.


  1. ^ "Daniel Clifford, Esq's Biography". Debretts. Archived from the original on 10 September 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  2. ^ "A minute on the clock". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. 16 March 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Chef celebrates restaurant honour". BBC News. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Midsummer House's Daniel Clifford to open pub". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  5. ^ Bruce, Jo (15 May 2007). "Michelin chef opens Essex pub". Morning Advertiser. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  6. ^ Bull, Rachel (8 June 2012). "Kudos creative director triumphs on Great British Menu". Event Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "Daniel Clifford, Midsummer House, Cambridge". The Staff Canteen. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Luxury London meal from Sat Bains sparks new look at food". Nottingham Post. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  9. ^ https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/362551/daniel-clifford-and-robin-hutson-scoop-top-aa-awards
  10. ^ "Foodies' next frontier". The Globe and Mail. 20 October 2004. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  11. ^ Clay, Xanthe (29 April 2011). "The really wild show: Foraging for ingredients". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  12. ^ Orr, Gillian (20 January 2012). "Start as you mean to go on: Chefs reveal their top tips for breakfasting like a king". The Independent. Retrieved 9 June 2012.

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