Carter was born in North London, and got his love of food from his mother. He went to Pimlico School where he studied Home Economics at General Certificate of Education O-Level and for a Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education in Hospitality. As part of his studies, he went on a work experience placement for two weeks to Shell House to work in the directors' private dining room, which prompted him to decide to be a chef.
Carter started his career with a two-year apprenticeship at the Ritz Hotel. He then became a commis chef at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland where he stayed for over a year, and in 1992, he went to work at John Burton Race's two-Michelin-starred restaurant L'Ortolan in Reading, Berkshire. Burton Race sent him to train with Raymond Blanc at his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire and at Ledoyen in Paris. In 1997, Carter returned to London to work at Leith's restaurant and then for Richard Corrigan at Lyndsay House, Soho, and at the Foliage restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. He came to prominence as head chef at Lola's in Islington in 2003, where his signature dish was Duck Three Ways, a boned duck separated into three parts, with each cooked in a different way. He later became the head chef at the Silk restaurant at the Courthouse Hotel Kempinski in Great Marlborough Street, and then head chef at the Sharpham Park restaurant at Charlton House hotel in Somerset. He was awarded the "Somerset Life" Chef of the year 2007 and awarded the Silver Medal for Bath chef of the year 2007. In September 2008 he moved to The Landau's kitchens and in October 2009 became Head Chef.
Giles Coren, restaurant critic of The Times, described him in 2005 as being "...a young chef of mercurial genius...". Carter featured on the BBC television programme Indian Food Made Easy, and appeared in the BBC television series Great British Menu in 2008, where he lost to Chris Horridge, head chef at The Bath Priory hotel, in the South West region final.
- "Elisha Carter". Chef biogs. BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Calman, Barney (5 April 2004). "My journey from Brixton Market to haute cuisine". Evening Standard, The (London). Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Campion, Charles (28 October 2004). "Local Eats". Evening Standard, The (London). "The beginning of November also sees the opening of the Courthouse Hotel on Great Marlborough Street. As well as a bar making use of the original cells for private tables, the Carnaby Brasserie will be serving modern Italian food. Then in December a fine dining restaurant called Silk opens in what was Number One Court, with Elisha Carter in charge of the kitchens."
- O'Loughlin, Marina. "And the verdict is..." Evening Standard, The (London). Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- "Go west for the good life". Evening Standard, The (London). 12 September 2007. "The talented chef [at Charlton House] is Elisha Carter , who since my visit has been featured on BBC2's Indian Food Made Easy, creating a healthy curry menu."
- "Taste of Bath: Elisha Carter". Channel 4. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- Coren, Giles (7 May 2005). "Silk". The Times. London. Retrieved 5 October 2008. "Elisha Carter is a young chef of mercurial genius who cooked to a stunning standard at Lola's for a while..."
- Ed. Civil, Charlotte; Matt Baylis (24 July 2007). "Spice girl dishes it out". TV Express. Express, The (London). "We have to give the dal a tarka, " [Anjum Anand] declared, later on. And when her long-suffering pupil, organic chef Elisha Carter , asked what she meant by that, she just replied "Tarka", again – as if only an imbecile could have reached Elisha's age without having learned enough Punjabi to understand her."
- "Chef Chris makes the final seven". Western Daily Press (Bristol, England). 21 May 2008. "Mr Horridge, head chef at The Bath Priory hotel, restaurant and spa, is the South West finalist in the BBC competition, having beaten Elisha Carter , head chef at Sharpham Park Restaurant in Shepton Mallet, in a bitter kitchen duel."
- Coren, Giles (28 June 2003). "Lola's". London: Times, The (London). Retrieved 5 October 2008. A review of Carter's cooking at Lola's.
- Durack, Terry (1 May 2005). "Silk, Courthouse Hotel Kempinski, London W1". Independent, The (London). Retrieved 5 October 2008. A review of Carter's cooking at Silk.
- Coren, Giles (20 January 2007). "Charlton House". London: Times, The (London). Retrieved 5 October 2008. A review of Carter's cooking at Charlton House.
- The Landau restaurant