The female Israeli pastry chef who took over London

While most people her age still haven't decided what career they want to have, Lee Shamir (27) is already the head pastry chef at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in London. When your boss is a 13 Michelin-starred winner, the pressure and expectations are accordingly high.
Lee Shamir Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Lee Shamir, the head confectioner at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, found her way into the pastry-baking world sort of by accident. After being released from the army, she searched for a hobby and decided to test her mettle professionally at the legendary Orna & Ella restaurant in Tel Aviv.

After a successful experience at Orna & Ella, Shamir started to work at Tel Aviv’s Raphael restaurant. At an age most of her friends are backpacking after the army, she decided to study culinary art professionally in New York.

In New York, she worked at the luxurious Bouchon Bakery and in between this job and school, she worked with Heston Blumenthal at a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant. That's when the offer to move to London and work for Chef Gordon Ramsay's restaurant arrived.

"He adores sweets, so he always stops by and snacks," Shamir says proudly about the 13 Micheline-starred chef who is known for his vulgarity and threatening persona from the show Hell's Kitchen. Shamir speaks of the man beneath the façade: "He always asks how everyone is doing and you can't call him chef, only Gordon. He is a pleasant person, he doesn't shout and curse like he's shown on television."

Shamir is the head pastry chef at Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen, which serves British cuisine with European and Asian subtleties and since she started working there, also Israeli elements have been added to the pastries. "There is an ice cream I call 'sesame' but it's actually halva,” she explained proudly about how she introduced her British customers to halva.

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