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Helen (chef) and Stephen (FOH)


A married couple who believe restaurants should be family friendly and offer children food they might otherwise dismiss.

Restaurateurs: Helen and Stephen
From: Cambridgeshire
Restaurant name: Nel's
Restaurant concept: Nel's will offer a menu that is a mix of rustic European fusion style cooking.

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Helen and Stephen look back on their time on The Restaurant.

More video

David Moore and Sarah Willingham

The Inspectors on Helen and Stephen

"It was very hard to close them mainly because Nel's is conceptually very good. But Raymond said if I take these guys on I'll have to hire a chef and I can't afford to do that".


Helen and Stephen

Helen and Stephen look ahead

"The prospect of working with Raymond Blanc is incredibly exciting. As a couple we're very competitive and we'll work hard to make sure this works for us as neither of us wants to lose".


Helen and Stephen's signature dish

Helen and Stephen's signature dish

Pancakes with apples three ways and for the children fruity frisbees based on the same idea.


Background and culinary experience

Married eight years ago, Stephen (46) is an ex-naval officer who now works as a Sales and Marketing Director, and Helen (44) used to work in marketing. They have six children. They think they could be the new Fanny and Johnny (TV cooks in the 1950s) as they describe themselves as tenacious, robust, perfectionists, and bossy.

Having been given this wonderful opportunity we will give it everything we have to succeed because I can't see it happening to us anytime again soon.


Helen is a keen cook who, with Stephen, has catered for 80 people at family events. She has worked in professional kitchens, including a sports complex where she filled in for the chef. She has also just finished a stint with Hotel Chocolat running their tasting clubs. Stephen thinks he might be the only man in Britain who owns four paella pans and loves cooking up a feast on his barbecue.

The Menu

Raymond Blanc

A recipe for success

Raymond makes a wholesome, warming vegetable soup.

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