Born in Bury, Lancashire, Simon Hopkinson left school at 17 to begin a career as a chef. He opened his first restaurant, the Shed, near Fishguard, just before his 21st birthday. In 1983 he launched himself on the London restaurant scene, becoming chef at Hilaire in the Old Brompton Road. He swiftly found himself one of the most acclaimed young chefs in the business and his friendship with Terence Conran led to the opening of Bibendum in the restored Michelin building in 1987. He retired as a full-time chef in 1995 to concentrate more on writing. As well as Roast Chicken and Other Stories and Second Helpings of Roast Chicken his books include Gammon & Spinach, The Prawn Cocktail Years (written jointly with Lindsey Bareham), Week In, Week Out, The Vegetarian Option and The Good Cook. His critically acclaimed cookery writing has won him the André Simon award, and the Glenfiddich Award three times.