Modern Pantry chef Anna Hansen has been chosen as UK New Zealander of the Year for 2010.

Recently named as one of the world’s top emerging chefs, Hansen’s success is no doubt a result of her Kiwi background of open minded innovation, which has helped her create exciting new menu combinations.

At 16, working part time in a Nelson deli, she told her Danish mother that she wanted to be a chef.

Steered away from that and into business management, Hansen was in her 20’s before she first trained as a chef, in London.

She went on to work under Peter Gordon at the Sugar Club and they opened The Providores together in 2001.

Hansen moved on in 2005 to explore her own philosophy of a “modern pantry” – exploring less well known ingredients such tamarind and pomegranate molasses in a food style she likes to term modern global food.

The Modern Pantry, London

She opened The Modern Pantry restaurant in August 2008, and it has quickly become a well known destination on the London restaurant scene.

Committed to unusual and assertive flavours, Hansen has introduced London diners to tamarillos, hokey pokey icecream (a staple on her daily changing menu), and kumara/sweet potato amongst others.

The Modern Pantry has earned 2 AA rosettes and a “Bib Gourmand” from Michelin.

Her next project is a cookbook, due out in 2011, covering modern pantry staples for the home cook, and multiple ways of using them in everyday cooking.