Native is the first restaurant venture of Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davies who together have scaled the mountains of street food markets and pop-up restaurants to finally settle in the tranquil setting of Neal’s Yard.
Born and raised in London, Ivan Tisdall-Downes was always interested in the world of food and wine though never thought of pursuing it as a career. Instead, he enrolled at university in Brighton to take up Business Studies. This would be where he would meet his future business partner and co-owner of Native, Imogen Davies, who was studying English and Media.
An entirely self-taught chef, Ivan learned how to cook with wild produce when his parents left London and forced him to spend a summer in the countryside. He decided he would like to cook for a living when he discovered how happy you could make people with food.
Ivan went on to a stage at The River Cottage and more recently at Dan Barbers’ Blue Hill at Stone Barns fine-tuning his skills and further developing his passion for natural, foraged and seasonal produce.
Having grown up in rural Northamptonshire, Imogen has always been at one with nature, running her family falconry business and managing the infamous Rufus the hawk.
Hunter-gathering is in Imogen’s blood, learning from a very young age the crafts of plucking, skinning and foraging whilst nurturing a truly wonderful palate for the wild food of Britain. Imogen was named in Grace Dents “10 People to Watch in the food industry 2017”.