A precocious Fulham chef who rejected Gordon Ramsay to become a star in her own right has been dubbed one of the most influential young women in Britain.
At just 28, Gemma Tuley is one of the youngest head chefs in London, winning rave reviews for her cooking at Fulham Road restaurant Manson .
And her meteoric rise to the top was last week recognised at the Women of the Future Awards, which honoured women under the age of 35 who are making an impact in their chosen field.
They praised Gemma for 'making her way in a man's world' and having the guts to walk out of a career under the combustible Ramsay.
Gemma had worked in his kitchens at Claridge's and Royal Hospital Road for several years, and was earmarked by the star to be head chef at his Foxtrot Oscar eatery, which opened two years ago.
But Gemma was dismayed to find food would be delivered there from a central production unit, later exposed in the national press, and she walked out.
"It broke my heart, to be honest," said Gemma. "He said Foxtrot would be perfect for me and there were all these plans. Then a few months before it opened, they took me round a depot and said the food was going to be made there.
"I wasn't prepared to just heat up someone else's cooking because it would have taken my down career."
Having 'lost a lot of faith' in her profession, Gemma took six months off before realising what she was missing.
A chance message on Facebook put her in touch with Eamonn Manson, co-owner of Manson, and he immediately made her head chef.
A year on, the restaurant is thriving and Gemma says she couldn't be happier, revelling in running a kitchen her way. Her style, she says, is very different to Ramsay's.
"There was lot of fear under Gordon – I once saw someone physically thrown out of the kitchen. There was a horrible working atmosphere because every one was under so much pressure, pushing for a Michelin Star.
"When things have to be said, they have to be said, but I don't want people coming into work feeling scared – that's how you lose staff."
Gemma says the award, which came in the arts and culture category, has made her realise just how few women make it to the very top of the industry, and it is redressing that balance, rather than becoming a TV chef, that is her big ambtion. "Being famous is not something I'm motivated by. I actually would love to go into catering schools and inspire women because this is still such a male-dominated industry.
"I've had almost ten people training in my kitchen this year and all have been men.
"I don't think it's glamorous for a lot of girls, and that's partly to do with chef whites – they're not exactly feminine so I might start my own line."
As for Ramsay, Gemma, who gave a 'terrifying' winner's speech in front of famous faces like Cherie Blair and Nick Clegg, says she doesn't speak to him any more.
"I'm sure we'd talk if our paths crossed, but I'm at a new chapter in my career now," she added.