Dan Doherty to launch Chefs of Tomorrow project

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th November 2014

Dan Doherty, executive chef of Duck & Waffle, London, is launching the Chefs of Tomorrow project.

He will curate a series of fun and intimate evenings showcasing some of the rising young talent in British gastronomy. At The Staff Canteen, we spoke to Dan about his project to allow young chefs to grow and develop.

DD chefs tomo
Chefs of Tomorrow

“When you look at the way chefs go through college and then restaurants it’s all very good but I think there’s an opportunity to give them more exposure," said Dan. “Often they’ve got a lot of good ideas, potential and talent but they don’t really get a chance to showcase it. The Chefs of Tomorrow project is about them seeing a side of the industry that they probably never get to see.”

What experience does Dan Doherty have as a chef?

Dan has a lot of experience in the industry. He recently published his first book: ‘Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories’ and was named ‘rising star chef’ in the 2013 Tatler Restaurant Awards. He is now turning his attention to the next generation of top British chefs.

He said: “I’m a big football fan and I love watching youth football because every once in a while you might see the next David Beckham. Within this kind of platform, guests could potentially see the next Sat Bains or the next Thomas Keller.”

The format of the events, although curated by Dan, will put the media spotlight on the young chefs taking part. Dan’s intentions are to give these chefs some valuable experience in the industry that will be almost entirely new to those involved.

“The four chefs won’t know each other but they’re going to have to communicate and come up with a balanced menu," explained Dan. "They’ll have to delegate who’s cooking what, liaise with suppliers, cost their dishes and so on. On the night they’re going to have to talk to the guests, meet critics, foodies and bloggers, all of which will be new experience for them.”

It's about the restaurants

Dan is planning to host multiple events for the Chefs of Tomorrow project with the first one planned for February 2015. The aim, as we have seen, is to allow young chefs to grow and develop but Dan also wants to help the industry as a whole.

He said: “It’s also about the restaurants. Originally I wanted to make a permanent site for it but then I thought we could try to help out restaurants that aren’t full all the time. There are some places that close on a Monday night because they’re quiet so we want to give restaurants like that the opportunity to host an event like this. The idea is to help each part of the industry that needs a bit of help.”

Duck and Waffle

He added: “At this stage the project is very much London focused but we’ve just booked one in Brighton. It will probably become a national project because there’s been so much interest. When I was thinking about doing it I put out a few tweets and the reaction was phenomenal, all these amazing chefs want to get involved.”

What has Dan learnt from his own experiences?

Dan has learnt from his own experiences in the industry and observed potential areas of improvement to formulate the Chefs of Tomorrow project.

“Personally, I’ve been very lucky in that I have complete freedom in Duck & Waffle," said Dan. "I can wander around the restaurant talking to people and I quite like that aspect of it. A lot of chefs are scared of that and I’d like them to feel more comfortable conversing with their guests.”

Dan Doherty’s Chefs of Tomorrow project will start in early 2015. It looks set to provide a fantastic opportunity for talented young chefs and we wish him all the best.

By Tom Evans

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th November 2014

Dan Doherty to launch Chefs of Tomorrow project