Meet the National Chef of the Year 2017 finalists: Adam Thomason

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th September 2016

National Chef of the Year 2017 finalist Adam Thomason, is the head chef at Restaurant Associates.

Adam’s appetite for food began at the age of 16 when he was on work experience at a local catering firm. After being offered a job just a few weeks into his internship he decided to pursue a career in hospitality attending catering college despite being a keen gymnast at the time. During his career, the 29 year old has worked at Sat Bains and Hart’s.

Are you nervous about cooking live at the restaurant show?

Yeah, I mean who wouldn’t be! It’s such a massive opportunity!

How do you let your personality come out in your cooking?

I think that comes with spending 12 years in kitchens. If you can’t prove yourself within a working environment, then you probably shouldn’t be in it. I think it’s taking influence from all the ingredients which are in season and seeing what you can do with them.

Who have been your greatest influences?

The biggest influence for me was Sat Bains. It was the first restaurant I worked in and he just has such a presence and demeanor about him that you can’t forget him! Also, Rune Amgild Jochumsen and Kristian Arpe-Møller, who are chefs from Formel B in Copenhagen, Denmark, they were hugely influential. I think generally speaking the people that you come into contact with at the start of your career are the ones that sculpt you into who you are later on. Obviously my Mum played a big part as well, I mean she’s a fantastic cook, but not a professional, but she just loves cooking!

What do you hope to achieve in the future?

If I win it and an opportunity comes up to own my own restaurant I would go hell for leather in opening my own place up! If someone was to give me that opportunity and back me, or if I managed to get into a better position financially then I would open my own restaurant in a heartbeat. I don’t have any particular places in mind but I would love to open it in London, but obviously the pressures and risks attached are huge. If the location was right and the business model was right, then as long as it was creative and fun and unique then I could open anywhere! Sat Bains made it work under a bridge in an industrial estate on the outskirts of Nottingham. So you know, just give me a chance and I’ll take it!

What would winning mean to you?

It would be a game changer within my career. It really would make all the difference in terms of the stepping stones which would hopefully leapfrog me in front of others to help my career progress smoothly. I know that every other finalist wants to do the same thing and wants to win it, but that is the dream, you don’t just enter it for a bit of fun, you want to win! It’s a massive achievement to get this far, but hopefully I can take it one step further!

>>> Read more about this year's finalists here

On Tuesday, October 4 a new National Chef of the Year will be crowned. We take a closer look at this year's finalists hoping to produce winning dishes at the final at The Restaurant Show, which will impress the judging panel. 



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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th September 2016

Meet the National Chef of the Year 2017 finalists: Adam Thomason