Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Thomas Westerland

The  Staff Canteen

National Chef of the Year 2018 finalist, Thomas Westerland is head chef of The Brasserie at Lucknam Park Hotel

Thomas’ love for food came at an early age when the young chef was still at school. His first insight into a professional kitchen came a few years later working part-time as a kitchen porter in a local pub whilst studying at catering college. This was followed by stints at local pubs and restaurants in South Wales before being offered a chef de partie role at Lucknam Park. Under the guidance of Hywel Jones, Thomas was able to rise up the ranks to become head chef of Lucknam Park’s The Brasserie, a role the chef remains in today.

How did it feel to get through to the final?

When they announced my name as the winner of heat 4 and as a finalist it left me speechless. I never in my wildest dreams expected to get through especially when you look at the calibre of chefs that took part in the semi-finals. I still look back at that moment now as one of the highlights of my career so far.

Why did you enter National Chef of the Year?

Since starting college, and working with the chefs that I have been privileged to cook with and for, I have begun to realise that accolades such as NCOTY are a pinnacle career goal to aim for. My journey in this competition has been inspired by other Lucknam chefs who have entered NCOTY. I went to the awards ceremony, after supporting a fellow colleague in the competition, and saw the chefs on stage getting recognition for the hard work that they had put in. It was this acknowledgement that inspired me to enter the competition myself. I felt that one day I wanted to be up there with them.

On Tuesday, October 3 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 28th September 2017

Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Thomas Westerland