Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Will Holland

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th September 2017

National Chef of the Year 2018 finalist, Will Holland is executive chef at The Atlantic Hotel in Jersey

Will’s first taste of Michelin starred food was at the two star Lettonie with Martin Blunos at 12 years of age. After leaving school Will spent two years at catering college before landing his first culinary role under Gary Jones at Homewood Park in Bath. This was followed by stints at Gravetye Manor, Alan Murchison’s L’Ortolan and later a head chef position at Alan’s sister restaurant La Bécasse where he was awarded his first Michelin star. Will opened Coast restaurant three years ago which has since gone on to achieve two rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide and be named AA Restaurant of the Year in Wales 2015-2016.

It was announced earlier this year that Will would be leaving his post as head chef at Coast Restaurant to join The Atlantic Hotel in Jersey as executive chef.

How did it feel to get through to the final?

It felt great but it also made me think 'the hard work starts now'. The semi final in London was a mad experience and the kitchen was a crazy environment to be in. It's not until you take part in it until you realise who you're up against and the incredibly high standard of competition you're in the mix with. I was pleased I was able to cook to my ability on the day and my dishes were good enough to take me to the final.

Why did you enter National Chef of the Year?

David Mulcahy (Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs) persuaded me to enter because I have always used the excuse 'I don't have enough time' in the past. I'm confident in my skill level but wanted to put it in the mix with other chefs in the UK to see how it compares.

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.

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th September 2017

Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Will Holland