Young National Chef of the Year finalist- Jonathan Ferguson
Whilst Jonathan has always been interested in cooking, he started to do it properly at home at around 12 years old, picking up a lot of methods and techniques from culinary programmes on the TV. Preferring to get his training directly in kitchens, rather than a traditional college course, Jonathan has worked in a variety of establishments. However, he takes the most inspiration from his current chef patron, Andrew Fairlie and head chef, Stevie McLaughlin. Jonathan describes Andrew as one of the most modest and humble chefs in the country and he admires everything about the way he runs his business and treats his staff. When talking about head chef Stevie, Jonathan loves the amount of time and effort that he puts into staff training and finds him a brilliant motivator. This is exactly the way Jonathan would like to operate when he is in a similar position later in his career.
Jonathan enjoys taking part in competitions as he feels they really help to develop your cooking abilities, and the adrenaline rush on the day of the event is something quite special. Winning The Young National Chef of the Year competition is all about the level of respect it would bring amongst his peers, which is one of his biggest driving factors.
Jonathan found out he was through to the final right at the start of a fully booked dinner service, so he didn’t get a chance to call his parents until the next morning. A busy night at work brought him back down to earth quite quickly, which he says was probably for the best.
Jamie describes his food as clean, simple and interesting.