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Sion hughes

Sion is currently working at Carden Park Hotel and Spa in Chester as the chef de partie and he is in charge of the larder section for the à la carte restaurant and the four banquet venues they have at the hotel.

Unlike many chefs, Sion did not go to college to do his training. Some of what he knows has been self-taught and the rest has come from working under Graham Tinsley, Harri Williams and Dion Jones over the past three years. 

Sion actually left Carden Park last spring to go to Rogan and Co. in Cartmel but he felt it was too big a jump for him, so he returned to Carden Park to improve his skills with new chef, Harri Williams. Hopefully in the next few years he will work his way up to Michelin starred kitchens, when he feels more ready and confident in his cooking. 

When asked what he loves most about being a chef, he said it’s that moment when you have prepared, made and served something special for a customer and they love it and give good feedback. It’s a feeling he doesn’t think you can top. He also loves the team at Carden Park and how when the going gets tough they all work together. They have a saying “one team, one dream.”

Sion has wanted to be a chef since he was about five or six years old after helping out in the kitchen at home. His favourite things to make as a child were pasta and a banana loaf for dessert.

When it comes to career influences, Sion has followed Gordon Ramsey from quite a young age. He loves the passion and pure talent of him and that inspires him to want to push himself. Whenever someone says to Sion “that’s perfect” his response is always “nothing’s ever perfect, there’s always room for improvement”.

The reason for Sion wanting to do competitions is not only to push himself and try to improve his skills but also to see what other people are doing. He feels it’s a good way to see what other chefs are up to and to network with people you otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet. He loves the feeling you get during and after a competition with a slight adrenaline rush. To be in the final of the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) means a lot to him and he is very grateful and fortunate to be in the position many young chefs only dream of. This makes all the long hours practicing and researching recipes and methods worthwhile.

Winning the YNCOTY competition would mean everything to him, so much so he just couldn’t put it into words! He will approach this final in the same way he does any other competition, with 100% focus and determination to find out what works and what doesn’t. Normally in a competition he will try to stay within his comfort zone and not try new things. However, to win YNCOTY he thinks he’s going to have to push himself even harder.

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