Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Garreth Wilson
Garreth is the head chef at Titanic Belfast and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the London semi-finals of National Chef of the Year on Tuesday, 19th June. Before they start cooking, it’s always good to get to know our semi-finalists a little better, so we put some questions to him.
Tell us how you first heard about the competition and what attracted you to enter?
Following my gold win at IFEX in the Senior Chef of the Year competition, I was looking for an opportunity to test and showcase my skills nationally. I love what I do, I have a passion for food and I am always looking for a way to innovate further and I felt the National Chef of the Year competition would be the perfect fit for me.
Where were you when you first discovered you had made it into the National Chef of the Year semi-finals?
I was in the kitchen, preparing for a large-scale event. It was a great surprise and something that I have been really looking forward too.
How did you celebrate your achievement?
As I was working, I couldn’t keep it from my colleagues so I had shared it with them. They were delighted for me, and I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my family and friends.
How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?
Being a chef, time is everything – I have been practising my dishes, when and where possible.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?
I would have to say my current executive head chef at Titanic Belfast, Alastair Fullerton. We have worked with each other in several establishments over the years. However, at Titanic Belfast, we work to showcase the best of Northern Ireland in our premier event suites, serving guests including Her Majesty The Queen, TITANIC director James Cameron and Presidential Candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We’ve worked on events ranging from Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee lunch, the G8 Summit Reception to BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Alistair is constantly encouraging me to be innovative, push the boundaries of services and deliver five-star experiences day in day out.
Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?
For me, it would have to be the pickled mushroom arancini Scotch hen egg with truffled parsnip, heritage tomato and fennel severed with black sesame and parmesan cracker parmesan. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite dishes.
How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?
I would be absolutely delighted. For me, it would be a massive achievement. It would be an honour to showcase myself and Northern Ireland to a national stage and to those at the forefront of the industry in the final!
Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.
My two children, Ella and Harry, and my wife are my biggest fans!