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Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: James Cousins

James Cousins

James Cousins is competing in the second heat of National Chef of the Year and is aiming to take his spot in the final in October. He’s currently senior sous chef for Restaurant Associates at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Ahead of the competition, we wanted to find out more about him both in and out the kitchen.

Tell us how you first heard about the competition and what attracted you to enter?

The idea of competing against some of the best chefs in the business was a challenge which I couldn't miss out on. I love the thoughts of putting my ideas against theirs and seeing what happens.

Where were you when you first discovered you had made it into the National Chef of the Year semi-finals? 

Right in the middle of service, so this gave me a good push after a busy week to finish the day!

How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?

By spending all my spare time in the kitchen with my partner in crime perfecting everything I can.

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?

My dad, as he got me into the game and gave me the passion to keep pushing myself.

Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?

To be honest the dessert, as it's my weakest point but I think the flavour combination will be one to watch out for.

How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?

I’ll be happy as I can get another jacket - last years was getting rather small.

Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.

I can talk to animals.

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