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Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Sam Bowser

Sam Bowser

We love hearing from the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists and getting to know them a little better ahead of the cook-off. The next chef in the spotlight is Sam Bowser, head chef at Dormy House.

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

I've been aware of NCOTY for a long time and I've worked with several chefs that have been involved in the competition, and some have gone on to win it. I've always admired the competition because of the calibre of chefs that enter, as well as win. I became interested in entering after seeing a tweet from Phil Howard about the deadline being pushed back. I read through the brief and two of the dishes where compatible to dishes I had on my menu, so I thought I'd give it a go.

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 picking crab when I heard I had made the semi-final of National Chef of the Year.

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

I've done several run throughs of the menu working in a similar sized space as I'll have during the semi-final and working in the same time frame.

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

I've had the opportunity to work with many inspirational people during my career. Now it's my wife, Tina, and son, Alfie, who are my biggest inspiration.

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

I'm really looking forward to serving the starter. In a couple of interpretations, it's the longest serving dish on the menu in the Garden Room at Dormy house.

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

The best answer is probably relief. I'm very competitive and put a lot of expectation on myself.

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

I have dual nationality -  English and Australian. I've spent six years in Australia, two of which I was cooking in Sydney and this was a massive influence on the places I went on to work in and this has shaped the chef I am today.

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