Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Stefan Sewell
So many of our National Chef of the Year semi-finalists entered this year because they were inspired by a former competitor or winner. This was the case for Stefan Sewell and we are delighted he has taken one of our top 40 places. Before he starts cooking next week, we wanted to get to know him a little better.
Tell us how you first heard about the competition and what attracted you to enter?
I first heard of the competition when my close friend David Davey-Smith entered, and I was influenced by his achievements last year within the competition.
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 at work and the manager of CSCAT sent me a message congratulating me. It’s fair to say I was in shock as I never expected to reach the semi-finals.
How did you celebrate your achievement?
It was such a proud moment for myself and my family. The wife and I celebrated with some drinks that evening.
How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?
There’s lots of juggling about with work, family-life and the competition but I am very fortunate to have a supporting wife and boss.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?
There are so many influential chefs in the military and we have all started from the bottom and now we are all here competing at a national standard. We inspire each other and have worked in a close knit group for a long time.
Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?
Definitely my main course, as it sums up my style of cooking and this dish has so much potential.
How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?
I am taking each step at a time and just concentrating on the semi-final. However, it would be an amazing achievement.
Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.
I am a massive Ipswich Town Fan (for my sins). Also, I could not even peel a carrot before I joined the military.