Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Luciano Luciolo
We have loved getting to know Luciano Luciolo over recent years when he’s made it to the National Chef of the Year final. He’s back in the competition for 2018 and is hoping to claim one of just ten spots at The Restaurant Show in October.
Tell us how you first heard about the competition and what attracted you to enter?
This is my fourth year in a row involved with National Chef of the Year (NCOTY). The first time, I was advised to enter by a fellow chef as he said I was very talented and needed to be known more in our industry.
Where were you when you first discovered you had made it into the National Chef of the Year semi-finals?
I was working but around lunchtime I started to check Twitter for some updates. When I found out I was one of the 40 semi-finalists I was thrilled, just like the first year I made it through. This year for me is special as I'm applying as a Private Chef and I'm going solo without the support of a company. It is harder but is more special.
How did you celebrate your achievement?
I didn't celebrate as I was working, but I will celebrate if I will make it through to the final.
How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?
If I am being honest, I'm not training at all, as for me it comes more naturally to just go to the semi-final and cook my dishes for the judges. I need to make sure I finish on time and cook to the high expectations of those tasting my dishes.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?
My biggest inspiration are all those chefs who made their careers from nothing. They inspire me with their dedication and passion for our work.
Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?
I'm looking forward to serving the dessert course as I think it is the best out of the three and I'm sure will give me a high score. It is good to finish a three-course meal with an important and strong dish. The inspiration comes from my Italian background.
How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?
It will be a great news as it gives me the opportunity to battle for the title of NCOTY 2019 and the chance to challenge myself in the final with the most talented chefs in our industry.
Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.
Last November, I quit my job to start a new path of my chef career. I'm trying to become one of the best Private Chefs available in our industry for celebrities and for very important families in London. I'm working hard to build my contacts and network and hopefully with the opportunity of winning NCOTY 2019, I will boost my contacts and network.