Baking with my grandma and making cakes for the school fair with my mum sowed the seed that cooking was something I may like to do for a living. But doing a week’s work experience at Restaurant Sat Bains when I was 15 absolutely ignited my passion for the industry.

I completed a BTEC National Certificate in Hospitality Supervision at the University of Derby, Buxton campus.

In my current role, as head chef for Restaurant Associates, the well-organised and motivated team provides clients with arguably Michelin standard food, building solutions around the client’s ever-changing needs. This role constantly challenges me to continue exceeding both my own and the client’s expectations.

This job involves me overseeing five kitchens and a team of 30 chefs including fine dining, hospitality, sandwich production, events finishing and staff restaurant kitchens. As well as managing these on a day to day basis, the role involves developing a training program for the introduction of two to three apprentices a year. I’ve also been involved with developing and implementing the Wimbledon centre court sky view boxes for last three years of the tournament.

There are so many great chefs out there and with social media making chefs and their food so prolific, inspiration can come from anything, from a tweet to a walk in the country, even to a trip on a tube. When I think about people who inspire me I’d have to say Fergus Henderson who constantly inspires me with a fantastic mentality of using everything up.  

You learn so much from challenging yourself and The National Chef of the Year sure does that. It provides the chance to cook for chefs that you idolise in the industry and this in itself is a one-off opportunity.    

Hearing my name called as the winner in October really would mean the world to me. It would be my biggest achievement and a dream of mine for many years.

5 things you may not know about Adam Thomason...

  1. Back in the day I used to be a gymnast.

  2. I lived in Denmark for 3 years.

  3. I won a bet by letting my fiery red beard grow for 3 months to win a table at Noma.

  4. I ran a marathon with only six jogs as training.

  5. I’ve introduced a successful apprenticeship scheme into my current workplace.


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