A 26-year-old chef will be representing the UK soon in what’s known as the ‘culinary Olympics’. Needless to say, we are all cheering him on here at Cafe Reality.
Tom Phillips, who is sous chef at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in London, will compete in the European Heat of the Bocuse d’Or world championship on 11th June. The contest takes place every two years with twenty countries competing in total. As our specialism at Cafe Reality is supplying stylish restaurant, bistro and cafe furniture, we like to follow the UK foodie scene closely. So as you can imagine, this latest development has us very excited.
Tom has dreamt of taking part since first starting out on his training. If he is placed in the top ten in this first heat in Turin, he will then go through to the world final in Lyon in 2019 — making him the second youngest chef ever to do so.
He won the UK selection late last year, competing against five other chefs in Birmingham. Now he has his eye fixed firmly on the main prize.
We were impressed when we heard that he is currently grafting hard seven days a week — two at Restaurant Story and the other five preparing for the competition. In fact, his training kitchen at University College Birmingham is an exact replica of the Bocuse d’Or one, so that by the time he gets to Turin he will know the space like the back of his hand. Now that’s devotion for you.
With previous kitchen experience in Le Bristol Paris, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in New York and The Ritz London, Tom has become well equipped with the classic cooking techniques essential for excelling at the Bocuse d’Or. Usually, competitors are highly experienced head chefs running their own restaurants, so this young contender is in the unusual position of being able to devote most of his week to training. Let’s hope it pays off.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for you, Tom — and we’ll be cracking open a bottle of British bubbly if you win.
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Image credit: Jodie Hinds