26th & 27 AUG 2023

Thomas Leatherbarrow

Chocolate Innovation chef of the year
See Thomas On Saturday

I am currently the CEO and International Culinary Director of TLC Gourmet, Part of The Leatherbarrow Corporation Holdings. This aspect of the business has been operation since the beginning of 2018, with interest in The Middle East, Egypt and America. Winner of Forbes business elite European entrepreneur of the year and British Hospitality Professional Of the year

Give a brief overview of your career.
I first started out in boutique hotels and resorts, before moving to London where I work for Jason Atherton in his flagship Michelin starred restaurant pollen street social, after working throughout Jason's London restaurants I started working on my own business on the side a pastry & confectionary company. I liquidated and sold my first business in 2017, Pastry Development after working in Michelin-starred restaurants, for other chefs such as tom Aikens, Gordon Ramsey, Becoming a private International Cuisine Chef for UHNWI and Royal Families around the world. My career so far has been one of many experiences and accomplishments including chocolate innovation chef of the year, pastry inspiration award, pastry chef of the year, master chocolatier awards, and to more recently winning the coveted European business elite entrepreneur of year 30 under 30. I have achieved three master's degrees and am working on a fourth. Within business, nutrition, world cuisine, and bakery & patisserie culinary Arts. With one book under my belt, I am now working on the next couple to be more of a collection than a single book. Landing my first major international brand ambassador role for RAK Porcelain representing the UK in the industry world stage.

What are some of the brands/ businesses within TLC Holdings Group?
We currently have an international 80 cover restaurant in Egypt, a fine dining restaurant in Lebanon, a lobster and shrimp food truck brand, operating in north Africa and middle east, Dough&Cakes - our doughnut brand, soon to expand from the UK into the middle east. The Gourmet Burger Truck, luxury themed burgers. The luxury events catering brand, hosting private parties, and wedding approximately 250 wedding per year service royalty and UHNW clients as well as the rest of the UK & Europe. The hospitality brands currently operate in Qatar, Dubai, Lebanon, UK, Egypt.

Where did you learn your skills/culinary education?
Colchester Institute, CIA - America.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I have been a chef from a very young age and been lucky enough to experience many aspects of chef life from no sleep and social life to the rewards and accomplishments of perseverance. But my favourite would still be the endless possibilities of food I am learning still every day and applying what I know to the grow and develop my own businesses and to also give something back to those looking to enter the industry for the first time or those in the industry looking for inspiration.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I had many proud moments in my career and to pick one is impossible, but I think a very high ranked would be the dish that won the chocolate innovation chef of the year then sent me around the world and gave a huge insight into the process and harvesting of ingredients and the ways of life of those farmers and the growing that many take for granted.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Coming up with a new dish is a challenge at times and others is easy it is about the frame of mind and thought process applying flavours you know a love and seeing how you can adapt skills, process and traditional methods to create something that no one else is doing yet and try to be ahead of the trend so you can push the boundaries and modern and traditional gastronomy.

Who was your greatest influence?
Jason Atherton, Marco, Tom Aikens, Alan Roux and Michel Roux Jr., Steven Bartlett

Thomas Leatherbarrow
Thomas Leatherbarrow
Thomas Leatherbarrow
Thomas Leatherbarrow
Thomas Leatherbarrow
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