Antony Worrall Thompson is to be interviewed at the Hospitality Show in what is billed as being a candid, no-holds-barred conversation.
Worrall Thompson, who hit the headlines last year after being cautioned for shoplifting, will be interviewed by GS magazine editor Stirling Johnstone in front of a live audience on Monday 21 January at 2pm.
The chef will discuss celebrity, the highs and lows of running a restaurant and facing the future with optimism.
Worrall Thompson won numerous accolades, including the Academy of Culinary Arts’ Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne in 1987 and the Mouton Rothschild Menu Competition in 1988. He represented the UK in the Bocuse d’Or competition in 1989.
In 1998, he became resident studio chef and main presenter for BBC2’s Food & Drink programme, has been a regular on Ready Steady Cook and is a judge for the British Street Food Awards.
His business, AWT Restaurants, was a major casualty of the 2009 recession when it collapsed into administration, closing seven pubs and restaurants.
Immediately after the administration, Worrall Thompson bought back Kew Grill, Windsor Grill and Window Larder for £210,000, financed with assistance from long-term business partner David Wilby and friend Nicky Stephenson.
He then went on to rescue the Greyhound pub in Totherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire, by paying a nominal £1 for the lease and spending £70,000 on decorating the interior and exterior, as well as doing up the garden. Antiques and paintings from Worrall Thompson’s attic have been used to enhance the decor.
At the time, Worrall Thompson told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that 2009 had been a hellish year, but that he was determined to come out fighting. “I suppose I had hoped to be thinking about my retirement by now – I imagined I would spend my days writing – but I’m not one to sit back and say poor me,” he explains. “I’m determined to get on and make this work. I’m a bit of a scrapper and that is the way I will always be.”
Photograph by Nick Ayliffe
Worrall Thompson apologises after caution for shop-lifting >>
By James Stagg
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