Head chef, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Wiltshire
Nominated by Hywel Jones, executive head chef, and Nicki Cotton, HR manager, Lucknam Park
Proudest moment “I have a few: winning South West Chef of the Year and competing in MasterChef: The Professionals. However, my proudest moment is becoming head chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park – it’s a massive milestone in my career.”
Greatest inspiration “I take inspiration from a lot of things – eating out, reading and my family – but my greatest inspiration has to be my fiancée Jo Thom. She is so supportive of me and has always been understanding – she even puts up with me taking over the house with all of my cookbooks!”
Ambition “My aim is to follow in the footsteps of the chefs who have taught me and become an executive chef at an established venue where I can pass on the knowledge I have learned and inspire a younger generation of chefs.”
Since taking on his first hotel job in 2012, Dean Westcar has shown dedication and persistence, working his way through the ranks over the past five years to head chef.
Westcar now heads up a brigade of 26 chefs at the five-red-AA-star Lucknam Park hotel. He is passionate about mentoring younger members of the team and has developed a scheme with local colleges to develop students and recruit for the future.
Under Westcar’s watch, Lucknam has built new relationships with suppliers and implemented an online ordering system that has reduced spend across the kitchens.
In 2015, prior to joining Lucknam, Westcar appeared on the BBC Two show MasterChef: The Professionals. He made an impression on the competitors and has since worked with them to raise money for Dementia UK.
After a year in the position, Westcar, who was named South West Chef of the Year in 2014, developed his coaching and mentoring skills and is now identified within the business as someone who can be relied on.