Head chef, Adam’s restaurant, Birmingham
Nominator Alasdair Elwick, general manager, The Samling
Proudest moment “Being sous chef when the Samling gained a Michelin star in 2013 with only three of us in the kitchen at one stage.”
Biggest inspiration “Gordon Ramsay. I remember watching his TV programme Boiling Point and the intensity, drive and focus of the kitchen was so inspiring. It has the same effect on me today.”
Ambition “To open my own destination restaurant close to my home city of Birmingham.”
It’s no surprise that Tom Shepherd is making ripples in the culinary world. He learned his craft on the job in acclaimed kitchens that demanded high standards, dedication, strong leadership and people skills.
Starting as a commis chef at New Hall Hotel & Spa in Sutton Coldfield aged 18, he didn’t waste muchtime in being named British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year in 2009 while chef de partie at Swinfen Hall hotel in Lichfield.
Since then, he’s not been a stranger to awards. He was, for instance, sous chef when the Samling hotel in Windermere in the Lake District won a Michelin star in 2013 and Best Dining Boutique Hotel in the World in 2012. Next stop was the two-Michelin-starred Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park hotel in Bagshot, Surrey, where he supported chef Michael Wignall before becoming development and head chef of the Nucleus at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, where he developed menu concepts and ideas.
Last year, Shepherd became head chef of the one-Michelin-starred Adam’s restaurant in Birmingham, where he is responsible for the kitchen operation, a brigade of 11 and annual revenues of £2.8m.
When he’s not behind the stove or nurturing his brigade and two apprentices, he has been busy promoting the industry. For instance, he provides kitchen tours to students from University College Birmingham, gives talks at training days and even allows students the chance to sample his eight-course tasting menu.