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Acorns 2019: Jamie Warley, 26

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Acorns 2019: Jamie Warley, 26

Head pastry chef, St Ermin’s hotel, London

Nominator Mafalda Albuquerque, hotel manager, St Ermin’s hotel

Proudest moment “My first head pastry chef position at the Gherkin, aged just 20.”

Greatest inspiration “Paul Welburn, my first head chef when I arrived in London at Rhodes W1. He developed my knowledge of pastry and gave me a solid foundation from which to grow.”

Why hospitality is a great career “It’s a creative industry with massive room for growth and personal development. You can get a taste of responsibility from an early age and it can take you all over the world.”

Jamie Warley set out to learn from the best and hasn’t looked back. He started his culinary journey as a junior pastry chef at Gary Rhodes W1 in 2010, which gave him a grounding in Michelin-star standards. After three years, he was ready to take up the head pastry chef role at Searcy’s at the Gherkin, gaining management experience from overseeing a team of three.

In 2014 the young pastry chef moved to the Social Eating House and worked under Jason Atherton as a pastry junior sous. He thrived, and within six months was promoted to head pastry chef at Little Social. It was a launchpad to working with Adam Simmonds, first as head pastry chef at the Kensington Pavilion then at Launceston Place.

His decision to join St Ermin’s in 2017 presented him with several new challenges, not least managing a team of six. His goal was clear: afternoon tea lacked excitement and consistency, but Warley quickly tackled this with his flair for beautiful “over the top” pastries, driving positive guest reviews and recognition. Considering the covers for this exceeded 100 a day on average twice a week, it was clear that his efforts paid off. All this creative energy contributed to the £200,000 over-delivery to budget for afternoon tea in 2018 – some 53% above target.

He’s practical, too, reaching out to several colleges to nurture future talent through apprenticeships. To date, he has mentored three students and sponsored his demi chef-de-partie to attend Westminster Kingsway College.

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