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The Caterer

Acorn winner 2007: Mike Lewis

10 May 2007
Acorn winner 2007: Mike Lewis

Age: 29
Position: Development chef, Yo! Sushi, Farringdon, London

Career to date

Lewis started his career as a chef de partie and spent six years working at various concepts owned by The Restaurant Group (TRG) such as Est Est Est, Wok Wok and Frankie & Benny's, graduating to the position of head chef. He then joined Yo! Sushi as a head chef in 2002, before becoming openings chef in 2004 and development chef in late 2006.

Why is he a winner?

In his five years at Yo! Sushi, Lewis has come a long way, to a point where he is now responsible for food consistency and creativity at Yo! As a head chef he ran the kitchens at various outlets - including the busiest one, in London's Selfridges department store - and assisted in the opening of the first venture outside London, in Manchester. While managing kitchen teams of up to 20 chefs, he also developed a knack for recognising and nurturing talent.

Lewis is truly passionate about Asian cuisine and although he was thrown in at the deep end when he took on his current role - the previous executive and development chefs at Yo! had both left within a month of each other - he quickly rose to the challenge.

As development chef Lewis's naturally creative side has come to the fore and he has developed a thorough understanding of food cost and built up strong relations with his suppliers and his team. In addition to helping to shape the Yo! Sushi menu in the UK, he has helped create the menus for the launch of the brand in France and Dubai.

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