Position: Head chef, Pétrus restaurant, the Berkeley Hotel, London
Career to date
After a short spell at the Pink Geranium in Cambridgeshire in 1997, Welch moved to London. Following stints at City Rhodes, Aubergine and Le Gavroche, he left for Paris, spending two years at L'Arpège. Returning to England in 2002, he spent the next two years at the Box Tree in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and Sheene Mill in Hertfordshire, before heading up the kitchen at Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire for two years. Welch joined Pétrus in 2005, progressing from junior sous chef to head chef in less than 18 months.
Why is he a winner?
Welch's drive and passion has taken him to some of Europe's top kitchens and his cooking ability has earned him a number of plaudits and accolades - including the Gordon Ramsay Scholar in 2003 while at Glenapp Castle, where he ran the kitchen and earned the restaurant three AA rosettes. Welch's rise through the ranks at Pétrus has been rapid and he was instrumental in Pétrus gaining its second Michelin star earlier this year.
A perfectionist with an eye for detail, whether engaged in cooking or business management, under the guidance of chef-patron Marcus Wareing Welch has developed a reputation for bringing the most out of simple ingredients and having a keen awareness of the cost of produce and how it relates to menu prices and profit. He has also proved to be a great leader and he regularly takes time out to coach and train his 18-strong kitchen brigade, helping to achieve consistently high standards in the process.