The Caterer

Acorn winners 2012 – Shaun Dickens

28 September 2012
Acorn winners 2012 – Shaun Dickens

Age 28

Position Head chef and farm manager, Fallowfields hotel and restaurant, Oxford

Nominator Anthony Lloyd

Proudest career moment My last job at Per Se was plating on the pass and I got to work shoulder-to-shoulder with three of the best chefs I've ever worked with - Thomas Keller, Jonathan Benno and Eli Kaimer. They taught me everything I use in my kitchen today.

Greatest inspiration Thomas Keller. His French Laundry Cookbook was the first I ever owned, and his kitchen and team were the most incredible I have ever seen. He is a true inspiration with many strings to his bow.

Ambition To have my own restaurant one day; a place where I can use all the training and techniques I've learnt from all the chefs I have worked for and make it my own.

After training at Westminster Kingsway, Shaun Dickens joined Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons as a commis, working up to senior chef de partie. Three years later, he moved to New York, working for 18 months as a chef de partie at Per Se under his food hero, Thomas Keller.

Returning to England in 2009, Shaun secured the sous chef position at L'Ortolan. In 2011, he took his current role as head chef at Fallowfields hotel and within six months had gained 2 AA rosettes and helped win the Tourism South East small hotel of the year award. Shaun is responsible for £480,000 in revenue, a brigade of six, a kitchen porter and two staff in the garden and farm. He also oversees the farm, including rare breed livestock, kitchen garden and orchards.

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