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Acorn winners 2012 – Omar Allibhoy

28 September 2012
Acorn winners 2012 – Omar Allibhoy

Age 28

Position Owner, Tapas Revolution, Westfield London

Nominator Shyesha Lewis

Proudest career moment Watching the TV episode of Ramsay's Best Restaurant where we got to the finals with El Pirata Detapas. We lost, but when I saw the programme I could see that we had made every effort along the way. And Gordon Ramsay was so complimentary about my food. That made me very proud.

Greatest inspiration The team behind El Bulli and their constant search for perfection. I was taught during my time there not to accept something if you can improve upon it and make it great.

Ambition I would love to open great tapas bars around the globe and spread Spanish gastronomy.

Madrid-born Omar Allibhoy has more than 13 years of cooking and kitchen management experience in top establishments, including Maze and El Bulli. Omar showed his entrepreneurial spirit at the age of eight by selling cakes in his parents' garden; and put it to good use in 2007 when he started a venture turning pubs into gastropubs and launched an outside catering company, which was sold in 2009. He then joined El Pirata Detapas in London's Bayswater where he is still executive chef, turning it into a destination Spanish restaurant that made the semi-finals on Channel 4 show Ramsay's Best Restaurant. In 2010, Omar launched Tapas Revolution in Westfield London, followed by a second site in Bluewater. Today, the sites generate £1.3m and £0.9m respectively - a far cry from selling cakes over the garden fence.

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