Sheffield chef joins elite club to become a Master Chef of Great Britain - aged just 28

The chef of Sheffield fine dining restaurant Rafters has cooked up a triumph by becoming a Master Chef of Great Britain – at the age of just 28.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 11:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 4:12 pm
Tom Lawson at Rafters Restarant
Tom Lawson at Rafters Restarant

Tom Lawson, chef patron, of the Nether Green restaurant, was aware of the prestigious Master Chef title as a young student training at Sheffield College.

Then he helped make canapes for the association’s annual lunch, and saw his tutors be granted membership.

Now he has joined their ranks in the exclusive club after becoming a full member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain.

Tom had to be put forward for the honour by two current members before a ‘fellow’ or board member gave final approval, and has former college tutors and chefs Len Unwin, Mick Burke and Murray Chapman to thank for helping him become a member.

“It’s something that I have always wanted, but I never thought at 28 I would be a Master Chef of Great Britain”, said Tom, after taking a break to take something from the oven.

“They run competitions across the country including a young Master Chef of Great Britain competition which I took part in at college.

“It’s really good experience to have, to become a fellow you have to be working at a three rosette level for 10 years. Mick is a fellow for his commitment to hospitality training.”

The Rafters team, who enjoyed a fully booked frenetic week last week as thousands of the city’s students graduated and celebrated their achievements, are hoping Tom may now be the youngest member of the association.

Membership of the club includes some of the most notable chefs from around the country, and the professional chefs’ association dates back to 1980.

The association’s aims are to train and develop young chefs, as well as promoting local and seasonal British produce, showcased in their award-winning menus.

Many members are closely associated with their local colleges and a number of lecturers at colleges are acknowledged for their expertise in providing training by becoming members themselves.

It is also connected to the Skills for Chefs conference – designed for professionals in the culinary industry - which took place in Sheffield earlier this month.

And talking of awards.

Last week the Telegraph reported on Sheffield Cheesemaster’s founder Sophie Williamson scooping a gold award at the Great Yorkshire Show less than 18 months after her Kelham Island business creating Sheffield’s first city made cheese was founded.She has since won a silver award at the Bakewell Show last week.