“Be individual, don’t follow the crowd or trends.”
Patrick Thompson won the Roux Scholarship in 1998 at the age of 22. It was the first time he’d entered. He did his stage with Alain Sederens at Lucas Carton, in Paris, and is now a house and property manager for a private client .
Patrick first wanted to be a chef after being inspired by his family who were keen on food and home cooking, and by watching the Roux Brothers' cookery programme on BBC2.
He went on to do his training at Bedford College, doing his apprenticeship at the Woodlands Manor Hotel, Clapham, Bedfordshire, rising from commis chef to sous chef. In 1998, he took the role of head chef at The Falcon Restaurant, in Bletsoe, winning the Roux Scholarship shortly afterwards. With the experience of his stage at Alain Senderens’ three-star Michelin restaurant Lucas Carton in Paris under his belt, Patrick moved to South Yorkshire as head chef of the very successful, 50-cover restaurant Chimneys Restaurant in Bawtry. Here, Patrick mentored other chefs to enter competitions. He stayed until late 2002 when the owners decided to close the restaurant.
Staying on in Yorkshire, Patrick took the role of private chef to the Lord Kirkham, a role he held for eight years. He had aspirations to become a private chef because of the opportunity to work in different locations, and enjoyed the bespoke nature of such a job and it fitted with his longer-term aim of working in private service management. The meeting with and cooking for Lord Kirkham at the restaurant provided him with a fortuitous break into what was a difficult area of the industry to gain a foothold at that time. Patrick used his skills as a chef in a different way: creating family meals and parties for up to 18 guests; preparing food for private flights and for travelling to overseas properties; and planning and preparing hampers each Christmas, and working with a team of gardeners in an incredible kitchen garden. During this time Patrick wrote his first recipe book, The Essence, which came out in 2006.
Since 2010, Patrick has been a house and property manager for a private client, which involves a wide range of skills and responsibilities, including managing a large team of people in multiple departments and locations both in the UK and abroad. He is responsible for the food produced and served to his clients. The experience Patrick gained during the earlier years of cooking, especially the time spent training under Alain Senderens has proven invaluable. Not only does Patrick draw on his cooking knowledge, he also notes how training in a three-star kitchen, with such a passionate chef, instilled an even deeper sense of commitment and dedication to the task. He says that every week, he is able to draw on the experience the scholarship provided, whether it be passing on culinary skills to chefs, inspiring departments within his team, or pushing the whole team to achieve a higher and more rewarding standard.
The Roux Scholarship is not the only competition in which Patrick had success. In 1997 and 1998 he was a finalist in the Academie Culinaire Annual Awards of Excellence, and in 2000 he was a semi finalist in the National Chef of the Year competition.