Nick Allen talks about The Dorchester and more
PUBLISHED: 18:01 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 20 February 2013
Nick Allen on cooking for celebrities at The Dorchester, his dreams of owning a hotel in the West Country and working with scout groups in Tonbridge...
Nick Allen on cooking for celebrities at The Dorchester, his dreams of owning a hotel in the West Country and working with scout groups in Tonbridge
Tell us about yourself
My name is Nick Allen, I'm 22 and live in Tonbridge. I went to Bennett Memorial School in Tunbridge Wells and left when I was 17 to do a part-time NVQ course in professional cookery at Thames Valley University in London. I have an older sister who is a teacher and I also share a house with her. Our parents moved down to Cornwall two years ago, which is a great free holiday destination!
What are you doing now?
I have been working in London at the world-famous Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair. I was luckily enough to get
a job there as a commis chef straight after leaving school and over the course of four and a half years, I've mananged to work my way up to the position of senior chef de partie.
I love my job as I get to cook for some really important and famous people, ranging from celebrities to royalty who visit from all over the world.
Our kitchen at The Dorchester is one of the biggest in London with some 150 chefs, and it can get very hot in there!
What are ambitions for the future?
In the future I eventually hope to have a hotel of my own, ideally somewhere in the south west as I love that part of the country. I would much prefer a hotel compared to just a restaurant as I think you get to offer a bigger range of experiences such as weddings, the rooms and hotels are always an important part of any community.
What's the best thing about living in Kent?
I love living in Kent. It's great that within minutes I can be standing in the middle of the countryside with just the sounds of nature around me, then after just a short train journey, I can be standing in the middle of London, and can easily travel to the continent. And speaking as a chef we have some of the best ingredients in the country - especially the cider!
What are your hobbies and interests?
I'm an assistant explorer scout leader in Tonbridge, I've been involved in scouting since I was six years old and love it. I work with young people aged between 14 and18, we go camping as much as we can. I have travelled to world with scouts, including places like Thailand and Malaysia. I also like to just chill out with my friends with some nice food and nice wine. I've also been told I'm quite a mean photographer, with a few shots blown up onto canvas!
What was the last book you read?
I read a lot, especially while travelling on the train to work. I'm a big Clive Cussler fan, as you can follow the characters throughout a series of books, but I'm currently reading The Assassini by Thomas Gifford, a Da Vinci Code spin off. I find reading the best way of relaxing after work.