Harry Lomas MBE BEM FIH
The story of our Executive Head Chef
Lancashire born Harry was always interested in what was going on in the kitchen and was inspired by hearty traditional comfort food from the north of England. Whilst finishing school he worked as a kitchen assistant washing up and peeling the vegetables to earn some money, but soon realised that if he was going to make his dream of being a chef become a reality, he needed to get some formal qualifications.
Turning his dream into a reality...
He began his chef career by gaining qualifications in a 2 year catering apprenticeship with the Army. Harry owes his thirst for knowledge to some great postings and meeting some great people around the world; from Master Chef with the Parachute Regiment to the United Nations in Cyprus and onto the prestigious appointment as senior catering advisor in London working with the Royal Household arranging state and ceremonial hospitality.
Harry retired from the Army after 34 years in 2011 as a Major to the Senior Catering Officer at Army Headquarters responsible for operational feeding of Troops in Afghanistan and around the world. He is a strong character with an impressive portfolio in delivering exceptional service to demanding customers that has been recognised by a number of accolades, including the MBE and BEM.
A passion for food...
Whilst working in London Harry found a real passion for the provenance & traceability of food by visiting London's oldest food markets including Borough Market, and working with Peter Gott and the many distinguished traders on the stalls. Harry has also worked alongside some of the most talented chefs such as Paul Gayler at the Lanesborough, Henri Brosi at the Dorchester, Vivek Singh from the Cinnamon Club and Jamie and his team at Fifteen.
Not to let the grass grow under his feet, in 2011 he took on the role of Catering Cleaning and Waste Venue Manager at the Excel Centre for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Harry is not shy when it comes to Television - he has featured on Saturday Kitchen, Master Chef, Jamie’s School Dinners, the Channel 5 Combat Chef series and most recently here on London Live sharing details of how our menus are inspired by the produce from our Walled Garden.
After the Olympics finished Harry took on his most recent appointment as our Executive Head Chef. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Freeman of the City of London and an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks.
An inspirational leader...
Harry brings to The Grove inspiration and enthusiasm to his Chef brigade. He is passionate about developing the younger chefs to discover their own talents in the same way that he was encouraged, whilst having fun with food and works with the best suppliers to bring fresh food to table. In addition to cooking, Harry is in much demand for his hands on and interactive demonstrations where he can wax lyrical about food and feeding. Even though we have a full repertoire of dishes he is always looking to push the boundaries for creating dishes, recipes and telling the story of the food as well as the presentation.
Harry’s culinary philosophy...
Harry is passionate about working with suppliers to seek the finest and freshest ingredients that reflect the growing trends towards healthier and uncomplicated lifestyle cooking, letting the food speak for itself. Harry believes wholeheartedly in staying active and continuously learning - for him “Every day is a learning day.”
So, what did you learn today?
See what MasterChef semi-finalist Saira Hamilton has to say when 'Harry Met Saira' on her blog here