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Mansfield-trained chef shares his experience of working in top restaurants

Thomas Greig.
Thomas Greig.

A chef who has carved out a successful career working for the likes of Gordon Ramsay in leading restaurants is returning to his former training ground in Mansfield.

Thomas Greig will temporarily hang up his chef whites at Frenchie Covent Garden to stage his own fine dining evening at West Nottinghamshire College’s flagship restaurant Refined.

A catering and hospitality student at the college in the early 2000s, Thomas said: “It’s humbling to be invited back to the place where I got my love of cooking from.”

He will be serving up a four-course menu that he has created especially for the event, on Thursday, March 8.

He said that he was excited at the prospect of treating customers to something “a little different.”

Thomas will be assisted by more than 20 learners on professional cookery, hospitality supervision and leadership, and food and beverage courses.

After more than 15 years in the business, Thomas wants to pass on his knowledge and experience to young hopefuls from his home town.

Diners will be treated to a first course consisting of ‘snacks’ including a panice of carrot and cumin, and cod skin, taramasalata, lemon and dill.

These will be followed by a starter of mushroom, mascarpone and tarragon tortelli in a mushroom broth, followed by a main course of braised ox cheek with shallot puree, endive, turnip and nut gremolata or a vegetarian option of roasted heritage carrots, braised chicory, shallot purée and barley salad.

Desserts are rhubarb and ginger, almond, thyme and custard ice cream; followed by dark chocolate salted fudge.

After gaining his City & Guilds catering and hospitality qualifications at the Mansfield college in 2002, Thomas worked at a host of establishments in the area including The Elm Tree, Elmton, and The Coopers, Mansfield Woodhouse, where he was head chef.

He moved to the capital to join the Gordon Ramsay Restaurants group, becoming commis chef at Bread Street Kitchen upon its opening in 2011. While there, he enjoyed a stint at Michelin-starred Pétrus, where he got “the fine-dining bug.”

After rising to the position of junior sous chef, Thomas left Bread Street Kitchen in 2014 to help launch sister restaurant Heddon Street Kitchen, which was followed by two separate spells as sous chef at Mayfair favourite, Maze.

In 2017 he secured his current position as senior sous chef at Frenchie Covent Garden, owned by Jamie Oliver protégé Gregory Marchand.

The meal at Refined costs £24.95 per person with wine pairings at £10 per person. Sittings from 6.30pm to 7.45pm. To book, call 01623 413629.

Thomas, 33, is now set to take centre stage at Refined, which holds a prestigious AA College Restaurant Rosette and is based at the Derby Road campus.

Speaking about his return to West Notts, Thomas said: “It’s humbling to be invited back to the place where I got my love of cooking from. I’m keen to show the new breed of culinary artists, cooks and front-of-house staff a few things I’ve learned over the years and who knows, maybe I’ll learn something from them too – because as chefs, we’re always learning.