Norwich chef in running to be Britain's best

Oli Williamson is competing to be Britain's best young chef

Oli Williamson is competing to be Britain's best young chef. - Credit: Oli Williamson

A city chef has made it to the semi-finals of the competition to find Britain's best young culinary wizard.  

Oli Williamson, who was educated at City College Norwich, now works at Heston Blumenthal acclaimed The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray. 

But although he now works in a restaurant with three Michelin stars Mr Williamson had humble beginnings.  

Aged 16 Mr Williamson started working at The Neptune in Hunstanton. he said:  “I was interested in cooking, as was my dad. You can work in a kitchen at a younger age.  

“It meant I could earn some money and study part time at City College Norwich.” 

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And now he has reached the latter stages of the Roux Scholarship.

The competition has been running more than 30 years and is judged by TV chefs Michel Roux Jnr, Brian Turner and James Martin.  

Oli Williamson from Norwich has reached the semi finals of a cooking competition. 

Oli Williamson from Norwich has reached the semi finals of a cooking competition. - Credit: Oli Williamson

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Mr Williamson said that as he has known for a while that he had reached the semi-final of the competition he has been practising getting his technique spot on.

“I am so excited to get started," he said. 

Mr Williamson added that he is most inspired by the people he works with saying they inspire him to be better: “I love seeing people grow and helping them to grow is so inspiring.” 

“I plan to work hard and continue on this trajectory”  

Talking to our region's young people Oli said “Treat it as a marathon, not a sprint. 

“When I was young, I wanted to rush into things, but you can’t learn everything that quickly, so remember to treat it as a longer career path.” 

Mr Williamson will be competing in the regional final is in London on September 9.

And what is our great chef's favourite food? “Anything over a BBQ is my favourite, cholesterol overload but delish!” 

If you are a young person who has a story to tell or would be interested in having your voice heard in the paper, please contact Sophie Skyring via     

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