Interview with Masterchef's Tom Hamblet

Interview with Masterchef's Tom Hamblet

As members Lainston House welcome Tom Hamblet, winner of Masterchef: The professionals 2023 as he takes up residency as Head Chef at The Avenue restaurant, we were lucky enough to catch up with him to find out more with our own Q&A session:

1. Of course we should start by talking about MasterChef – firstly congratulations on winning the show last year. What can you tell us about the whole experience and what have you learnt from it?

It was definitely more full on than I expected but an incredible experience and very eye opening. I learnt that if you want something you should go for it. It gave me great life experience.

2. How would you describe your style of cooking and any influences on it?

My style is modern classic with a twist. I had classical training but I like to bring my own unique style by experimenting with new ideas and ingredients. I have been influenced by Tom Kerridge and see him as a great role model.

3.What was the most challenging dish you had to prepare for the show?   

The final three dishes from the final were the most challenging but mostly because of the time constraint.

4.How has winning MasterChef impacted your career?  

I have been a lot busier since winning the show and lots of new opportunities have arisen. I also now get recognised when I am out and about which is somewhat strange! 

5. How are you liking living in Hampshire and what can you tell us about the produce we have here and are famous for? 

During my residency at Lainston House I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay at the hotel which has meant that I have had time to explore the area a little and I’m really enjoying it – Ive even had time for a round of golf with the Executive Head Chef at Lainston, Phil Yeomans!  I can see why people say the produce in Hampshire is so great. The local ingredients I’ve been using at Lainston are definitely top quality. I’m also really lucky to have access to the Kitchen Garden at Lainston – produce cant be more local. The team there grow so many fresh ingredients from Asparagus to Kiwi’s!

6. What inspired you to start cooking and what age were you?   

I started cooking when I was quite young. At the age of 13 or 14 I used to cook dinner for my siblings when my parents were at work. Then at the age of 15 I entered the Springboard Future Chef Competition and I won.  It was at this point that I realised that perhaps I could actually do this. When I left school I went to Westminster College to study NVQ Level 3 Culinary Arts and from there to South Lodge, one of our other Exclusive Hotels.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring chefs?  

Try and work for a Chef you admire and whose food you find interesting.  My best advice is to make sure you have a good work ethic and work hard.

8. How do you stay creative and innovative in the kitchen? 

I love bouncing ideas off other team members and looking for new ingredients and ways that I can experiment.There is so much choice available and as long as I have the time to play I can always come up with something new and different.

9. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your journey as a chef?

Well I’m still young so very much still on the journey! I've learnt that hard work pays off and not to be afraid to try new ideas.

10. Where to from here?  

I wish I knew!


A very big thank you to Tom and Lainston House!