Tom Shepherd, former head chef at one Michelin starred Adam’s Restaurant in Birmingham, is a 31 year old Birmingham born lad. He’s achieved a lot; in 2018 he joined a quite prestigious list of former winners by winning his own Acorn Award which recognises the brightest young talent in the UK hospitality industry under 30 years of age.
Trained by culinary legends Sat Bains and Michael Wignall, Tom made an incredible start to his career after strongly believing his life calling was to do something with food. Working at The Samling in the Lake District, which gained its first Michelin star while he was working there at the young age of 23, was one of his biggest achievements; one which he then used to secure a job working under Michael Wignall at The Latymer and following that, with Sat Bains as development chef in the Nucleus.
Working with this calibre of chefs and restaurants was what drove Tom to start his own pop-up restaurant – The Development Kitchen and catch the eye of Adam Stokes, who wanted Tom to evolve his restaurant, Adam’s. Tom accepted the role of head chef in August 2017.
The time is right for me without a doubt to go my own way, It’s not a decision you come to quickly or lightly to be honest. A goal of mine since I became a chef was to open my own restaurant, that was always my ambition but when that happens, you can never really put a time or date on it.
In late 2020, all being well I’ll be opening a restaurant which is located on a top floor in Bore Street Lichfield.
Although I can’t reveal the name of the restaurant, I have a very clear vision of what style of food I will be offering. He is designing a relaxed, 32 cover restaurant with a glass fronted kitchen that is open at both ends – he wants people ‘to feel part of the experience as they walk in.’
The location where I am opening, there isn’t anything like this there and I’ve got a good feeling that the people of Lichfield will welcome this type of restaurant. My aim is to become the first Michelin star restaurant of Lichfield.
“They are going to get food that I want them to be impressed by. It will be a really refined version of nostalgic cooking that they can relate to. Hopefully the food will blow their minds in terms of flavour!”
He added: “I want it to be a restaurant they want to come back to.”
Opening a restaurant from scratch is a terrifying prospect as well as an exciting one and Tom says he thinks about a different issue every night.
As with any chef, accolades are always in the back of Tom’s mind, he said: “You always want things for yourself, of course you do but I’m not going to open this restaurant and cook for any of the accolades, I’m only cooking for customers. My focus is the business and if along that journey an incredible thing happens and we get a Michelin star, that’s amazing. I’ve worked in eight Michelin-starred restaurants and I obviously worked in them to become them, but my focus is completely different now.”
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