Chef Dominic Taylor is the Chef Director and Founder of Chef Dom’s Kitchen. He is currently collaborating with Fourteen87 restaurant and cocktail bar in Catford. Chef Dominic explains “how I got here”…
Why did you become a chef?
I come from a Caribbean background, and as with many black households, there is a lot of cooking and celebrating. My mother and grandmother were the family cooks. There was always a lot of fried fish, chicken and pots of rice on the go. Coming from a large family, and my mother being a single parent, I took the reins in the kitchen. I recall my keen interest in food beginning at the age of 7. At school, I loved home economics, and it felt like a natural progression to go onwards to chef school.
Big break, or career defining moment?
When working in a hotel in Belgravia as a junior sous chef, the executive chef at decided to leave. Most of the team followed, though I decided to stay and it was one of my best decisions. Within two years I had worked my way up to senior sous chef, and then head chef. I can not measure the experience and confidence that I gained. I truly believe that the Chef that I am today is largely down to that experience.
What advice would you offer to your younger self?
To gather as much experience as you can, from as many countries, and different environments that you possibly can.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My mother is one of the strongest people I have ever known, and her work ethic is second to none. I have seen her work day and night with five children and a flair to be admired. I can work 100 hours a week with ease, because of the example I saw in my mother.
Also, my good friend Ashley ‘Rebel’ Chef. He has turned his life around in an amazing way and is constantly trying to improve and grow. He is a great inspiration to me.
What is your favourite food?
Caribbean curried chicken or stewed chicken with rice and peas made with black-eyed beans.
What is your favourite spirit /wine?
Dark rum, and sparkling wines, such as cava, champagne or prosecco.
How do you relax?
Yoga, I went to Mexico, for three months. I had time of my life doing yoga every day, and as a result, I came home a new man.
If your career was a book, how would you describe this chapter?
We are three-quarters of the way in, there is a happy ending looming but it has not yet arrived.
Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is…
Hospitality is forever changing and expanding. Food is a certainty, but the ‘how’ is always changing.
About How I Got Here
In the How I Got Here series, we hope to share the stories of our members and as a result, embolden the community. With over 20 years in Hospitality and experience working in restaurants as well as owning his own business, Dominic provides a wealth of experience for the BAME in Hospitality community and beyond.
You can learn more about Dominic on his member profile.