Luke Thomas, born in North Wales in 1993, grew up watching foodies like other kids watch footballers. He’d sneak off to watch the Naked Chef when he was knee-high and he’s been fluent in flavours ever since his nan taught him how to pick up a peeler and knock up a shepherds pie.
To a teenager obsessed with food, traditional schooling seemed a bit like noise. It was only once Luke got behind a butcher’s block at age twelve and into his first professional kitchen at thirteen, that he discovered his true calling.
Dreaming of Michelin stardom, Luke shadowed his culinary heroes, such as Jamie Oliver and Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, and spent every spare moment behind the stoves at the prestigious Chester Grosvenor Hotel whilst his mates studied for High School Exams.
At 15 he won Future Chef, a national cooking competition against 7500 budding young chefs, which kicked off his foodie discovery through travels to regions like The Middle East, The Caribbean and USA.
By the time Luke was 18, he was launching his first restaurant,Luke’s Dining Room, which in 2013 won the title, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire restaurant of the year. This was followed by his first book, Luke’s Cookbook, published by Penguin in 2014, a collection of classic, nostalgic British comfort foods with a modern makeover.
The book inspired the creation of a British pop up diner, Retro Feasts in London’s Mayfair, which then led to its launch as Retro Feast Dubai, with more locations on the way.
With his career well on track, Luke was in demand on TV shows like Great British Menu, Junior Master Chef, This Morning, Russell Howard’s Good News and Food Network’s Chopped, in The US.
With his passion to discover more about world food and culture, Luke continues his nomadic journey with travels to Barcelona, Rome, Madrid, New Orleans and Miami as part of his food curation for the disruptive, lifestyle hostel brand Generator.
Music is another passion, Luke has cooked for some of the biggest music starts on the planet such as Iron Maiden, Tom Jones, Bastille, and DNCE.
Next on the agenda will be the launch of Luke’s first London venue, in Soho. A concept inspired by Luke’s take on World Street food along with art, music and culture that brings the heart of the community into the venue. Parallel to this Luke is working on his next book.
Luke will evolve over time, being inspired by new places, flavours and experiences, which will shape and colour his ambitions away from the starched table cloths and stars he had once set his sights on.