Tom Lowe recently appeared on MasterChef The Professionals 2019, where he received the nickname of cabbage connoisseur. Tom has previously worked at Petrus and L'Enclume, We caught up with Tom to find out what life was like after the show, his upcoming pop-ups, his new role and why he didn't watch himself on TV.
How has life been since appearing on the show? How did you feel about watching the experience back on TV?
Being on the TV and doing the show has honestly changed my life, it is hard to put into words really. I never believed it would impact my life so much, and I have no regrets and wouldn't change it for the world.
I chose not to watch the episodes I was in this year, but the response I received on social media and from my friends and family was amazing. Everyone was so pleased how I came across and how humble I was.
As a viewer, the skills test has most of us hiding behind our pillows with nerves. What was it like filming that section of the show?
The skills test for me was by far the hardest part of the show. It is going into the unknown, not knowing what you will be cooking and it is the first time you meet the judges. Which is hard, as these are people who you look up to as a chef throughout your career, and also it adds to the nerves that you need to make an excellent first impression.
Looking back now, what were your highs and lows?
For me, the most significant high was the response to my signature dish. The feedback I received from the judges and the nation was a dream for me, having people think so highly of my food, and being called the cabbage connoisseur by the nation! I think for me, this was the moment that changed my career overnight.
The lowest point for me was leaving the competition when I did and making a massive error as I did. Going into the judging, knowing I was going out was heartbreaking. I felt I had so much more to give.
What made you apply for the show?
Why I applied for the show is a funny story. It all started while I was in the pub with my dad and my friends and after a few beers I thought why not just apply thinking nothing of it, then six months later I was filming for the show.
Which previous contestants inspired you?
I can't say one person inspired me if I'm honest. I tried to take good and bad bits of everyone's performance on the show and went into the show wanting to show them my style and something different.
What advice would you give to next years contestants?
The best advice I could give to anyone entering the show is to enjoy the experience. No matter how far you get to enjoy it. It is a once in a lifetime moment, and not everyone gets the opportunity even to take part, so do the best you can do and leave nothing on the table
How has MasterChef changed your career?
Masterchef has changed my career massively. If six months ago someone would have told me I could do a pop-up and fill a restaurant with people coming to meet me and sample my food id call them a liar. But now I've got so many pop-ups booked I've lost count.
What have you been up to since the show ended?
I'm currently doing pop-ups around the country at different restaurants which I'm enjoying. While also getting prepared for my first head chef job at a new restaurant down in kent called The Plough Ivy Hatch which I'm really looking forward to.
What exciting plans and events do you have coming in the near future?
I've got a really exciting pop up planned with Liam Dillion booked at is restaurant The Boat Inn which I'm really looking forward too.
Also, I've just bought a flat with my girlfriend down in kent ready for when I start my first head chef job.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In the next five years id like to have my own restaurant, its been a dream of mine to open a restaurant by the time I'm 26 so I've still got a couple of years to go yet.