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The Corporation

Posted: 15/02/18

Successful Mansfield chef Thomas Greig returns to his roots

A Mansfield chef, who has carved out a successful career working at renowned restaurants in London for industry heavyweights such as Gordon Ramsay, is returning to his former training ground to showcase his skills and inspire the next generation of culinary talent.

Thomas Greig is returning to the college for a fine-dining evening.

Thomas Greig will temporarily hang up his chef whites at Frenchie Covent Garden to stage his very own fine-dining evening at West Nottinghamshire College’s flagship restaurant Refined.

A catering and hospitality student at the college in the early 2000s, Thomas will work alongside the current crop to serve-up a stunning four-course menu that he has created especially for the one-off event, on Thursday 8 March.

Describing the invitation to cook at the place where he developed his love of cooking as “humbling”, he insisted he was excited at the prospect of treating customers to something “a little different.”

Throughout the night Thomas will be assisted by more than 20 learners on professional cookery, hospitality supervision and leadership, and food and beverage courses. After more than 15 years in the business, he now wants to pass on his knowledge and experience to young hopefuls from his hometown, and open their eyes to the “endless” opportunities within the industry.

Diners will be treated to a first course consisting of inventive ‘snacks’ including a panice of carrot and cumin, and cod skin, taramasalata, lemon and dill.

These will be followed by a starter of mushroom, mascarpone and tarragon tortelli in a mushroom broth with parmesan, followed by a main course of braised ox cheek with shallot puree, endive, turnip and nut gremolata or a vegetarian option of roasted heritage carrots, braised chicory, shallot purée and barley salad.

Desserts are rhubarb and ginger, almond, thyme and custard ice cream; followed by dark chocolate salted fudge.

After gaining his City & Guilds catering and hospitality qualifications at the Mansfield college in 2002, Thomas began his career working at a host of establishments in the area including The Elm Tree, Elmton, Derbyshire, and The Coopers, Mansfield Woodhouse, where he was head chef.

Keen to broaden his horizons, Thomas moved to the capital to join the Gordon Ramsay Restaurants group, becoming commis chef at Bread Street Kitchen upon its opening in 2011. While there, he enjoyed a stint at Michelin-starred Pétrus, where he got “the fine-dining bug.”

After rising to the position of junior sous chef, Thomas left Bread Street Kitchen in 2014 to help launch sister restaurant Heddon Street Kitchen, off Regent’s Street, which was followed by two separate spells as sous chef at Mayfair favourite, Maze.

In 2017 he secured his current position as senior sous chef at Frenchie Covent Garden, owned by Jamie Oliver protégé Gregory Marchand; the celebrated chef who also runs the original Frenchie in Paris along with other establishments.

Thomas, 33, is now set to take centre stage at Refined, which holds a prestigious AA College Restaurant Rosette and is based at the Derby Road campus.

Speaking about his return to West Notts, Thomas said: “It’s humbling to be invited back to the place where I got my love of cooking from. I’m keen to show the new breed of culinary artists, cooks and front-of-house staff a few things I’ve learned over the years and who knows, maybe I’ll learn something from them too – because as chefs, we’re always learning.

“It’ll be exciting to return and produce something a little different to what customers may be used to and I hope they enjoy the evening as much as I do.”

Thomas insisted he cannot wait to team-up with aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals, adding: “I’m keen to show students the many opportunities that exist in the restaurant business, both locally and further afield, depending on the career path they choose.

“The opportunities in catering are limitless and it needs young, ambitious new cooks and front-of-house specialists to move the industry forward. The diversity of cuisine you can learn is endless and can only make you a better chef.

“In my experience the best thing you can possibly do is put yourself out of your comfort zone, and see and absorb as much as you can.”

Thomas Greig’s four-course menu costs £24.95 per person, with wine pairings available at £10 per person. Sittings range between 6.30pm to 7.45pm. To book your table call Refined on 01623 413629.