Lawrence McCarthy started cooking when he was 17, after he left the college where he was studying business and economics.
He then enrolled in a cooking course at his local college in Crawley. During his studies he worked in small restaurants and pubs. However, he didn’t take cooking seriously until his 3rd year when his chef helped him to secure a job at the Sofitel hotel in Gatwick airport.
McCarthy came to London at the age of 20 and accepted a commis position at Tom Aikens, an experience very different to what he had been used to at Sofitel. Following a year at Tom Aikens he left to work for Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley hotel. His time there taught him how to work with a high level of professionalism and how to treat food with respect.
He left Marcus Wareing after a year and spent a month working for free at the Ledbury before they offered him a job. McCarthy loves the passion and focus at The Ledbury where he has been working for four years.
He is very confident in his cooking style and is now looking for the opportunity to be his own boss although he won’t be rushing into anything that isn’t right for him.
McCarthy entered National chef of the year to pit himself against other chefs at his level and to see where he stands. He is very competitive and wants to win but whatever the result he knows that it will be a good learning experience.