Currently group head chef of hospitality and events for Lusso at Marks & Spencer Headquarters, Luciano Lucioli is a self-taught chef who developed his love for cooking from his mother.
The chef's first experience in a professional kitchen was at the age of 14 when he worked as a kitchen porter during the summer. He returned to the kitchen after leaving school, working in a few Italian restaurants until he decided to move to London in 2010 to gain more experience and influence from different cuisines and chefs. Before moving to M&S Lucioli, who dreams of running his own restaurant one day, worked at Murano, Rhodes 24, The Greenhouse and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.
He says: "I like challenges and at the moment the National Chef of the Year competition is on the top of my list of things I want to achieve in my career.
"I’m really delighted to be a NCOTY finalist. The semi-final cook-off was intense because my fellow competitors were all incredibly talented. This is my second time in the final, so I’m going to maximise my learnings from last year, together with the advice I will receive at the Mentor Day in September, to prepare myself for the big day.
"I’m very excited about the final, it’s going to be a fantastic event. Who knows, this could be my year!"